Facilities & Services

FACILITIES

The research activity is favored by the existence of a modern infrastructure for marine research, fully operational since 2006: the Toralla Marine Station-ECIMAT, belonging to the University of Vigo (see http://www.ecimat.org ).

This station’s laboratories and running seawater facilities offer diving infrastructure, research boats, a marina, mesocosm, vehicles and an experimental raft.

 

1. Equiment

The following equipment is available:

1.1. Own Equipment:

- Sea water system (3000 L) to maintain stocks of marine invertebrates: Routine maintenance of adult stocks of echinoderms (Paracentrotus lividus), crustaceans or ascidians (Ciona intestinalis) with the aim of obtaining biological material for embryolarval bioassays.

- Isothermal rooms for phytoplankton culture with routine cultures Isochrysis galbana, Tetraselmis suecica, Chaetoceros gracilis, Selenastrum capricornutum and other microalgal species used in bioassays.

- Inverted microscope and image analysis: the use of inverted microscopes, digital camera and image analysis allows direct reading in the vials used for bioassays, avoiding the transfer of biological material.

- Polarographic Stand 663VA Methrom with Eco Chemie Autolab PGSTAT10 potentiostat and BASi potentiostat CGME with BAS CV-50W for the determination of metals in seawater.

- Coulter Z2 Particle Size analyzer: Particle Counter for the analysis of phytoplanktongrowth in culture .

- