Housed within the University of Saskatchewan Toxicology Centre, the Aquatic Toxicology Research Facility (ATRF) is the only laboratory of its type in Canada where researchers can study the adverse effects of chemical and physical agents on aquatic organisms under controlled environmental conditions.
The ATRF is a self-sufficient, multi-user facility available for use by both Canadian and International investigators independently or through research partnerships with Toxicology Centre scientists.
The 7,100 sq. ft. facility was designed to simultaneously provide different water quality parameters and temperatures ranging from less than 6 to 45°C in order to perform both static and continuous flow toxicology experiments with a broad range of freshwater organisms including algae, crustaceans, insects, clams, amphibians and small and large species of fish. The facility includes walk-in, controlled-environment chambers and self-contained proportional diluter systems for toxicant delivery. This equipment provides the ideal conditions for conducting both acute and chronic aquatic toxicity tests freshwater invertebrates, algae, small fish and amphibians.
The ATRF consists of separate rooms for animal holding/culture and experimentation/chemical exposure, and for the pre- and post-treatment of water. The high quality of water produced in the ATRF can provide users with many different freshwater characteristics for their experiments and husbandry requirements. The ATRF routinely houses and breeds common laboratory species (zebrafish, medaka, fathead minnows, rainbow trout etc.) and specializes in rearing native aquatic species collected.
Due to its flexible design, the ATRF can be adapted to work with almost any experimental design and equipment configuration. The separate research areas contain independent lighting for precise photoperiod control, and distinct water lines enable the delivery of a wide range of water quality including varying water hardness and temperature. In addition, specialized plumbing allows for collection and treatment of hazardous wastewater generated in an experiment.
The ATRF is clearly a unique aquatic facility that is an ideal locale for aquatic research projects, and is specialized for experiments in aquatic toxicology.