Supporting UK science

We support a range of different studies and techniques, and provide training in various types of analyses.

NERC - Biomolecular Analysis Facility, Sheffield
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A main call on the facility is for the development and application of genetic markers for use in studies of population genetics and behavioural ecology. Other studies we support include studies of diet, pollination networks and species diversity, using a range of sample types including faecal samples and eDNA.

Examples of the studies we support include: 

  • Biodiversity assessments: eDNA studies of species distributions, pollination networks, effects of agricultural practises; 
  • Diet analyses: food webs, climate change, gut fauna
  • Disease transmission: studies of drinking water systems, bacterial and parasite loads
  • Genes and chromosomes: QTL identification, linkage mapping, evolutionary genetics
  • Individuals: individual identification, abundance, territory sizes, distribution
  • Species: genetic bottlenecks, hybrid identification, conservation biology
  • Behaviour: behavioural ecology, mating strategies, mate choice, reproductive behaviour, dispersal, kin and sexual selection
  • Populations: effective population size, population structure, landscape genetics (eg habitat fragmentation), spatial ecology
  • Phylogeny: molecular systematics.

We are also able to support various other types of studies - please contact Deborah Dawson to discuss.

The majority of bench work is carried out by visitors, under supervision of facility staff, with training provided as appropriate. The service is based on a well-proven arrangement, in which researchers visit the laboratory to complete their own analyses under the supervision of someone experienced in the required technology.

Facility staff will carry out those procedures that require a high level of training, such as the preparation of enriched microsatellite libraries or SNP-typing, and may complete some smaller projects in their entirety.

The NERC Environmental Omics Visitor Facility is situated within the Molecular Ecology Laboratory, which is part of the Evolution, Behaviour and Genomics Group, one of University of Sheffield's eight biological research themes. The group is part of the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences.

The NEOF is funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

The NERC Environmental Omics Facility (NEOF)

Making state-of-the-art molecular genetics facilities and training available to the UK science community.