Lancaster Environment Centre

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Coordinates: 54°00′32″N 2°47′10″W / 54.009°N 2.786°W / 54.009; -2.786

Lancaster University Environment Centre
Established 2003
Type Science Centre
Dean Professor Mary Smyth
Location Lancaster, United Kingdom
Campus Semi-Rural

The Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC) in Lancaster, England, is a new centre for teaching, research and collaboration at Lancaster University.

The building is a joint investment by NERC / CEH and Lancaster University, currently totalling £20M. The project combines CEH and Lancaster University laboratories, developed partly by a new extension to Lancaster University’s Biological and Environmental Sciences building and partly by extensive refurbishment of areas of the existing laboratories. The development of this joint facility underpins the close integration of CEH and Lancaster University research activities and provides extensive, state-of-the-art research laboratories, fifteen glasshouses and ten walk-in controlled environment rooms. These include high-grade containment facilities for research with genetically modified organisms and radionuclides.[1]

In addition to the main site is a 1000m² prefabricated building at the northern end of campus, which houses environmental engineering and instrumentation workshops and large-scale sample preparation facilities for CEH.

On the 22nd May 2007.[2] the Gordon Manley Building, (LEC III) was opened by Lord Rees of Ludlow Kt. The £8.4m building provides new office, laboratory and meeting-room space for the Geography department and provides offices, meeting and training rooms for LEC’s Enterprise & Business Partnerships Team and offices for companies wishing to locate into LEC or co-locate new activities.

Organisation of Science[edit]

The research themes of Lancaster University, include

  • Environmental Change and Pollution
  • Environment and Society
  • Catchement and Aquatic Processes
  • Organisms and the Environment

and the science programmes and themes of CEH, including:

  • Water
  • Biodiversity
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Environmental Informatics
  • Climate Change
  • Sustainable Economies

provide a range of research interests within the Lancaster Environment Centre and represent a distinctly post-disciplinary approach to research.

LEC Centres[edit]

In addition to this research endeavour, the two organisations are developing a number of integrating research centres to provide a specific strategic research focus on particular areas of current concern where the two organisations collaborate to form major new centres of excellence. These centres undertake high-quality blue skies research and provide a strategic focus for LEC's collaborative work with science users, including policymakers and industry.

The current centres include:

The Centre for Sustainable Chemical Management[edit]

Led by Professor Kevin Jones, the Centre has been established to provide an integrated approach covering all aspects of chemical fate, behaviour and effects. This ranges from development of new chemicals designed for fitness of purpose without resulting in adverse impact on human health or the environment to safe disposal options. This includes providing input to the "design" of new chemicals that are "fit for their purpose" but avoid the physico-chemical properties which lead to undesirable traits in the environment, such as persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity. .[3]

The Centre for Environmental Informatics[edit]

Led by Professor Ian Marshall, the Centre is currently targeting the development of self-managing heterogeneous infrastructures for data gathering and analysis at a wide range of temporal and spatial scales for both science and industry. This experimental research is motivated by the need to characterise and model the non-linear interdependencies between dynamic natural processes and enable improved prediction of the impacts of factors such as climate change and changes in land-use. [4]

The Centre for Sustainable Energy[edit]

Led by Dr David Howard

The Centre for Sustainable Water Management[edit]

Led by co-directors Professor Louise Heathwaite and Professor Phil Haygarth, the Centre seeks to deliver cross-disciplinary science in water-related research areas. Faculty and Research staff in the Centre undertake research to develop scientific tools and techniques to enable the uncertainties associated with land and water use problems to be addressed in the development of sustainable water management strategies.[5]

The Centre for Sustainable Agriculture[edit]

Led by Professor Felix Wackers, the Centre seeks to couple cutting-edge research in plant science with a practical focus on sustainable agriculture in order to address the ecological, economic and social challenges facing agriculture in a changing global environment.[6]

Enterprise & Business Partnerships[edit]

The purpose of the business incubation centre within LEC is to allow environmental business to rent office space within the centre, enabling faster business growth through finding easier access to LEC research, knowledge, state-of-the-art laboratories, clean rooms, workshops and specialist instruments.[7]

Collaborative Work[edit]

LEC is interested in a wide range of research partnerships from across the environmental sector, and companies locating within LEC can access these resources for research, new product development, managing environmental impacts, developing environmental CSR programmes, and responding to legislative or consumer pressures.

Office Space / Incubation[edit]

Specification of the offices are[7]

  • Fully furnished
  • Sizes range from 20 to 50m2
  • Shared office facility is available at a reduced cost.
  • All have broadband internet and VOIP telephone lines
  • Companies have an allocation of free meeting-room time from a selection of five meeting rooms, capable of seating six to eighty people; three of these rooms are equipped with audiovisual equipment.
  • Training facilities available.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lancaster Environment Centre Website". Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  2. ^ "LEC News Article". Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  3. ^ "Centre for Sustainable Chemical Management". Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  4. ^ "Centre for Environmental Informatics". Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  5. ^ "Centre for Sustainable Water Management". Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  6. ^ "Centre for Sustainable Agriculture". Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  7. ^ a b "LEC Office Pages". Retrieved 2007-10-29. 

External links[edit]