The Marine Science Station of Toralla (ECIMAT) | EMBRC

The Marine Science Station of Toralla (ECIMAT)

History: ECIMAT is the University of Vigo´s marine research centre. It was inaugurated in 2006, and it was built with the objective of providing state of the art infrastructures to achieve research excellence in marine science, in response to the marine vocation of the University of Vigo, one of the leading institutions in marine research in Spain.

Mission and research: ECIMAT is one of the 5 research centres from all fields of knowledge funded by the Galician Regional Government through its program for strategic research centres. ECIMAT hosts 18 Research teams and its main research priorities relate to Ocean observation and global change, marine environmental quality and marine pollution, sustainable use of marine resources, integral management of the coastal zone, modelling of complex systems and omic technologies applied to the marine environment.

Marine facilities: Sea water pumping station that supplies 50 m3/h of temperature controlled 20 micron filtered seawater to all laboratories. Microalgae collection, Photobioreactor, facilities for the production of zooplankton, molluscs, crustaceans and fish.  Diving facility, with storage room and diving equipment for up to 12 divers, breathing air compressor, marine sampling equipment and locker room. 5,90 m, 75 HP Semi-rigid boat (Zodiac-like), 7,5 m. 225 HP Rodman Cruise vessel, oceanographic sampling and sea bottom mapping equipment, 4x4 pick-up truck, field laboratory, environmental continuous monitoring station, HF Radar for the monitoring of surface currents, pier, mesocosm facilities, floating raft.

Laboratories and Platforms:


Light&fluorescent microscopy & image analysis, material preparation and sample processing, Fish Culture, Mollusc Culture, Crustacean Culture, Zooplankton and Phytoplancton. Controlled environment rooms. PL2 biosecurity culture facility for marine specimens. Large scale land based and sea-based floating mesocosms.


Histology, Chromatography, Light & Fluorescent Microscopy and image analysis, cryopreservation and cold storage (-80ºC; -20ºC; 4ºC), freeze drying, aquaculture species collection (50+ microalgae species), ECIMAT´s services are complemented by the following: Remote Sensing, electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), confocal microscopy, mass spectrometry, proteomics, genomics, DNA sequencing, molecular biology, flow citometry all the complementary equipment and services are located at the Center for Scientific and Technical Support to Research (CACTI) 15 minutes away from the station.

Main marine models: Crustaceans (Palinurus elephas, Artemia sp., Siriella armata, Acartia clausi), molluscs (Cerastoderma edule, Venerupis pullastra, Ruditapes sp., Haliotis tuberculata, Littorina saxatilis, Mytilus galloprovincialis, Sepiola atlantica, Octopus vulgaris, Ensis arcuatus, Ostrea edulis, Crassostrea gigas), echinoderms (Paracentrotus lividus, Holothuria froskali), fish (Gobiusculus flavescens, Scophthalmus maximus, Solea senegalensis, Dicentrarchus labrax), rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis) and more than 50 species of microalgae.

Special partnerships: ECIMAT is part of the International Campus of Excellence Campus do Mar which manages socio-economic agents and marine researchers from the Galicia-Northern Portugal Euroregion. ECIMAT is a Member of MARS Network (European Network of Marine Research Institutes and Stations) and represents the University of Vigo in Euromarine (The European Marine Research Network).

Postal address:

Illa de Toralla, E-36331; Coruxo Vigo; Galicia, Spain

Research topics: 


  1. Ocean Observation and global change
  2. Marine environmental quality and marine pollution
  3. Sustainable use of marine resources
  4. Integral management of the coastal zone
  5. Modelling of complex systems
  6. Omics technologies applied to the marine environment