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Pakefield Road
Suffolk NR33 0HT
Tel: +44 (0) 1502 562244
Fax +44 (0) 1502 513865

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The Nothe, Barrack Road
Dorset DT4 8UB
Tel: +44 (0) 1305 206600
Fax: +44 (0) 1305 206601

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Aerial photo of Cefas Lowestoft laboratory © M. Page, http://www.norfolkskyview.flyer.co.uk/
Lowestoft laboratory © M. Page

The Lowestoft laboratory is our corporate headquarters: where our Finance, Commercial, HR, Communications, IT Services and Governance teams are based. In addition, our main library is situated there.

Our modern computer and analytical capabilities are used to develop fisheries and hydrographic models. A dedicated micro-electronics team designs and develops miniature data-loggers and telemetry systems for environmental and industrial-monitoring applications.

The Lowestoft facility also has controlled-environment rooms for marine and freshwater ecotoxicology and a wide range of biological-effects work. It is equipped with sophisticated instrumentation for environmental research and monitoring, and houses a range of specialist laboratories:

  • Plankton analysis: high-power, inverted microscopes (linked to video cameras and display equipment), plus a range of low-power, binocular microscopes are available in this laboratory.
  • Otolith processing: contains precision-cutting equipment with diamond blades and digital control to 0.01mm. Mounting cabinets with CCTV monitors enable the exact alignment of otoliths and precision-made moulds.
  • Molecular biology: fingerprinting analyses for bacteria, archaeobacteria, microalgae and fish is possible using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), denaturing gel electrophoresis, cloning, sequencing analyses and ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis techniques in this laboratory. Our expertise also covers the counting and identification of phytoplankton functional groups and some characteristic species using high-speed analytical flow cytometry. The isolation and cultivation of microalgae is also undertaken.
  • Radioanalytical: equipped with the latest alpha, beta and gamma radiation counting systems for the quantitative assay of a wide range of radionuclides.
  • Chemistry: contains a wide variety of spectro-photometric and chromatographic equipment. Atomic fluorescence are employed in the ultra-trace determination of inorganic and organic contaminants.
  • Benthic ecology: equipped with a wet room for benthic faunal sample processing and a laboratory for biomassing and identification, utilising our reference collection of specimens and extensive taxonomic literature.
  • Sedimentology: a Malvern mastersizer and sieving techniques are used to undertake particle size analysis and sediment prepartion for trace metal and organic carbon analyses.

There is also a specialist histology laboratory.

Weymouth Laboratory
Weymouth laboratoty

Our Weymouth laboratory, purpose-built in 1995, contains modern facilities for fish and shellfish disease diagnosis and research, including scanning and transmission electron microscopes with an X-ray micro-analysis suite for biological and environmental samples.

This laboratory has been designated as both the European Union Reference Laboratory and the UK's National Reference Laboratory for monitoring bacteriological and viral contamination of bivalve molluscs. In addition, we are the designated the EU's Reference Laboratory for crustacean diseases and the OIE Collaborating Centre for aquatic animal diseases. You will find more about the specialist tools and facilities to support that work by clicking on the links in this paragraph.

The Weymouth laboratory is fully equipped to undertake automated nucleic acid extraction, real-time and traditional PCR-based assays and sequence analysis. This facility also has the capacity to undertake pathogen detection, using micro-array technologies; and pathogen labelling, using in situ hybridisation.

Small, port-based offices are located in:

  • Whitehaven, Cumbria
  • Scarborough, Yorkshire
  • Exeter, Devon
  • Newlyn, Cornwall.

These regional facilities provide a base for officers who either work directly with fishermen (recording and measuring their catch and discards) or are members of our radiological risk assessment team. Inspectors from the Fish Health Inspectorate, based at Cefas, routinely work at ports and airports around the UK and visit commercial fish farms and other trade outlets in England and Wales.

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© Crown Copyright 2015
Last Modified: 27 April 2014