School of GeoSciences

Our research facilities

Our School has a full range of laboratory, field, and workshop facilities for our staff, undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. Some can also be used for research collaborations or hire.

Two female scientists seated looking at computer monitors and surrounded by scientific equipment

Facilities are an essential asset for our research and teaching.

We are exceptionally well-equipped with the latest technologies to enable our researchers and students to work and study at the forefront of their fields.  

Our facilities technical and research staff can also provide training for students in taught courses and dissertation work to help identify the most suitable methods for research projects or develop new techniques.   

We encourage you to explore our facilities.  If you are interested in collaboration or using a facility, please contact the facility directly.

Our range of facilities include:

  • Workshops,  preparatory laboratories and support facilities for sample preparation and mineralogical, physical and inorganic and organic chemical analysis of rock, soil, plant, water and gaseous samples.
  • State-of-the-art research facilities, including a wide range of high-tech facilities for the analysis of rocks, minerals and fluids, for isotope analysis and measurement of the physical properties of rocks. 
  • An extensive array of ground-based, water and airborne field equipment for field measurement techniques in ecological, atmospheric and Earth sciences. These are all supported by fully equipped workshops and underpinning facilities. 
  • Computing-intensive research such as geographic information systems (GIS), meteorological and climate modelling, geophysics and the analysis of space and satellite data is supported by our in-house GIS suite and software licences and the Edinburgh Computer and Data Facility.

Worldwide experience

As you might expect, one of our most important facilities is planet Earth itself. 

Our students and staff use field stations and facilities around the world for research projects in the Antarctic, Arctic and tropics, on research ships in the world’s oceans, through aircraft sampling the atmosphere and via remote sensing data from satellites. 

University partnerships

Complementing our in-house facilities, our students and staff have access to national and international supercomputing, laboratory, experimental and field facilities from across the University as well as through our collaborative partners.  For example, we are regular visitors to X-ray synchrotron facilities in Europe and the USA for research on many themes. 

Using our facilities

Our facilities support in-house research and teaching.  Some facilities also welcome scientific collaboration with the research community.  

In addition:

  • our Small Research Facilities (SRF) are available for hire or consultancy to external users
  • we host and manage several national facilities on behalf of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • we are involved with several collaborative centres of research excellence, such as hosting the UK Biochar Research Centre laboratory and pyrolysis facilities
  • our Cockburn Geological Museum holds an extensive collection of geological specimens and historical objects, and is open to the public.


Facilities A-Z

A woman in a laboratory looking into a microscope, with another microscope in the foreground
Explore our range of state-of-the-art laboratories, world-leading analytical facilities, field equipment and workshops.

NERC facilities

A close up of ion-probe scientific equipment showing pipes and seals
We host and manage several national facilities on behalf of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Small research facilities available for use

Blue gloved hands holding a dropper in front of a scientific centrifuge filled with test tubes
Our Small Research Facilities (SRF) are available for hire or consultancy, and we can also provide expert training and support.

Facilities Senior Management 

Our  Facilities Senior Management Team is responsible for the strategic development and oversight of the School's facilities. 

If you have any queries about the facilities please contact us.  

Please note: to enquire about a specific facility, including for collaboration or hire - please contact the individual facility directly.

Academic Head of Facilities

Responsible for leading the effective and strategic management of the School’s facilities.