Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche sur Mer (OOV)

Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche sur Mer (OOV)

component of the EMBRC-France infrastructure

Research Infrastructure affiliation: EMBRC

Location: Villefranche sur mer, France

Website address: www.embrc-france.fr

Local Access Officer: Magali Siaut (magali.siaut@obs-vlfr.fr)



EMBRC-France, the French national node of EMBRC, is an integrated national marine biological resource centre jointly operated by the Pierre and Marie Curie Paris 6 University (UPMC) and the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). EMBRC-France comprises services of the 3 marine stations of Roscoff, Banyuls-sur-Mer and Villefranche-sur-Mer. Access is offered via a coordinated entry point to local ecosystems, marine organisms, analytical platforms, as well as hosting facilities. The Villefranche Oceanological Observatory (OOV) is a developmental biology and oceanography research and teaching centre situated on the Mediterranean eastern coast of France. The Villefranche bay is dominated by planktonic communities and Posidonia oceanica meadows.


The OOV is host to approximately 200 resident researchers/lecturers/students as well as mutualized core services including Ecosystem Access Facilities (boats, divers), a Marine Biological Resource Centre (CRBM), Analytical Platforms (Imaging), and services for hosting visiting researchers. The OOV operates a 12 m research vessel (“Sagitta III”) for accessing the local coastal zone, as well as 1 smaller boat (Pelagia). The CRBM comprises a Villefranche Aquarium Service (VAS) (wild or cultured animals) as well as the Mediterranean Culture Collection of Villefranche-sur-mer (MCCV) of microalgae and the Planktonic Culture Collection (CCP). The CCP is one of the largest fixed planktonic collections in the world with more than 20 000 samples from worldwide expeditions. The CRBM also comprises both aquaria and experimental marine facilities. Imaging Platform of Villefranche sur mer (PIV) includes full field and confocal microscopy (PIM) as well as quantitative imaging with FlowCam, Zooscan and UVP instruments (PIQ).

Biological resources include echinoderms, solitary and colonial ascidians (Phallusia, Ciona, Botryllus), jellyfishes (Clytia, Pelagia) and local toxic microalgae (Ostreopsis).


The OOV offers access to the local ecosystem via research vessels and scientific divers. On-site and remote access is offered to biological resources. Mutualised technological platforms offer a range of services. Services for hosting visiting researchers include 1 housing building (53 beds capacity), an administrative restaurant (100 meals/day), and dedicated equipped visitor laboratory and office.

Support offered

In EMBRIC the UPMC-OOV offers access to marine facilities (boats, divers), marine biological resources (wild or cultured animals, alive and fixed culture collections), the imaging platform, and on-site hosting facilities (visitor lab / office). Organisms can be provided either on-site or remotely. TA-users will benefit from logistical and administrative support prior to and during their stay. According to need, technical staff can provide advice and training in the use of facilities.