Wildlife Ecology Research Facility (WERF)

Wildlife Ecology Research facility.

The Wildlife Ecology Research Facility (WERF) is a state-of-the-art building that expands the capacity for wildlife-based research in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources. Research at WERF will include answering questions related to ecology, ecotoxicology and disease ecology for a wide array of species.

WERF greatly increases the amount of available space for research by providing six independently controlled experiment rooms with a full range of environmental controls. Animal care rooms are specifically designed for flexibility of the occupants, both in the types of research (general and refined) and types of species (aquatic and terrestrial) that can be housed in the facility. WERF also features a high-efficiency HVAC system with adjustable temperature and humidity controls in each room, customizable for the needs of individual research projects. Each research room is ventilated separately to prevent spread of airborne pathogens as well as to isolate odors. Each research space also includes an entry vestibule where items can be prepared and assembled before moving into the secured lab area to allow researchers to work more efficiently. A large common space also is provided for improved collaborations.

Beyond laboratory research, the building will house equipment, supplies, and other necessities to support outdoor research activities, including mesocosm experiments and field studies.

WERF was made possible by a $2 million contribution from the John S. Wright endowment and a generous $1 million donation from the estate of Roger (BS 1950) and Sarah Voyles. The building is located at the Purdue Wildlife Area, a 159-acre department owned property with forest, prairie and wetland habitats.

Facility Details

  • 4,700-square foot facility
  • 6 independent animal research rooms (280 sq. ft), each with an entry vestibule
  • Full range of light, temperature and humidity controls
  • Central general-use research area
  • Biosafety cabinet for work with biological agents
  • Fume hood for work with chemicals
  • Office space for students
  • Laundry facility

Research faculty

Front of the Wildlife Ecology Research building.



8000 State Road 26
West Lafayette, IN 47906



Animal Care Facility

The Animal Care Facility is also located at the Purdue Wildlife Area. The facility consists of a common area, a restroom, a large storage area, and five separate rooms providing over 600 ft2 of space.All areas in the facility are heated and A/C cooled and monitored with a remote telemetry system. The majority of research conducted within the facility pertains to food preferences in wild animals.

Lab Manager & More About Our Research

Shelby Royal, WERF Lab Manager
WERF building
8000 State Road 26
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Learn about our nine Research Areas and meet our world-class faculty members.  

Allied research centers seek to support and enhance the research and partnership enterprise at Purdue University. The centers are valued and encouraged as they create a venue for faculty to come together to pursue common goals. Forestry and Natural Resources faculty and staff are involved in six centers at the University.

The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources maintains an impressive collection of state-of-the-art research and education facilities. These labs, green houses, and educational facilities are a fundamental component that enables our faculty and students to learn, make new discoveries, and engage our clients in using these discoveries to sustain our nation’s ecosystems and natural resources.​