An expanded and improved wildlife lab is coming to Purdue University’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources this spring. The 4,700-square-foot facility is being built after a $1 million donation from the estate of Roger and Sarah Voyles. Roger Voyles graduated with a forestry degree from Purdue in 1950.
“The overall capacity to do animal research will greatly expand,” said Jason Hoverman, associate professor of vertebrate ecology. “Currently there are four relatively small animal rooms. This new facility offers the capability of running experiments in six different rooms, as well as a common space for doing general work and some laboratory space for doing some more refined projects, all of which will allow us to accommodate more types of research. This facility will give us the ability to do our work more efficiently, while also expanding our ability to bring in more individuals to do research.”
The new animal rooms will allow researchers to study several terrestrial and aquatic species to answer questions in ecology, ecotoxicology and disease ecology. The separately ventilated rooms will prevent airborne pathogens from spreading and are also designed to isolate odors.
“This new facility will contain temperature and photo-period controlled experimental rooms that will allow us to test the impact of environmental pollutants on aquatic organisms held under a wide range of environmental conditions,” said Marisol Sepúlveda, professor and associate head for FNR research.
The 159-acre Purdue Wildlife Area also supports teaching and Purdue Extension, along with combining research areas with an indoor lab.