Facilities

The Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections (BRTC)

The Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections (BRTC) (formerly Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collection) was established in 1938 by the late Dr. William B. Davis, founder of the Department of Wildlife Management (later Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences) at Texas A&M University. The collections within the BRTC serve as historical and modern evidence of the distribution of wildlife in Texas, and provide valuable ecological and life history information for an array of vertebrate species. The collections are used in the research of Texas A&M faculty, graduate students, and scientists worldwide, as well as for the teaching of natural history, conservation and wildlife management, both within the university and in public schools.

The Biodiversity Research and Teaching Collections (BRTC) primarily documents the faunal history of Texas, the United States, Central and South America, and the Gulf of Mexico. This includes over one million specimens and their associated historical documents, so as to assure their accessibility to current and future generations. Historically the BRTC has been an invaluable source of data for researchers in the fields of biodiversity, vertebrate evolution, endangered species, wildlife and fisheries conservation, and even forensic biology. This information is also made available to the public, to increase awareness of the natural history of Texas and thus enabling the citizens of Texas to make better-informed decisions affecting their natural environment.

Aquacultural Research and Teaching Facility

Aquacultural Research and Teaching Facility Wet LabOperated by the department for the Texas A&M AgriLife Experiment Station, this facility is dedicated to research and teaching that promotes development of a sound biological basis for warmwater aquaculture and aquatic ecology. Amenities include laboratories, hatcheries for red drum and other species and a 36-pond complex, all within 10 miles of the central campus. Laboratories are equipped with extensive flow-through and recirculating tank systems, comprising more than 200 units, and with a variety of modern research equipment for work in areas of nutrition, bioenergetics, environmental physiology and developmental biology.

NSF Biosytematics and Biodiversity Center

Established by a grant from the National Science Foundation, with matching funds from the university and the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, the center provides cutting edge technical capabilities for research in systematic biology and fosters increased scholarly interaction among faculty and students. Although the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences operates the center, principal investigators include faculty members from the Biology and Entomology departments. Occupying almost 1,500 square feet in the old Herman Heep Building, the center houses three flow cytometers, including a Coulter Elite flow cytometer and cell sorter; a digital imaging system for computer enhanced karyotyping; and an image analysis system for morphometry of structures ranging from subcellular to exomorphological.

Ecological Systems Laboratory

The Ecological Systems Laboratory promotes formal exposure to systems analysis and simulation as an integral part of the training of professionals and academicians involved in ecological research or natural resource management. Systems analysis refers both to a general problem-solving philosophy and to a collection of quantitative techniques, including simulation, developed specifically to address problems related to the functioning of complex systems. Workshops on the use of systems analysis and simulation in ecology and natural resource management which are cosponsored by WFSC, the International Society for Ecological Modeling, and a host institution and are offered in either English or Spanish.

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