Toralla Marine Science Station (ECIMAT-UVIGO)

Toralla Marine Science Station (ECIMAT-UVIGO​)

Research Infrastructure affiliation: EMBRC

Location: Isla de Toralla, Vigo, Spain

Website address:

Local Access Officer: Antonio Villanueva (



The primary mission of ECIMAT is to Facilitate Sustainable Marine Research through the provision of state of the art infrastructure, marine biological resources, access to ecosystems and associated services.

In house research community organizes its activity into 6 departments (Biochemistry, Genetics and Immunology; Ecology and Marine Biology; Functional Biology and Health Science; Marine Geosciences; Applied Physics) and the main research lines are related to Biodiversity and ecology, Ocean observation and global change, Marine environmental quality and marine pollution, Sustainable use of marine resources, Integral coastal zone management, Modelling of complex systems and Omics technologies applied to the marine environment.


Facilities include dry and wet labs, controlled environment rooms, biosecurity laboratories for  marine specimens, floating and land-based mesocosms, coastal vessels and field sampling materials.


Marine Experimental Laboratories (Mlabs): Offering advanced seaside laboratory facilities for marine research, includes marine laboratories with dry and wet areas and continuous supply of compressed air, oxygen, fresh water and 20 micron filtered seawater, controlled environment rooms, experimental Aquaria. Special Features include a Level 2 Biosecurity facility for the experimentation with marine organisms and land-outdoor-based and sea-floating mesocosms in a nutrient rich high productivity upwelling region.

Optical Microscopy (OM): Optical Microscopy equipment available at the marine station to be used by marine researchers, includes, Motorized Fluorescence Microscope with image analysis, Inverted Microscope with image analysis, Motorized Bionocular Microscope with image analysis and various other optical microscopes with image analysis availability. Support by technical staff and consumables for microscopy are included in the service.

Ecosystem Access (UMM): ECIMAT provides vessels and specialised staff (divers) to support research activities in the Rías Baixas upwelling region, facilities include 2 x 6m. Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats, 7,5 m. fully equiped inboard cruiser, Floating dock, Pick-up Truck, Mobile field laboratory, Sampling equipment, Side Scanner, CTD, Plankton nets, Dredges, Niskin bottles, a 60 m2 facility for the support of scientific diving activities with full diving gear sets for 10+ Divers and breathing air compressors.

Biological Resources (UCM): A significant feature of ECIMAT, the culture collection provides marine biological materials upon request and provides technical support on any aspect of the culture, maintenance and cryopreservation of marine organisms for research. Facilities include microalgae culture laboratory, column photobioreactor, criopreservation and cryobanking facility, mollusc, crustacean culture laboratory, fish hatchery and preongrowing. Special support is given for model species culture for ecotoxicology, behavioural ecology, phylogeography, bio-invasions, evolution and populations genetics.

Ecotoxicological Analysis, Taxonomical Analysis and Sample Processing (ECOTOX): Analytical services rely on specialised staff and equipment. Broad range of sample analysis and processing that include histological processing,Taxonomical Identification (Benthic taxonomy) of different types of samples. A singular feature of this service are the Ecotoxicological bioassays using model organisms (Paracentrotus, Mytilus, Isochrysis).

Laboratory space and general Scientific Equipment is available to users at the marine station including precision weighing, Spectrophotometers, Flow Cam, Coulter Cell Counters, pHmeters, Oxymeters, Conductivimeter, Ovens and incubators, Centrifuges (Refrigerated centrifuge, Ultracentrifuge), -80ºC Storage, Liquid N containers, Freeze Dryer, Autoclaves. Conference room and office facilities for visiting scientists, access to kitchen.

Support offered

TA-users have access to lab-space, to standard disposables and administrative and logistic support and to the services in the units listed above, as agreed upon in a user-access contract between user and UVIGO. Service staff will provide technical support and training in the use of the platforms where necessary and assist with troubleshooting. UVIGO provides no lodging, but in-house kitchen facilities are available and apartments for rental may be found 25 m. away from the station. Administration assists with reservations and travel arrangements. Users can attend the monthly ECIMAT seminars, and are invited to present one to foster intellectual engagement with ECIMAT staff and students and future collaborations.