Facilities and equipment

Explore our resources for research and learning. Some are accessible to the wider scientific community in government, business, and industry.

Microscopy Facilities

The University of Melbourne maintains a state-of-the-art electron and optical microscope facility with nodes located at the Bio21 Institute and the School of BioSciences. Instruments at these nodes are available to research students and staff of The University of Melbourne, as well as to the wider scientific community of government, business and industry.

Glasshouse Complex

The Glasshouse complex is located as part of the Zoology Building. There are 9 separate glasshouses located on the first floor of the complex. These can be accessed by internal and external stair wells and an elevator. Two glasshouses are classed PC1 and serve for plant pathology experiments.

The Glasshouse complex also houses the following facilities:

  • Growth rooms & cabinets - Three growth rooms are available for use. These have both lighting and temperature control. A further 3 growth cabinets are available with temperature, lighting and relative humidity control.
  • Hardstand - An external pot standing area is available for the growing of potted plants.
  • Ground plots -  A small area on the edge of the systems garden is available for in ground growing of plants. This area is small and space is limited.
  • Potting shed - This is a work area for the preparation of potted plants. Soil mixing and sterilization facilitates are available this is also the pot, soil, sand and soil additives storage area.

The University of Melbourne Herbarium (MELU)

Established in 1926 by a donation of plant specimens, the Herbarium collection now totals approximately 100,000 specimens - and its still growing.

All major plant groups are housed in the Herbarium, including fungi, mosses, liverworts, lichens, algae, ferns, gymnosperms and flowering plants. The main emphasis of the collection is Victorian flora, however, for some plant groups interstate and overseas collections are included to adequately cover the range of variation within the group.

Being an archival plant collection of international importance, the Herbarium contributes substantially to the School of BioSciences through research, teaching, public relations and the exchange of specimens and information locally and globally. The herbarium lends specimens nationally and internationally to registered scientific institutions for research purposes, and welcomes the use of the collection by visiting scientists. Through undergraduate courses, volunteer and internship programs students can learn about herbaria and assist in the maintenance and expansion of the facility.

Herbarium Collection Online
Our Significant Collections
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Melbourne Pollen Count

Melbourne Pollen Count forecasts the level of pollen in the air during Melbourne's peak allergy period from October 1 to December 31 each year.

The School of BioSciences and the Asthma Foundation Victoria offer this service as research has identified that grass pollens released during this period are the major contributor to allergies in the outdoor atmosphere of the city.

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Tiegs Museum

The Tiegs Museum of the University of Melbourne, established in 1887, is Australia’s oldest university museum of zoology.  The collection, accumulated over 120 years, has specimens contributed by the first Professor of the department, Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer.

It has an extensive collection of specimens representing the whole animal kingdom, ranging from small invertebrates to prepared whole-mounts and skeletons of vertebrates including an African lion, and a moa (an extinct emu-like bird from New Zealand).

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Wildlife Software

WildlifeDensity is a Mac OS X based program designed to help field workers estimate the densities of many biological populations in land habitats, particularly birds and larger mammals. It uses distance data from either line transect or fixed observing point surveys to model change in visual detectability with increasing distance from an observer. If the sample size is adequate, and appropriate information available on the observing situation, the model is then used to estimate the overall population density, its confidence limits, and other parameters of the observing situation. It can also estimate the proportion of the population detectable along a transect line.

The program uses either radial distance or perpendicular distance data from ground-level or aerial surveys. It can also obtain estimates using data from a selected range of distances; observations on the transect line itself or at the observer's position are not necessary, nor is complete detectability along a transect line The procedure is relatively straightforward to use with many populations of interest, including many active, highly mobile species for which relevant data on movement rates are also available, and those well above or below an observer's position.

Version 2.2.1 (Last Updated: 28 August 2020)

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Wilsons Promontory Virtual Herbarium

The Wilsons Promontory VirtualHerbarium website provides access to a significant collection of plant and algal species from Wilsons Promontory National Park. It is a publicly accessible online resource for the use of field naturalists, researchers and students of botany and related disciplines. Species pages of almost 500 taxa from 124 families are presented, with images and information about the distribution, descriptive features of the plant, as well as links to additional information, maps and images. You can search for species by various features, including name, flower colour and habitat.

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