AIMS@JCU Controlled Environment Facility (CEF)

The AIMS@JCU Controlled Environment Facility (CEF) is a state-of-the-art facility located within the aquaculture precinct at AIMS, containing environment-controlled rooms with air conditioning, filtered ambient seawater, filtered heated or cooled seawater, and freshwater reticula­tion.

It was completed in February 2006 and has been used by students and research­ers in the fields of reproductive biology; broodstock conditioning; larval rearing; aquaculture nutrition, disease and health; climate change; and inter-kingdom communication. Species used in this research have included aquaculture food species such as tropical rock lobsters (Panulirus ornatus) and the ornamental cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis), as well as coral larvae which are used in climate change research and inter-kingdom research.

The facility makes efficient use of energy through clever design. Air conditioning and seawater cooling access re-circu­lated water from a nearby chiller plant, and seawater is circulated through solar strip heaters on the roof of the building to provide heated water. Within the facil­ity, air and seawater temperatures are continuously monitored and controlled for precise experimental conditions.

This facility is also undergoing further development to meet future needs, through installation of a recirculation system for year round operation of the broodstock facility, an air compressor and oxygen generating system for pro­viding oxygen to larval rearing tanks, an ultrafiltration system for processing up to 200,000 litres of seawater per day and the addition of gas heaters for energy efficient heating of seawater during winter.

information and images provided by Matt Kenway