Jeffrey A. Hutchings

Professor of Biology, Dalhousie University, Canada

Evolutionary Ecology & Life History Evolution of Fishes

The Aquatron Laboratory

The Aquatron is operated and maintained by a 4-man crew of technicians and trades people. 

Pool Tank

This 684,000 litre tank is 15.2 metres in diameter and 3.5 to 3.9 metres deep with an axially suspended rotating bridge, 22 viewing windows, and a small adjoining isolation tank. Salinity, oxygen, water flow, filtration, lighting cycle, and temperature are controlled to the specifications of the project. Past projects have included: artificial reef habitat for cuttlefish, lobsters and other marine animals; spawning habitat for Atlantic cod; holding facility for seals, squid and diving birds.

Tower Tank

This research apparatus is unique in Eastern Canada. A silo-shaped enclosure at 10.6 metres deep and 3.7 metres in diameter, holding 117,000 litres of water, with several sampling and viewing ports in the tank wall. This tank is ideal for research requiring depth and stratification. It can be divided into three layers of water with each layer having different physical parameters.

Aquatron Tank Banks

The Aquatron Laboratory contains numerous fish tank banks which can consist of one or several groups of tanks connected on a common water system. Temperature and salinity can be mainpulated to suit needs.

Twelve 1.5 m holding tanks are available for fish holding and experimentation.

Eight 2 m holding tanks are available for fish holding and experimentation. These tanks have been used for holding salmon, trout, atlantic cod and winter flounder.

Nine 100 litre tanks can be used for experiments and holding of small fish or other less motile animals.

Wet Labs

Wet labs throughout the Life Sciences Building. Header tanks and columns packed with media have air flowing up from the bottom eliminate excess dissolved gases for improved water quality.

For an overview of fish aquisition and husbandry see the Aquatron Webpage.

The Marine Gene Probe Laboratory

We provide excellent laboratory facilities and expertise to enable the application of DNA techniques to research in ecology, conservation biology and fisheries, aquaculture and forestry management.

We train students and scientists in the use of molecular tools and techniques.

Each year, numerous students, post-docs and Biology Department staff conduct research in the MGPL on a wide range of marine, aquatic and terrestrial species.