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. Participation of PiE-UPV/EHU in EMBRC is subsidised by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia and the Basque Country Regional Goverment. PiE-UPV/EHU 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.


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


Ecosystem access

  • Coastal research vessels (On-site service)​​​​​​​
    • Semi-rigid inflatable boat
  • Sampling equipment (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Provision of vehicles
  • Other ecosystem access (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Fully equipped mobile laboratory and 4x4 vehicle to sample the intertidal rocky shores and beaches


Biological resources

  • Biobanks (On-site and remote service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Biscay Bay Environmental Biospecimen Bank (BBEBB): frozen and paraffin-embedded samples, histological sections and shell/otolith bank
    • Biospecimens: samples, data sets, High resolution images
  • Culture collections (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Provision of microalgae from the PiE-UPV/EHU Basque Microalgae Culture Collection (BMCC)
  • Marine model organisms (On-site and remote service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Provision of mussels, sea urchins and other experimental marine organisms
  • Species collected upon request (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Sampling of planctonic and intertidal feral species and access to commercial fisheries from the Bay of Biscay


Experimental facilities

  • Aquaria and tanks (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Three rooms with different capacity aquaria (15 units of 500 l; 15 of 1000–1500 l; 8 of 2500–4000 l)
    • Algal culture
    • Fish and marine invertebrates 
    • Toxic algae room PL2 room (PL3 biosafety cabinet with 10x 40L aquaria)
    • Chemical exposure
    • 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
  • Mesocosms (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Access to outdoor mesocosms (2 units of 20000 l)
  • Dry labs (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Microscopy and bio-imaging platform (advanced light/fluorescence microscopy, high-resolution slide scanning platform and expertise in image analysis, stereology and planimetry)
  • Wet labs (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Histology
    • Molecular biology and omis technologies platform (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics)
    • Cell culture
    • Chemical analysis
    • Dissection room and two equipped multi-use laboratories for visiting scientists
    • Histochemistry and biochemistry
    • Cell separation and fractionation
    • Fish embryo toxicity testing unit and microscale toxicity testing room: toxicity bioassays


Technology platforms

  • Imaging (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Access to a slide scanner, inverted and regular light microscopy, epifluorescence microscopy
  • Molecular biology and omics (On-site and remote service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • DNA bank, biomarkers, barcoding
    • Evolutionary analysis
    • qPCR
    • Toxicogenomic analysis
    • Metabolomic analysis
  • Bioassays (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Toxicity bioassays
  • Other technology platforms (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • High-throughput histology analysis



  • Data analysis tools and software (On-site and remote service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Remote sensing using satellite-derived daily datasets


Expert advice

  • Experimental design (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Coastal monitoring experimental design
  • Other expert advice (On-site service)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
    • Marine experimental infrastructure and facilities design; histopathology; biomarker analysis


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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