Centres & Infrastructure

U of T Scarborough is home to a number of research centres and infrastructure to support cutting-edge projects.

Infrastructure Support

The Science Research Building was commissioned in 2009 and houses six plant biology faculty and their laboratories in an open concept building design. The building features a microscopy suite, tissue culture facility, a darkroom, radioisotopes labs, a plant growth facility, cold rooms, an NMR facility and conference and seminar rooms. The open-concept design facilitates interactions amongst students and faculty, fostering collaborative relationships and technology transfer.

TRACES is a state-of-the-art analytical facility for use on the University of Toronto Scarborough. It contains all the modern analytical instruments required for a leading edge chemical, biological and physical science department.TRACES provides both instrumentation and training for a very large and diverse field of users. The laboratories welcome all U of T Scarborough students providing the necessary training and hands-on access to the technologies of the future allowing them to develop essential skills to further their research careers or to secure jobs in fields of chemistry, biochemistry and environmental science. The goal of TRACES is keep U of T Scarborough on the cusp of scientific innovations and development in physical and environmental science.

For more information about the Traces Lab please visit TRACES Lab

Located on the Oak Ridges Moraine in King Township north of Toronto, the Koffler Scientific Reserve (KSR) at Jokers Hill is an internationally recognized site for cutting-edge research and education in biodiversity, ecology and conservation biology. Courses offered by the University of Toronto bring students to Koffler Scientific Reserve for the type of hands on experience in natural environments that no campus can offer. The reserve offers instructive and entertaining learning experiences through special events, including informal guided Nature Walks and more intensive Natural History Workshops. A system of public walking trails offers an opportunity to experience an important piece of Ontario’s natural heritage.

For more information please visit Koffler Scientific Reserve 


The UTSC Library Finance & Trading Lab is a state of the art experiential learning centre for financial education and research at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The Lab provides a hands-on learning experience for students interested in finance and its real-world applications, while supporting the research needs of the U of T Scarborough faculty.

For more information please visit UTSC Library Finance & Trading Lab

The Makerspace is a combined workshop and laboratory environment that encourages its users to be innovative, explore new concepts, execute great ideas, and most importantly -- have fun doing it! The Makerspace provides bookable access to a collaborative space, equipped with modern technology such as two MakerBot 3D printers, specialty software and iMac computers. All who use the space are encouraged to experiment and discover, tinker with technologies, work together on projects, and bring multiple perspectives and skill sets together.

For more information please visit UTSC Library Makerspace

The astronomical observatory at the University of Toronto Scarborough features multiple telescopes ranging in size and quality, including a new 8-inch f/8 Ritchey-Chretien telescope used for astrophotography. All UTSC students, faculty and staff are welcome to join for an observing session or learn to operate the telescope. The Observatory has a mailing list by which it communicates regarding upcoming observing sessions.

For more information please visit UTSC Observatory

Research Centres

The Centre for Ethnography was established in 2007 to foster and promote ethnographic research and writing at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The Centre hosts an annual speakers series, international workshops, undergraduate methods and research courses, and an annual competition for a fellowship in ethnographic writing. People carrying out ethnographic fieldwork in the Toronto region may affiliate with the Centre for Ethnography while in Toronto, and are welcome to attend the speakers series and other events.

For more information please visit Centre for Ethnography

The Centre for the Neurobiology of Stress is a state-of-the-art facility founded to provide the sophisticated instrumentation needed to advance a deep understanding of the functioning of the brain and the nervous system. It was founded in 2000 with an initial major award from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation that was matched by funds from the Ontario Research Fund as well as significant funding from the University of Toronto Scarborough. The Centre brings together researchers from the departments of Biological Sciences, Physical and Environmental Sciences, and Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough as well as local, national and international collaborators. The infrastructure is comprised of several facilities including an advanced electrophysiology and microscopy facility, animal behavioral testing and surgical facilities, cellular and molecular biology suites, and an arctic field research station.

