The Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University received a Virtis Freezemobile freeze dryer as a donation from ExxonMobil Corporation.
The freeze dryer, model 25EL with a 25-liter capacity, will help scientists and students at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory conduct research into complex interactions between human and natural processes that affect the earth and its ecosystems. Researchers will use the freeze dryer to dry samples without heat treatments. This will enable analyses on dried samples without disrupting soil structure or microbial community composition. These types of studies are leading to new insights into microbial controls on decomposition and their responses to environmental stresses.
The Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory has long collaborated closely with the U.S .Geological Survey Fort Collins Science Center, and it was through USGS connections that the freeze dryer was routed to its new home.