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.

Please note: ECIMAT research infrastructures and services are listed under UVIGO in the ASSEMBLE Plus application system. 


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


Ecosystem access

  • 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
  • Pick-up truck with trailer for road transport of the RHIB
  • Field laboratory
  • Support to under water activities by professional divers
  • Full diving equipment for up to 10 divers
  • Access to the Southern Galician Rias ecosystem (nutrient-rich upwelling area)


Biological resources

  • Culture collection of microalgae
  • Culture of local species from diverse groups
  • Collection of specimens from coastal ecosystems in Galicia


Experimental facilities and technology platforms

  • 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
  • Research laboratories with dry and wet areas
  • Experimental aquaria
  • Controlled environment rooms (photoperiod and temperature) 400m2 floating raft
  • Environmental continuous monitoring station
  • HF Radar for the monitoring of surface currents


Associated 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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