The Biostratigraphy Research Lab is divided into two areas—the research office and the preparation laboratory. The research office contains two desks, a research table with a binocular Leica Wild M8 microscope, a map cabinet, a research library, and a Gateway 2000 computer. The preparation laboratory is equipped with a large (six-foot) fume hood, a sample preparation oven, a diamond blade trim saw, two rock splitters, a binocular microscope, three student preparation stations, a sink, and a large sample storage facility. In addition, a Polaroid MP4 copy stand camera and a darkroom are available.
Ongoing faculty and student research has centered on the Cambrian System (540-490 million years ago), although research topics ranging from the upper Proterozoic to Devonian (700-360 million years ago) have been completed. Current research is focusing on the Lower to Middle Cambrian mass extinction and the faunal recovery interval in the southern Great Basin. Research covers all aspects of this interval, including sedimentology/stratigraphy and taxonomic description of the trilobite faunas, in addition to isotopic studies being carried on by Isabel Montanez and her students at UC Davis.