CCMAR is one of the foremost marine science research centres in Portugal, gathering experts in the fields of marine biology, ecology, oceanography, environmental sciences, biotechnology, fisheries and aquaculture. Located in the South of Portugal, CCMAR is an independent and non-profit research organization within the University of Algarve system. CCMAR is dedicated to R&D in the marine sciences, and aims to promote multidisciplinary research and education related with the marine environment, with emphasis on the processes of environmental change that affect marine ecosystems, including developing approaches to conserve and unlock the potential of living marine resources, in light of those changes.

CCMAR features well-equipped laboratories for investigating marine biological systems at various levels, from biochemistry and molecular biology through genetics, physiology, behaviour and ecology. Access to several state-of-the-art facilities for maintenance, culture and experimental work on cool temperate, warm temperate and sub-tropical species can also be provided. CCMAR also provides access to marine model organisms that are frequently used for research purposes at the centre. 

CCMAR’s location (SW Portugal) enables facilitated access to a wide range of marine ecosystems: lagoons and mudflats, estuaries, intertidal rocky and sandy shores, kelp forests and deep-water cold coral reefs. The centre is located just 5 km from the unique and extensive mudflats and ponds of Ria Formosa, which facilitates in situ studies in this coastal mesotidal lagoon. Special sites (e.g. marine protected areas) and extreme environments (e.g. hypersaline and aquaculture areas) and coastal Atlantic ocean are also easily accessible.                                      

CCMAR offers TA services and is also the Portugese partner in ASSEMBLE Plus. 



  • Lagoons and mudflats, estuaries, intertidal rocky and sandy shores, kelp forests and deep-water cold coral reefs
  • Mudflats and ponds of Ria Formosa, a unique coastal mesotidal lagoon, separated from the ocean by a system of barrier islands and inlets, with very high biodiversity and an ideal natural laboratory protected by national and international legislation, which can be accessed by foot or boat.
  • Special sites (e.g. marine protected areas) and extreme environments (e.g. hypersaline and aquaculture areas) are also easily accessible


Ecosystem access

  • Coastal research vessels  (On-site service)
    • Access to 9 mvessel (up to 30 miles) and smaller boats operating in Algarve Atlantic coast (South Portugal), nearby estuaries, intertidal, subtidal
  • Scuba diving facilities (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • The CCMAR Scientific Dive Centre team is fully certified in scientific diving and has a track record of underwater research, from collecting data and live organisms to conducting restoration activities and scientific experiments.
    • Dives in Algarve Atlantic Coast (South Portugal), nearby estuaries, Intertidal, Subtidal
  • Sampling equipment (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • In the Algarve Atlantic Coast (South Portugal), nearby estuaries, Intertidal, Subtidal
    • Access to:
      • sampling equipment (e.g.niskin botles, nets, etc )
      • in-situ environmental monitoring equipment (e.g.CTD, multiparameter probes, etc.)
      • laboratories to prepare sampling campaigns and process collected samples (e.g. marine organisms, water or sediment)


Biological resources

  • Marine model organisms (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • A range of aquaculture fish species can be provided: e.g. Sole (Sole senegalensis), seabream (Sparus aurata), seabass (Dicentrachus labrax), cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis), seahorses (Hippocampus guttulatus) and others under request
  • Species collected upon request (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • Species collected from the Algarve Atlantic coast (South Portugal) and nearby estuaries, intertidal, subtidal (to be evaluated)


Experimental facilities

  • Mesocosms (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • Small mesocosms that allow simulation of different CO2 enrichment scenarios (5, 25, 110 and 650 L tanks of seawater)
  • Dry labs (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • General purpose dry labs, serving specific techniques 
  • Wet labs (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • ​​​​​​​ General purpose wet labs, serving specific techniques 
  • Aquaria and tanks (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • Ramalhete Station located inside Ria Formosa Lagoon. This station provides a versatile aquaria infrastructure for marine organism maintenance and experimentation that enables tailored experimental setups in a wide range of conditions
    • In total, CCMAR features over 500 m2 of aquaria with different capacities (from 50 L to 9 m3), supported by wet and dry laboratories and climate rooms serving specific techniques.


Technology platforms

  • Bioassays (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • ​​​​​​​Access to extracellular and intracellular recording, biosensors, cell based bioassays for protein function and biodiscovery
  • Imaging (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • Access to Confocal, Fluorescence, Lightsheet microscopes
  • Molecular biology and omics (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • ​​​​​​​Access to High throughput PCR, Sanger sequencing
  • Structural and chemical analysis (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • Recombinant protein production, protein structural and functional characterization, mass spectrometry



  • Computing and storage infrastructure (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • ​​​​​​​Access to bioinformatics (genomics and transcriptomics software, genome assembly, sequence databases) - see gyra.ualg.pt


Supporting facilities

  • In-house catering (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • Canteen, restaurant and cafeteria
  • Library services (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • Access to online bibliographic databases


Universidade do Algarve
Campus de Gambelas, Edifício 7
8005-139 Faro
Liaison officer: Ana Margarida Amaral (amamaral@ualg.pt), cc to: ccmarassemble@ualg.pt

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