We have a range of state-of-the-art facilities

Check out our specialist facilities below, which assist us in our quest of understanding hominin evolution and the development of modern humans.

Histological preparation and analysis

We have facilities for generating high-resolution molds and casts, histological thin sectioning of hard tissues and high-resolution imaging using stereo microscopy and polarised light microscopy. We also have a low-speed peripheral saw, wire saw, grinder, polisher and custom-built section press. Additional analytical tools include a drying oven for embedding samples, as well as a MicroMill for high-resolution milling to recover sample powder for chemical and isotopic analysis.

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Electron Spin Resonance dating laboratory

The ESR-dating laboratory comprises two distinct areas:

  • a sample preparation area with instruments for optimal preparation of fossil teeth for ESR and U-series dating
  • an ESR spectrometry area with ELEXSYS Bruker ESR spectrometer, equipped to work at room temperature or liquid nitrogen temperature for dosimetry and dating. This experimental setup area is climate controlled.

The laboratory specialises in combined U-series/ESR dating of fossil teeth and ESR dating of sedimentary optically bleached quartz grains.

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Optically Stimulated Luminescence dating laboratory

The optical dating laboratory is managed by Professor Jon Olley and Dr Justine Kemp. The laboratory has five Risø TL/OSL automated readers including three single-grain readers and a high resolution Ortec gamma spectometer.

The laboratory is maintained by senior technician Mr Ashneel Sharma, postdoctoral researcher Justin Stout and three PhD candidates.

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Professor Jon Olley

Ancient DNA Facility

Our state-of-the-art ancient DNA facility comprises interconnected laboratories with uni-directional Hepa filtered airflows. The facilities enable the recovery of historical and ancient DNA from humans, other animals and plants, as well as sedimentary remains.

We also have a geographically separate facility for molecular genomics that facilitates the construction of DNA libraries for a range of high-throughput DNA sequencing platforms, including Illumina. The facility also has in-house Illumina sequencing capability. We can also access high-performance computing facilities for phylogenetic and population genomic analyses.

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Brisbane Geochronology Alliance

Griffith University has linked with fellow local universities QUT and UQ to share dating facilities across the three campuses, forming the Brisbane Geochronology Alliance.

Shared facilities include:

  • Griffith’s ESR and OSL dating laboratories
  • UQ’s Radiogenic Isotope Facility and Argon Geochronology Laboratory
  • QUT’s Central Analytical Facility.

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If you’d like to know more about our research or be involved, please get in touch