Paleoecology Research Laboratory

Laboratory for Paleocology and Paleohydrology


The Paleoecology Research Laboratory (PeRL) provides the foundation for research about the ecological history and prehistory of our study regions. Sedimentary depositions and plant and animal remains provide evidence about the vegetation, climate, and lake levels. Our research sites include New England, Florida, Scotland, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Antarctica, New Zealand and Chile.

Link to: Guide to New Zealand sub-fossil chironomids


PeRL conducts studies of past and present environmental, ecological, and climatic conditions through analyses of lake and wetland sediments. Our diverse field and analytical services are supported by an inter-disciplinary team of experienced research personnel at the Climate Change Institute and the University of Maine. Our research results aid conservation and forest biologists and natural resource managers to build modern management plans based on thousands of years of ecological data. Archaeologists and geoscientists apply paleoecological data to the assessment of environmental conditions that impacted ancient cultures, ice mass behavior, and deposition processes.


PeRL scientists offer specialized services in pollen and chironomid analyses of Quaternary sediments from both northern and southern hemisphere environments. PeRL also performs a number of geophysical and biophysical analyses. These analyses are supported by a well equipped optical laboratory with dissecting and compound microscopes, photographic and digital imagery.

Lake Coring
Lake core extraction from an anchored platform using a Wright piston corer


The following specialized analyses are available through our cooperative relationship with laboratories on the University of Maine campus. We can subcontract the work for you, or refer you directly to the laboratory offering the services your project requires.


PeRL has a wide range of field equipment for studying paleohydrology and sediment composition of aquatic, wetland, and forest environments. Field services include:

Service Charges:

Charges for PeRL services depend on the level of analytical or consulting expertise required, time commitment, equipment use, materials, and other costs. We provide a detailed service agreement and cost analysis for each project proposal.

Climate Change Institute
Paleoecology Research Laboratory

Bog Coring

112 Sawyer Environmental Research Center
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469–5764
phone: 207–581–3007
fax: 207–581–9390


Ann C. Dieffenbacher-Krall,Director
Assistant Research Professor,

Jasmine Saros
Associate Professor

Marcus VanDergoes,
Assistant Research Professor

Andrea Nurse,
Research Scientist,