Office of the Registrar
General Information (2013/2014)
11.23 Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC)

  • Director
  • Fletcher, G.L., B.Sc. British Columbia, Ph.D. California; Professor Emeritus; Head, Department of Ocean Sciences
  • Facilities and Business Manager, Dr. Joe Brown Aquatic Research Building (JBARB)
  • Boyce D., B.Sc., M.Sc. Memorial

The Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) is a major facility for marine research on the Atlantic coast, and is one of Canada's largest marine laboratories. It houses the Department of Ocean Sciences, the Joe Brown Aquatic Research Building and the soon to be completed Cold-ocean Deep-sea Research Facility. The OSC provides Canadian and international scientists and students access to the flora and fauna of the northwest Atlantic Ocean and is uniquely suited for shore-based studies of cold-ocean processes and subarctic, Arctic and deep-sea organisms. The facility provides all the necessary elements to conduct first-rate marine science, including high quality seawater, equipment to collect and maintain aquatic organisms, boats and vehicles to access field sites, laboratory space with running seawater, cutting-edge analytical and molecular biological instruments, and support staff. A strategic goal of the OSC is to carry out world-class research that focuses on organisms and processes in cold oceans, and to provide high quality educational and training opportunities, particularly at the graduate level.

Located at Logy Bay, 10 km from the St. John's campus, the OSC has an excellent unpolluted sea water supply that is the lifeline of the centre. There are 38 laboratories of varying size, 24 of which have flowing seawater and 14 of which are dry and house instruments for analytical chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, histology, molecular biology (genetics and genomics) and microscopy. There are eight cold rooms for controlled physiological experiments and common-use rooms for fish sampling, microscopy/ image analysis, high-speed centrifugation, radioisotope analyses, histological preparation and histochemistry, and molecular biology. Field Services maintains a variety of Scuba gear for coldwater year-round diving, benthic trawls and drags, seines, plankton nets, Niskin bottles, CTD, underwater video camera and a portable air compressor and generator. The unit operates a 4 m zodiac, 7 m Boston Whaler and 5 ton multi-purpose vehicle with aeration and recirculating seawater holding tanks (2500 L) suitable for transporting live specimens long distances.

The common use Image and Data Analysis Facility provides for image acquisition/analysis using analogue and digital media, microscopy, data backup and video production. There are also well equipped machining, woodworking, plumbing, and electronics workshops with dedicated personnel.

The Dr. Joe Brown Aquatic Research Building (JBARB) provides state-of-the-art facilities and world class staff with expertise to support research, training, pre-commercial production, and small-scale commercial trials in marine aquaculture. A critical component of the 1400 square meters facility is a seawater system designed to deliver high quality, temperature controlled, flow through water. Separate tanks and rooms are available for broodstock conditioning, paired mating, hatchery rearing, first feeding/nursery operations, grow-out and physiological investigations on marine finfish. The JBARB carries out research in collaboration with Memorial University of Newfoundland, and government and industry partners. The aquaculture potential of various finfish species (Atlantic cod, Atlantic salmon, Arctic char, Steelhead trout, cunners, and smaller flounder species) is being evaluated through the study of broodstock biology, physiology and genomics, and the development of larval rearing techniques.

  • Research Themes
  • physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology
  • marine biotechnology
  • biological and chemical oceanography
  • behavioural and population ecology
  • aquaculture and fisheries