The Plentzia Marine Station (PiE-UPV/EHU) is the University of the Basque Country´s (UPV/EHU) marine research infrastructure, established in July 2012. It is located in a refurbished building constructed one century ago to fight against tuberculosis and bone disease, 15 km away from the main Campus. Working together with the local Biscay Provincial Basque Regional Governments and UPV/EHU, it is a centre for promoting research, education and dissemination for the protection of ocean and human health and wealth, and for promoting environmental science, technology and awareness. PiE-UPV/EHU houses 10 research groups. Its research is focused on: 1) conducting high-quality experimentation under controlled laboratory and field conditions; 2) studying phenomena in the areas of cell and molecular biology, genetics, physiology, toxicology, stress biology and systems biology; 3) applying advanced methodologies of experimentation with marine organisms, in vitro assays, omics, cryotechnology, spectroscopy, microscopy, image analysis and data treatment.

Please note: PiE-UPV/EHU research infrastructures and services are listed under UPV in the ASSEMBLE Plus application system.


  • Intertidal rocky shores
  • Intertidal sandy shores
  • Mudflats Estuaries
  • Natura 2000 site


Ecosystem access

  • Zodiac boat (4.5-m) for coastal sampling
  • Fully equipped mobile laboratory and 4x4 vehicle to sample the intertidal rocky shores and beaches
  • Access to offshore ichthyofauna through the local commercial fleet
  • Animal caging in estuaries
  • Diving facilities


Biological resources

  • Biscay Bay Environmental Biospecimen Bank (BBEBB): frozen and paraffin-embedded samples, histological sections and shell/otolith bank
  • Microalgae collection Collection of specimens from ecosystems of the Basque coast and estuaries
  • Animal models: Polychaetes (Hediste diversicolor), Bivalves (Mytilus galloprovincialis, Mytilus edulis, Crassostrea sp.), Gastropods (Littorina littorea), Copepods (Acartia clausi, Acartia tonsa), Teleosts (Chelon labrosus, Scopththalmus maximus, Dicentrarchus labrax, Anguilla anguilla, Sparus aurata, Solea sp., tunids)


Experimental facilities and technology platforms

  • Molecular biology and omis technologies platform (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics)
  • Microscopy and bio-imaging platform (advanced light/fluorescence microscopy, high-resolution slide scanning platform and expertise in image analysis, stereology and planimetry)
  • Environmental BioBanking platform (cryo-preparation laboratory, cryogenic storage room, freeze-drying, tissue biopsies, DNA, RNA and homogenates, mineralised tissue (shell, otolith) and Archival Management Unit)
  • Immunology platform 
  • Toxicology platform (zebrafish research facility, experimental marine aquaria) Biological analysis platform (histological processing, biochemistry, vertebrate and invertebrate cell culture; and microbiology)
  • Secondary metabolites and xenobiotics platform (Quadropole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer, preparatory analytical chemistry complemented with fully accessible advanced chemical analysis service at Campus)
  • Experimental aquaria
  • Quarantine Room 
  • Toxic algae room PL2 Room (PL3 Biosafety cabinet with 10x 40L aquaria)
  • Fish Embryo Toxicity Testing Unit
  • Microscale Toxicity Testing Room
  • Three rooms with different capacity aquaria (15 units of 500 l; 15 of 1000–1500 l; 8 of 2500–4000 l)
  • Outdoor mesocosms (2 units of 20000 l + 2 of 10000)
  • All aquaria facilities provided with independently regulated photoperiod and temperature (except mesocosms), high-quality seawater (300000 l/day) and air supply. Flow-through, static or semistatic water supply systems for experimentation with toxicants
  • Dissection room and two equipped multiuse laboratories for visiting scientists
  • Invertebrate and Fish Nurseries


Associated services

  • Transcriptomic data on responses to chemical exposure for Chelon labrosus, Anguilla anguilla and Mytilus galloprovincialis 
  • Sequencing including NGS, microarray analysis, advanced analytical chemistry and supercomputing available at the main UPV/EHU Campus (15 km distance) in the research services (SGIker-UPV/EHU) as internal users

PiE-UPV/EHU also offers lecture theatres, conference auditorium, seminar room, on-site dining room


Areatza Pasealekua s/n
48620 Plentzia Biskaia

Liaison officer: Xabier Lecube (

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