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Our group has two main laboratory facilities: the UCC Palaeobiology Laboratory and the UCC Mary Ward Microbeam Laboratory. These are key facilities for our experimental work, and analytical work, respectively.

Palaeobiology Laboratory

The Palaeobiology Laboratory is located in the Butler Building (BB_1.03) and is a dedicated experimental taphonomy lab that allows controlled investigation of processes relating to decay, transport, and thermal maturation of fossil tissues and other materials.

Click on images of the equipment below to find out more.

Mary Ward Microbeam Laboratory

The UCC Mary Ward Microbeam Laboratory is a new high-spec analytical facility located in the Cooperage building (Coop_G12A) that offers cross-platform options for surface analyses, including imaging surface structure at the micro- to nano-scale, bulk analysis of sample chemistry, plus chemical imaging.

The lab also provides a service to all academic departments within UCC and also to the broader community of scientists working in the earth-, environmental, materials, chemical and bio-sciences and to industry. For access to the instrumentation in the Mary Ward Laboratory, and to learn more about applications, please contact the laboratory Experimental Officer Peter Chung (

Click on the images of the equipment below to find out more.

These dedicated palaeo lab facilities are supported a dedicated histology lab including:

  • Tissue-Tek TEC 5 Tissue Embedding Console System inc. cryostat
  • Leica RM2235 microtome + microbath
  • Leica ST5010 Autostainer XL

The palaeo lab facilities are also supported by the collections of the Cork Geological Museum which are housed within the School of BEES. The Museum includes a dedicated and growing collection linked to the UCC Palaeontology Group that includes diverse vertebrate fossils preserving soft tissues.


For user access, bookings and enquiries relating to the equipment in the Mary Ward lab, please contact:


Prof. Maria McNamara (Lab Manager)


Tel: +353 21 490 4570

(general enquiries and specific queries relating to the FTIR, ultramicrotome and microspectrophotometer)


Peter Chung (Experimental Officer)


Tel.: +353 21 490 4527

(general enquiries relating to the FTIR and SEM)


Dr Richard Unitt


Tel: +353 21 490 4549

(specific queries relating to the Raman microscope and high-resolution light microscope)



The Mary Ward laboratory is funded by three SFI Infrastructure Development Programme grants, by European Research Council Starting Grant H2020-2014-StG-637691-ANICOLEVO and by European Research Council Consolidator Grant H2020-ERC-COG-101003293.

Other UCC facilities

Other facilities within UCC that are available to the research group include:

Maria McNamara Research Group

Experimental and analytical taphonomy

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), University College Cork (UCC), Butler Building, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, T23 TK30, Ireland