The University of Vigo´s Toralla Marine Science Station (ECIMAT) was inaugurated in 2006 to fulfil the marine vocation of the University of Vigo, one of the leading institutions in marine research in Spain. Since its inception, ECIMAT has grown from a research support facility serving a few research teams to an international research infrastructure hosting a research cluster that consolidates all the capacities of marine science of the University of Vigo and that provides services to researchers both from public and private institutions from all over the world. ECIMAT´s facilities, and capacities, complemented by ECIMAT´s technical and management structure, provide the perfect environment to promote excellent research, transfer knowledge to society and to internationally project the marine research carried out in the University of Vigo.

ECIMAT is the main research infrastructure for 18 research teams, whose research priorities relate to: Biodiversity and ecology, Ocean observation and global change, Marine environmental quality and marine pollution, Sustainable use of marine resources, Integral management of the coastal zone. These five lines are complemented by the following transversal technologies: Omic Technologies, Modelling of Complex Systems, Marine Model Organisms.

The Spanish partner in ASSEMBLE Plus is UPV/EHU.


  • Intertidal rocky shores
  • Intertidal sandy shores
  • Mudflats
  • Estuaries
  • Pristine coastal areas
  • Seagrass Maerl bed
  • Rias


Ecosystem access

  • Coastal research vessels
    • Southern Galician Rias 
    • 7.5-m inboard cruiser equipped with light marine sampling equipment (dredges, CTD, side-scan Sonar, Niskin flasks, plankton nets) to access marine coastal areas
    • 5.5-m rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) to access coastal ecosystems
  • Scuba diving facilities
    • Full diving equipment for up to 10 divers
    • Support to under water activities by professional divers
    • Southern Galician Rias (nutrient-rich upwelling area)
  • Other ecosystem access
    • Pick-up truck with trailer for road transport of the RHIB
    • Field laboratory


Biological resources

  • Culture collections
    • Microalgae, Zooplankton
  • Marine model organisms
    • Sea urchin, sea cucumber, amphipods, Amphyoxus, other
  • Species collected upon request
    • Collection of specimens from the Southern Galician Rias 


Experimental facilities

  • Aquaria and tanks
    • Aquaculture, Climate change, Population genetics, Disease Challenge, Ecotoxicology, Micro&Macro-algae, fish, molluscs and echinoderms
    • Experiments performed for the user in case of remote access
  • Mesocosms
    • Climate change studies
  • Wet labs
    • Aquaculture, Climate change, Population genetics, Disease Challenge, Ecotoxicology, Micro&Macro-algae, fish, molluscs and echinoderms
    • Experiments performed for the user in case of remote access
  • Dry labs
    • General dry labs adjacent to wet facilities
    • Cryopreservation platform speciallised in the development of cryopreservation methodologies for marine cell types
    • Marine environmental biomonitoring & bioassay platform using marine model organisms
    • Light & fluorescent microscopy & image analysis, material preparation and histological sample processing
    • PL2 biosecurity facility for with marine specimens (pathogens, GMO, exotic species) with a microbiology laboratory and two flow-through (2 m3/h) animal holding facilities
    • Large-scale land-based and sea-based floating mesocosms in a nutrient-rich upwelling area
    • Controlled environment rooms (photoperiod and temperature) 400m2 floating raft
    • Environmental continuous monitoring station
    • HF Radar for the monitoring of surface currents


Technology platforms

  • Imaging
    • Optical, Fluorescence, Flow cam, sample preparation


Expert advice

  • Experimental design
    • Aquaculture
  • Biological sample identification
    • Benthic species
  • Other
    • Compliance with ABS regulations


Supporting facilities

  • In-house catering
  • Library services


ECIMAT offers office space for visiting researchers, on-site kitchen and dining, conference room, access to University Network (Internet, online journals) and a  meeting room.


Illa de Toralla S/N
36331 Vigo Pontevedra
Liaison officer: Antonio Villanueva (, cc to:

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