New Envirotron 'Greenhouse' supports conservation research at UWE Bristol

Issue date: 29 September 2017


The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has made a significant investment in a sophisticated new greenhouse called the Envirotron that will transform teaching, research and partnerships in the areas of biodiversity and conservation, global environmental change and food security.

The Envirotron features LED lighting that minimises environmental impact and affords exquisite control of light, enabling researchers to simulate and experiment with a wide range of conditions. Compartments will also be independently fully climate-controllable.

Dr Lyn Newton, Head of Department in Applied Sciences at UWE Bristol, said, “Understanding the 'planetary boundaries' that determine the sustainability of life on Earth is one of the key challenges of the 21st century.

“The Envirotron presents us with a valuable resource that will support how we teach students and conduct conservation research.”

Professor Neil Willey of the Centre for Research in Biosciences, said, “Current projects include work with Wildlife Trusts, the Eden Project and the National Botanic Garden of Wales. In the area of pollution of natural and agricultural ecosystems the Department is working with the Environment Agency, NERC and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

“We are also investigating the effects of plant diseases in natural and agricultural systems and have a range of projects funded by BBSRC, the Woodland Trust, Woodland Heritage, Mars and Cocoa Research UK and the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana.

“There are projects focusing on plant stress biology funded by the Croatian Government, the Royal Society and BBSRC. We are also developing biosensors for nutrients and pollutants in crops with Gwent Electronic Materials, working on bioremediation with JD Norman Industries and on the biogeochemistry of greenhouse gas emissions from soils and peats for NERC and the British Ecological Society. “

The building will officially open on Tuesday 3 October 2017 at 14:00 and will be attended by UWE Bristol Vice-Chancellor Steve West and researchers and students from the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences.

Back to top