Plentzia Marine Station (PiE) | EMBRC

Plentzia Marine Station (PiE)


The Plentzia Marine Station (PIE-UPV/EHU) is the University of the Basque Country´s (UPV/EHU) marine research infrastructure, established in July 2012.

Mission and research:

The mission of the Plentzia Marine Station is to promote research, education and dissemination with the aim to protect both ocean health and human wealth and to promote environmental science, technology and awareness. The major research goals of PIE are the development of early warning strategies, the application of non-invasive and non-destructive techniques, and the understanding of mechanisms underlying environmental syndromes.

Marine facilities:

High-capacity flow-through seawater system including several experimental aquaria rooms (light and temperature control), large and small outdoor experimental mesocosms, algae production room and fish and invertebrate nursery. PIE has signed a special deal with Plentzia Fishermen´s guild for feral fish supply and field sampling. Fish and mussel cages and gear for active biomonitoring in coastal areas. Fishing gear for sampling in harbors and estuaries. 4x vehicle and mobile laboratory for field sampling in the intertidal zone. 14 m semi-rigid inflatable boat. 18 m boat with gear under used agreement with an associated company.


Molecular biology; histology, microscopy and image analysis; Biochemistry and proteomics; Vertebrate and invertebrate cell culture; microbiology; preparatory analytical chemistry. In addition, there are two multiuse labs equipped with basic laboratory instrumentation, bench space, and extraction hoods; designed to install any laboratory gear that any researcher should need during a research stay in the marine station. Common lab services: cold room, deep-freezer (-80ºC and -40 ºC) safe room with security back-up power engine, wet dissection room.


Molecular biology and proteomics; advanced light and fluorescence microscopy in the PIE is complemented by transmission electron microscopy with X-ray microanalysis and cryomicroscopy at the Campus laboratory (15 km distance). PIE houses the “Biscay Bay Environmental Specimen Bank” including cryo-preparation laboratory, cryogenic storage room, freeze-drying, chemical Biobank, tissue biopsy Biobank, molecular Biobank (DNA; RNA and homogenates), mineralised tissue (shell, otolith) Biobank and Archival Management Unit. PL3 biosafety aquarium facility (10 x 40L aquaria). Zebrafish research facility is managed by PIE researchers at the Campus. Access to sequencing, microarray analysis, analytical chemistry, advanced analytical chemistry (RAMAN), supercomputing UPV/EHU services is available at the Campus as internal users.

Main marine models:

Bivalves (Mytilus galloprovincialis, Mytilus edulis, Crassostrea sp.), gastropods (Littorina littorea), teleosts (Chelon labrosus, Scopththalmus maximus, Dicentrarchus labrax, Anguilla anguilla, Boreogadus saida, Solea sp., tunids), polychaetes (Hediste diversicolor), harmful algae (Pseudo-nitzschia, etc.).

Special partnerships:

Erasmus Mundus Master on Marine Environment and Resources (U Southampton, U Bordeaux, U Liège, U Basque Country - Coord.-) Cooperative Research Units with IEO, AZTI-Tecnalia, CSIC and NFIRS. Knowledge Pole of the Euskampus International Campus of Excellence on "Ocean Health and Sustainable Valorization" (Tecnalia, U Bordeaux, U Basque Country). Member of the European Thematic Network in aquaculture, fisheries and aquatic resources management Aqua-tnet. Partner of the AQUAEXCEL project.

Research topics: 
  1. Ecosystem health, pollution, environmental chemistry, harmful algal blooms, multiple stress biology and global change
  2. Cell and molecular biomarkers
  3. Marine (toxico) genomics
  4. Histopathology
  5. Coastal estuaries and reserves
  6. Food safety and quality
  7. Environmental biobanking
  8. Chemical/pollution management
  9. Marine (blue) biotechnology