PSU Research Facilities



The PSU Research Greenhouse is a 5,000 square foot aluminum and polycarbonate facility south of Stott Center. The first phase was completed in 2007. A second phase, for which fundraising is in progress, will bring the total square footage to nearly 11,000. Currently, the greenhouse consists of four independently controlled compartments, a head house, and a covered patio. Each compartment is 720 square feet with 400 square feet of usable bench space. The compartments are devoted exclusively to research projects by faculty in Biology, Physics, and Environmental Sciences and Resources; plant materials used for teaching are cultivated in additional facilities in Science Buildings 1 and 2. All rooms have independent temperature and lighting controls. The Wadsworth Versistep controllers can be run remotely by researchers using StepSaver software, which can provide users with continuous information on environmental conditions within the compartments.

The new Research Greenhouse furthers PSU's commitment to being a green campus. In a remarkable achievement for a plant growth facility, the Research Greenhouse achieved LEED Silver certification for energy efficiency and sustainability through the use of sophisticated environmental controls and innovative architecture.

The SBI greenhouses are located in rooms 610, 611 and 613 (6th floor), Science Building 1. Included in this space is a potting room and about 800 sq ft. of greenhouse space. Most of this space is used for specimen plants used in teaching.

Additional greenhouses are located in room 340 on the 3rd floor of the Science Research and Teaching Center (SRTC). This approximately 800 square foot space is used for faculty and graduate student research projects and short-term classroom needs.


The specimen collection is a large assemblage of plants from around the world representing the systematic and morphological diversity found in the plant kingdom. These plants are used in most of the botany courses offered and are a valuable resource for the Department.

Use of Specimens

The greenhouse is open by appointment for viewing of specimens. Loans outside of the University are occasionally made to institutions.

    Contact: Linda Taylor

    PSU-Keck Genomics Facility

    The PSU-Keck Genomics Facility was designed and built as a shared cooperative resource for members of the Center for Life in Extreme Environments (CLEE) and the Biology Department. This facility provides instrumentation for DNA microarray technology utilizing the GeneMachines OmniGrid Accent custom microarray printer and the GenePix 4000B microarray scanner from Axon Instruments. DNA sequence analysis is performed utilizing the 3100 Avant Genetic Analyzer from Applied Biosystems. Equipment available for high-throughput genomic analysis includes: four ABI GeneAmp 2700 PCR machines, a CBS PCR setup hood, a ThermoSavant SC210A Speedvac with microtiter plate rotors, an Eppendorf 5810R microcentrifuge with microtiter plate rotors, large scale agarose gel electrophoresis capabilities, and equipment for hybridization of microarrays. The PSU-Keck Genomics Facility was made possible through a grant from the W.M Keck Foundation.

    Animal Holding Facilities

    In 1999, the Department of Biology designed and built an Aquatic Vertebrate Facility to support research on fish and amphibians. This 800 sq. ft. facility has: 2 five ft. round (250 gal) tanks equipped with biofiltration and temperature control (5 to 30°C), and a 6 ft. round tank (500 gallons) with biofiltration, for holding salmonids or other freshwater fish species; 12 smaller (approx. 35 gallon) tanks for holding goldfish or tropical fish species; and space to house approx. 100 toads or frogs.

    Additional space for holding marine fish and invertebrates, small mammals (rats, mice, rabbits), or other animal species is available in the Science Animal Care Facility. This shared facility has 4 (14 x 20 ft. rooms) which can be assigned to individual investigators or groups of investigators.


    The Portland State University Herbarium (HPSU) is located in room B1-34 (basement 1), SRTC.


    The Portland State University Herbarium represents a mostly regional collection of fungi, algae and green plants. Current collecting focuses on plants of the Columbia River Gorge, Portland Metropolitan Area, and lower Columbia River Valley, although recent collecting trips have also been made to the Klamath Mountains and Great Basin. The collections include about 11,000 vascular plants, 2,500 bryophytes, 200 algae and 500 fungi.

    Important collections housed in the herbarium include:

    • Howell-Flinn vascular plant collection (Oregon, 1860-1910)
    • Flinn and Foster bryophyte collection (Oregon, 1907-1915)
    • Flora of Portland vascular plant collection (city-owned lands, 1990-present)

    Visit the herbarium website for additional information on collections.

    Use of Specimens

    Herbarium specimens are used in teaching and research activities by faculty and students. Faculty and graduate students are assigned cabinet space for housing of their research specimens. The herbarium is open to the public by appointment for the study of specimens. Typical users include researchers, land managers, consultants, illustrators and the general public who use the collection as a reference for plant identification, illustration or fieldwork. Loans are usually made to institutions.

    Contact: Dr. Mitch Cruzan

    Biology Museum Collections


    • Teaching Lab - Room 223, SB 2 and attached skeletal boiling/prep. room
    • Collections - Room 219, SB 2
    • Walk-in Freezer and Cold Room


    • Skins and Skulls:
      • over 3500 mammal specimens
      • over 1400 bird specimens
      • over 3300 amphibian/reptile specimens
    • Approximately 1500 fish specimens
    • Diverse invertebrates and insects (over 1500 specimens)
    • Displays:
      • over 70 articulations of bird and mammal skeletons, including rare Northwest whales and dolphins, seals, sea lions, black bears, small mammals such as raccoons and beavers and shrews, land and sea birds (plus over 40 full mounts of Oregon and Washington birds), as well as a variety of exotic species including, zebra, lion, sloth bear, brown bear, European black bear, antelopes, a complete series of large cats, tapir, and primates, including an orangutan.

    Outreach Programs

    • Coordination of the Northwest (Oregon - southern Washington) Marine Mammal Stranding Network
    • Skeletal articulation education loans state and nation-wide, including: displays at Sea World of California, Sea World of Texas and Sea World of Florida; displays at Pt. Defiance Zoo & Aquarium; high schools in Portland and Eugene, and primary schools in Vancouver, WA.
    • School visits to use the Collections, Teaching room and hall displays from primary and secondary schools within the Portland area and from the northern coast communities, as well as from other colleges and Universities in the Portland area
    • Loans of skins, skulls, articulations and mounts to U.S. Forest Service, Tryon State Park, Ft. Stevens State Park, Washington Park Zoo, local community colleges and lecturers going to primary and secondary schools in the Vancouver area
    • Preparation of a video on skeletal articulation

    Science Support Shop

    This facility, located in the basement of Science Building 1, is shared between Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. In this facility there are a 1500 sq. ft. machine shop and a 400 sq. ft. electronics shop, each of which is staffed by a skilled full-time employee. The machine shop is equipped with several lathes, 2 drill presses, circular and band saws, various sanders and grinders, a ventilated room for painting or solvent use, welding equipment, metal brakes and shears, and a 2 ton crane. The electronic shop has all the equipment necessary to design and build circuit boards, and to manufacture or repair computers and electronic instruments. Equipment in the Science Support Shop may be used by faculty and graduate students after they receive adequate training.