European Marine Biological Resource Centre


The oceans represent the greatest biodiversity on Earth, with every lineage of the tree of life being present on or below the waves. Oceans thus offer a large number of biological research models with application and relevance in a broad number of disciplines, including evolution and development, regenerative biology, and cancer research. The oceans offer many opportunities for biodiscovery, bioprospecting, and biotechnological application. With more than 30 marine centres in 9 European countries, EMBRC functions as a service provider, or as an integral support structure to research and innovation projects requiring marine organisms or access to marine ecosystems.

Access to resources

EMBRC provides wild-type organisms (sampled on request), culture collections of a wide selection of microorganisms, and marine model organisms grown in the lab with full control of their life cycles. Genetically modified mutants are also available, and can be provided ‘made to order’ for some microorganisms; organisms can also be grown on-demand and at specified life stages. Users can either visit the EMBRC sites or have their requested biological resources shipped to their home institutions. For users opting to work onsite, a wide variety of modular experimental facilities for manipulating organisms or their environment are available and can be set up to accommodate most experimental designs. On site, users can benefit from fully equipped laboratories and analytical platforms, enabling them to carry out in-depth analyses. Prior to a visit, a dialogue is established between the user and the relevant platforms to determine the needs of the user and their set-up requirements.

Users retain full intellectual property (IP) rights on the work they carry out during their visit. All services and organisms can be explored on the EMBRC website ( or by contacting EMBRC services include:

  • ecosystem access – means for carrying out in-situ research and sample collection, such as coastal research vessels and scientific dive teams;
  • specific data resources, to aid analysis and hypothesis generationbiological resources – microorganisms (culture collections, wild types), macroorganisms (laboratory models, wildtypes) for experimental purposes, to work on-site or shipped to your home institutions;
  • experimental facilities – a broad range of modular facilities comprising aquaria and mesocosms, wet and dry laboratories, climate rooms, and other specialised facilities capable of accommodating most experimental set-ups;
  • technology platforms – a suite of advanced equipment available on-site, comprising biological analysis, imaging, molecular biology and omics, remote sensing and telemetry, structural and chemical analysis;
  • e-services – bioinformatic tools for genomic and transcriptomic analysis, datasets of long term series and quantitative imaging;
  • training & library services – we can accommodate training and field courses with our teaching laboratories and conference facilities;
  • accommodation & catering – some of our sites offer accommodation and catering for visiting users

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