Leahurst environmental research

Research facilities

We occupy a set of buildings at the University of Liverpool Leahurst Campus. Our laboratories have been custom built particularly for our research on wild and laboratory rodents, funded by a Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF) grant from the Wellcome Trust with additional funding from the University of Liverpool.

Our facilities include over 1000 sq m of laboratory and office space, together with 4000 sq m of outdoor rodent enclosures and a small neighbouring field laboratory. We have a large number of custom-built environmentally controlled rooms for studying rodent behaviour in semi-natural enclosures, all fitted with video tracking and remote recording facilities.

Indoor enclosures

These enclosures provide a high degree of environmental control, including reversed light cycles, infrared lighting, temperature and humidity. Social interactions and experience can be carefully manipulated along with specific features of the habitat and an individual's exposure to particular scent cues. Animals can be automatically video-tracked against the light background of the enclosures.

Outdoor enclosures

Our outdoor enclosures of 250 sq m or 1000 sq m provide highly naturalistic environments to test responses under normal physical and social conditions. The outdoor enclosures provide a high degree of isolation from wild predators and other animals, allowing studies of disease transmission within groups of animals isolated from other populations.


The Mara Antelope Research Project has its field base by the Talek River in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, in an area teeming with wildlife. The project has been run by Dr Jakob Bro-Jørgensen in collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) since 1998 and presents ideal opportunities for studying the ecology, behaviour and conservation of African ungulates.

Back to: Mammalian Behaviour and Evolution