BioMAG facility

In 2015 the Rivers and Lochs Institute will move to the new Inverness Campus at Beechwood (already under construction), as part of the University of the Highlands and Islands prestigious research and enterprise facilities. This presents a unique opportunity for RLI to become a centre of excellence for freshwater fisheries and biodiversity research.

The RLI is seeking funding to develop a state of the art molecular genetics facility, including a mobile field laboratory, that will form the core of research into freshwater fisheries and biodiversity: The Biodiversity Management Applied Genomics (BioMAG) facility. The BioMAG laboratory will be located in the new University of the Highlands & Islands building at Inverness Campus, which is currently under construction.

This DNA analysis facility will be dedicated to supporting sustainable freshwater biodiversity management in river catchments across Scotland and the UK. The facility will support practical river and loch assessment and monitoring actions and scientific studies to investigate the specific impacts of existing and new economic developments. It will also work to deliver the most cost-effective DNA analysis support for these activities, and for the assessment and monitoring of the ecological status of rivers and lochs as mandated by the Water Framework Directive. To deliver this, the BioMAG facility, and the RLI as a whole, will work with and compliment, existing academic, government and commercial facilities, in the UK and across Europe, to bring the latest technology at the most cost-effective price.

Funding has been secured towards the construction of the BioMAG facility from the European Rural Development Fund (ERDF), but match funding must be secured from other sources to purchase the equipment for the molecular genetics research laboratory and a field laboratory.

Our vision is one of partnership and collaboration to secure the future of freshwater fisheries and biodiversity. To discuss how to get involved with the development of the Rivers and Lochs Institute please contact Professor Eric Verspoor or Dr Melanie Smith.

The development of the BioMAG facility is supported by funding from The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Fishmongers Company and the PF Charitable Trust.