For more information please visit Centre for Neurobiology of Stress

The Centre for Planetary Sciences is hosted within the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at U of T Scarborough. The main role of the Centre is to provide the best academic forum possible for cross-disciplinary exchanges between faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students working on planets near and far at the University. To achieve this goal, the Centre administers an extensive visitor program and a competitive postdoctoral fellows program. The Centre also enhances educational activities by providing an orientation platform for all interested students and by helping attract some of the best undergraduate and graduate talent in planetary science to the University. Finally, the Centre supports outreach activities aimed at engaging the general public with Solar system and exoplanet science, with an emphasis on local community efforts.

For more information please visit Centre for Planetary Sciences

The Culinaria Research Centre is a multidisciplinary initiative that blends research excellence with community engagement and student research experience. Culinaria’s projects provide new insights into some of the major questions of the field of food studies: the place of food in cultural identity and expression; the relationship between food, diaspora, and inter-ethnic/inter-cultural contact in Canada and beyond; commodity production and labour, from slavery to the age of empire to the present-day; and the links between food systems, health, gender and family.

The local community is Culinaria’s audience and its laboratory. Surrounding streets, shops and strip malls offer unique opportunities to develop new understandings of food and its significance for diasporic identities, immigrant entrepreneurship and cultural contact. Culinaria combines different methodologies – field work, archival work, oral history, GIS mapping, digital humanities – to trace the foodways of the vibrant multi-ethnic neighborhoods of the eastern GTA.

For more information please visit Culinaria Research Centre

The Environmental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Centre is an innovative, cutting-edge research facility solely dedicated to environmental research. The facility, which opened in 2004, houses three NMR spectrometers capable of analyzing solids, solutions and semi-solids as well as supporting hyphenated applications. The Environmental NMR Centre is a globally unique facility with the mandate to support research that will improve the fundamental understanding of environmental processes at the molecular level. The Centre is also a specialized training platform that provides the next generation of environmental scientists with hands-on access with NMR spectroscopy. Researchers who use the Centre develop and apply novel NMR approaches to study the composition and reactivity of various types of environmental samples. The Centre is also used to study how environmental perturbations may alter organism health (environmental metabolomics).

For more information please visit The Environmental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Centre

The Integrative Behaviour & Neuroscience (IBN) Group was founded in 2001 to focus on research in functional and evolutionary aspects of animal behavior. The goal of the group is to provide intellectual and physical support for integrative approaches to research that may span levels of expertise not usually within the purview of a single lab group. In so doing, the IBN creates the seed for a research focus that is unique on the tri-campus landscape and is found in only a few other institutions in North America. This is a timely addition to the University of Toronto Scarborough research landscape. It is widely recognized that the genome sequencing efforts of the past decade or so have not produced the types of insights into phenotypic variation that were expected. Research of the type undertaken in the IBN group seeks to bridge the gap between gene and phenotype, using behavior as a model. By explicitly including effects of natural variation in the environment on complex phenotypes, IBN research takes us one step closer to practical application of genomic data to our understanding of variation among individuals and species.

For more information please visit Integrative Behaviour & Neuroscience Group

The Plant Cellular & Molecular Processes (PCMP) Group includes faculty that are physically clustered in a large open-concept laboratory space. The group has found this to be particularly beneficial to promoting interaction and technology-transfer between lab members, particularly graduate students. The group also maintains significant plant growth facilities (reach-in and walk-in chambers with the capacity for fine control of irradiance, temperature, humidity and CO2) and maintains a regular PCMB seminar series that provides graduate students the opportunity to present their on-going research to a local audience. Collectively, the PCMP group has significant expertise in biochemistry, molecular genetics, molecular biology, physiology and advanced microscopy. The group uses a combination of these techniques to address fundamental questions about plant growth and development, metabolism, reproduction and response to environmental cues and stressors.

For more information please visit Plant Cellular & Molecular Processes