The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences (IUI) evolved from the Eilat H. Steinitz Marine Biology Laboratory, which was established by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1968. A decade of intense activities in the Red Sea took place, during which pioneering surveys and research in all marine sciences disciplines were performed in the eastern Sinai shores and related deep sea. In 1984, the Israel Council for Higher Education established the IUI as a national facility, shared by all universities in the country. IUI provies ASSEMBLE Plus TA services, for which HUJI is the Israeli partner.

The IUI is the only interuniversity teaching and research facility in Israel and provides Israeli and foreign universities with research and teaching capabilities in all fields of marine science. The coral reefs and the open waters adjacent to the IUI are ecologically-unique ecosystems of outstanding importance. The IUI has strong expertise in studying corals, fish, zooplankton, phytoplankton and bacteria, as well as long-term monitoring of marine ecosystems and management of large databases. Research activities at the IUI span the whole spectrum of marine sciences, including ecology, chemical, physical and biological oceanography, microbiology, plankton biology and ecology, ichthyology, invertebrate and vertebrate biology, neurobiology, molecular biology and marine biogeochemistry.


  • Coral reefs
  • Open water ecoststems


Ecosystem access

  • Coastal research vessels (On-site service)
    • Red Sea, Coral reefs, Sea grass and Warm, oligotrophic, deep sea
    • Two skiff boats
    • RV of 16 m
      • Fully equipped for hydrographic, biological, and geological studies
      • Echosounder
      • GPS-based navigation system
  • Sampling equipment  (On-site service)
    • CTD with oxygen, pH, light, fluorescence sensors
    • Rosette with 11 Niskin bottles (10 liters)
    • MOCNESS (multiple opening closing net system (100, 300, 800 µm mesh nets)
    • Vertical and horizontal plankton nets (various mesh sizes)
    • Multi-corer for sediment sampling
    • Grab for sediment sampling
    • Horizontal and vertical plankton nets, light traps, flowmeters
    • Current meters: Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers
    • Aquarium oxygen and pH sensors
  • Scuba diving facilities (On-site service)
    • Red Sea, Coral Reefs, Sea Grass, Warm, Oligotrophic, Deep Sea
    • Underwater still, GoPro video cameras, online camera


Experimental facilities

  • Aquaria and tanks (On-site service)
    • Available for a wide range of applications
  • Mesocosms (On-site service)
    • Outdoor system for growing organisms (e.g., corals, sea urchins, molluscs, algae) in flow-through aquaria 
    • Indoor
  • Wet labs (On-site service)
    • A complete plankton laboratory: compound microscopes, phase-contrast microscopes, an inverted phase-contrast microscope, a microscope and dissecting scopes equipped with trinocular heads for photography, cameras, fiber optics light source, counting trays, size fractionation nets, Folsom splitter, stemple pipettes, Utermoel Sedimentation Chamber, rotating wheel for plankton incubations
    • Two temperature-controlled rooms
    • Water filtration systems
    • Peristaltic pumps
    • Bench-top flumes
  • Dry labs (On-site service)
    • Standard lab facilities: autoclave, centrifuges, ventilation hoods, incubators, drying ovens, furnaces, shakers, baths, analytical and semi-analytical balances, pH, oxygen and temperature meters, homogenizers, sediment sieve shaker + fractionation sieves, refrigerators and deep freezers
    • Temperature- and illumination-controlled incubators for culturing bacteria and micro-algae
    • A molecular biology laboratory
    • Epifluorescent microscope, Aquadopp profiler, denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis, plate reader, PCR, rt-PCR, fluorometer, spectrophotometer, freeze-drying lyophilizer, beta counter


Supporting facilities

  • Library (On-site service)
    • IT services
    • Meteorological station


IUI also offers the following databases as open access (i.e. anyone can request these)

  • Online database of long-term collection and monitoring of environmental conditions in the open waters, coral reef, and coastal (non-reef) habitats encompassing the marine ecosystems of the northern head of the Gulf of Aqaba
  • A permanent open-access long-term data-base. There are 2 sets of data; meteorological and ecological/oceanographic
  • Database used to form scientific recommendations to preserve the delicate and indispensable marine ecosystem of the Gulf and to ensure a sustainable balance between the marine ecosystem and ongoing human development in the region


IUI offers accommodation up to 32 people. Restaurants and alternative accommodation (hotels, hostels, field schools) are located nearby.


The Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat
Coral Beach, P.O. Box 469
Eilat 8810302
Liaison officer: Simon Berkowicz ( ), cc to:

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