AQUACULTURE AND AQUARIA
LUMCON’s DeFelice Marine Center has nearly 50 tanks, aquaria, and mesocosms with running seawater and filtration. These assets include an assortment of tank sizes and designs housed in a variety of locations that allow for customized environmental control during experimental research. LUMCON’s systems are able to provide both high- and low-salinity as well as filtered and unfiltered seawater to any tank, aquarium, or mesocosm on campus.
ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMBER AND INCUBATION CAPABILITIES
The DeFelice Marine Center has 3, new (installed in 2014), large, walk-in environmental chambers that are available for shorter- or longer-duration experiments. The Marine Center also has extensive incubation capabilities including several illuminated, temperature-controlled incubators; multiple low-temperature BOD incubators; and a temperature-controlled shaker table incubator available for culturing and experimental applications.
The Marine Center has a specially-designed racetrack flume system that allows for investigation into the effects of hydrodynamics on organisms, sediments, and physical processes.
MARSH MESOCOSM FACILITY
One of the highlights of LUMCON’s experimental infrastructure is a marsh mesocosm facility that is being completed in 2017 on the Marine Center grounds with funding to the Coastal Waters Consortium research team from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. The facility consists of 12 experimental tanks (10’ diameter, 5’ tall) and paired tidal surge tanks (6’ diameter, 5’ tall) enclosed in aviary-proof netting. Briefly, water is pumped from the bayou adjacent to the Marine Center through two settling tanks, then to the tidal surge tanks. Water is moved between each tidal surge tank and its paired mesocosm via air blowers on each tidal cycle. The computer-controlled flushing rate is currently designed to be 10% per day (water residence time of Terrebonne Bay). The facility is initially being designed to conduct a long term study of impacts of oil exposure on Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) salt marsh ecosystems. Oiled water will be treated with a combination of biofilters, carbon filters, and UV lights to degrade any oil-related products in the outflow water before release. Three replicate mesocosms are set up for each of four treatments (control plus light, moderate, and heavy oiling). This study will include measurements of oil degradation pathways, water and soil quality, Spartina alterniflora, microphytobenthos, meio- and macrofauna, microbial communities, biogeochemical processes, and predator-prey interactions over multiple years after oiling.
LUMCON is dedicated to using these resources for novel applications and expanding our aquaculture capacity over time. Researchers interested in using DeFelice aquaculture and other experimental facilities should contact our Associate Director of Science for availability and rates.