The GroDome allows scientists to conduct research on habitats under strictly controlled conditions. Each of its eight separate compartments can precisely manipulate light and temperature, acting as unique experiment sites. Since its opening at Wallingford in 2009 researchers have used the 38m-long GroDome for studying such diverse subjects as soil bacteria, ants, gorse and heather.
The structure has two main sections – one where the experiments actually take place, and the ‘potting shed’ where the experiments are set up. In the potting shed there is also a freezer and a fridge used to store samples from the field until they’re needed.
CEH's Dr Tracey Timms-Wilson takes science writer and broadcaster Sue Nelson on a tour of the facility, while university student Paul Arnold explains why the controlled conditions are so important for his research on soil bacteria.
Listen to the podcast on Planet Earth Online.
- Research Facility