An Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) in the EcoLab
Brief History about ECOLAB
The Ecological Laboratory (EcoLab) was established in 1993 as part of a DANIDA funded Enhanced Research Capacity (ENRECA) project to support graduate studies at the University of Ghana. The Ecological Laboratory was set up to provide a well-equipped central laboratory for post graduate students in tertiary educational and research institutions and most specifically to serve as an interdisciplinary facility for the then faculties of Science, Agriculture and Social Studies within the University of Ghana
The EcoLab was brought under the umbrella of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS) in August 2012 as a semi-autonomous unit of the University following the completion of the ENRECA project.
Projects Supported by the Ecological Laboratory
The EcoLab since its inception has supported a number of project and research related activities of the University. The EcoLab initiated the publication of the West African Journal of Applied Ecology (WAJAE). Several volumes of the Journal have been published under a wide range of issues as peer reviewed articles. Other areas in which the EcoLab has contributed include but are not limited to the following;
- Nutrients cycling and pollution in variety of ecosystems
- Bio fertilizers and carbon sequestration
- Distribution, quantification and nutrient content analysis of harmattan dust in Ghana
- Organic amendment and salinity effects on the growth of shallots at Anloga in the Volta Region
- Sustainable food production through intensive irrigation farming system in West Africa
Research Support Capacity of the EcoLab
The Ecological Laboratory plays a very important role in research activities of the IESS, other research institutions and the University of Ghana by providing data collection and analytical support. The laboratory has high precision and state of the art equipment including Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS), Spectrophotometer, high performing microscopes, multi-water quality probes, pH meters, oven, bouyocos hydrometer, plunger and data loggers among others. EcoLab has the capacity of undertaking the following tests and analysis;
- Heavy Metals in soil, plant and water samples
- Water Quality Parameters
- Soil Particle Size Determination
- Soil Organic Carbon Determination of plant and compost samples
- Culturing, Extraction and Identification of spores, fungi, bacteria, rhizobium etc.
- Harmattan Dust Trapping and sample analysis through well-defined procedure
- Limnological Survey
Some equipment and consumables at the Ecological Laboratory (EcoLab)
In May, 2019, the laboratory received a set of laboratory equipment from the St. Cloud State University’s Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis following the completion of the first phase of a collaborative research project between the US project partners and IESS themed ‘Improving the Sustainability of Aquaculture in Ghana through Environmental Quality Assessment’. These equipment were to help the EcoLab support graduate students and continue the monitoring of related pollutant levels associated with aquaculture production in the Volta Basin.