CIIMAR is a leading research and advanced training institution working on the frontier of knowledge and innovation. The centre uses knowledge-based approaches to promote the natural capital and the sustained management of marine resources through monitoring of ecosystems health, optimisation of aquaculture, and biotechnological exploitation of the resources for environmental and human health applications. CIIMAR brings together 380 researchers, of which 180 holding a PhD degree, covering an extensive diversity of scientific and technological skills and expertise. CIIMAR´s new state-of-the-art facilities for research, training and services are located at the heart of the maritime industry and services in the Northern region of Portugal (Leixões harbour).

CIIMAR fields of expertise cover three research domains: global changes and ecosystem services, aquaculture and seagood quality, and marine biotechnology. These address important economic and societal challenges, in line with the goals of the 2030 Agenda (UN Goals for Sustainable Development).


  • Estuaries
  • Intertidal sandy shores
  • Coastal dunes
  • Kelp forests
  • Pelagic waters
  • Natura 2000 site “Litoral Norte”
  • Encompasses 19 habitat types of Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive are reported, three of which are priority habitats


Ecosystem access

  • Coastal research vessel
  • Diving facilities – the CIIMAR scientific diving team is fully certified in scientific diving, providing access to operations such as: collection of biological samples; underwater experimental deployment; sensor/probes deployment and/or testing; video and photograph collection.
  • Sampling equipment


Biological resources

  • CIIMAR Culture Collection (LEGE-CC), comprises around 400 different cyanobacterial strains, providing access to live culture supply of cyanobacterial strains, genomic DNA, algal extracts and freeze-dried material
  • Provision, isolation and culturing of Planctomycetes and other bacteria, with access to more than 200 Planctomycetes and bacteria from different phyla (Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes) obtained from sponge microbiome, the biofilm of macroalgae and grapes, salines and deep sea
  • Marine model organisms: Danio rerio, Gammarus locusta, Daphnia magna, Daphnia pulex, Artemia salina 
  • Aquaculture species can be provided such as {Dicentrarchus labrax, Spaurus aurata, Diplodus sargos, Lipophrys pholis, Solea senegalensis, Psetta maxima, Anguilla Anguilla, Cyprinus carpio, Salmo trutta fario, Onchorhynchus mykiss, Torpedo marmorata, Scyliorhinus canicula, Paracentritus lividus, Laminaria ochroleuca, Laminaria hyperborea, Saccharina latissimi and Saccorhiza polyschides 
  • Potentially all the organisms (Bacteria; Phytoplankton; Invertebrates; Fishes; Algae) occurring in the Atlantic Western coast of continental Portugal and adjacent estuaries can be sampled. CIIMAR may sample these marine organisms upon request, while ensuring that sampling follows ethical and nature conservation requirements.


Experimental facilities and technology platforms

CIIMAR’s new Bioterium of aquatic organisms enables tailored experimental setups in a wide range of conditions, providing access to:

  • Tanks and aquariums (5L to 600L, two recirculation systems with a total volume of 2300L, and temperature and photoperiod control)
  • Mesocosms facilities
  • Controlled-environment rooms

Dry and wet labs. CIIMAR features well-equipped laboratories to support research on different areas related to marine biological systems. Specialised service platforms are available for:

  • Aquaculture and animal experimentation
  • Bioinformatics
  • Molecular biology and omics
  • Structural and chemical analysis
  • Biodiscovery and biorefinery (Medium-scale microalgae culturing; Microalgal/bacterial biomass harvesting; Extraction of algal/bacterial biomass; Isolation of natural products; Structural elucidation of unknown small molecules; and Medicinal chemistry modifications and total synthesis).
  • Bioactivity assays (antifouling, antimicrobial, anticancer, allelopathy, antiobesity, anti-inflammatory).


Associated services (E-services, Expert advice, Supporting faciltites)

CIIMAR will support TA research work by providing:

  • Welcome package for integration within the infrastructure
  • logistic support (accommodation, car rental, meeting venues, etc.)
  • office and laboratory space
  • general services: access to internet, documentation, etc.
  • technical support (technicians dedicated to laboratories and platforms), if requested;
  • scientific advice, whenever necessary
  • specialised technicians to provide assistance before and during the experiment


CIIMAR – Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental, Novo Edifício do Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões
Avenida General Norton de Matos, S/N
4450-208 Matosinhos
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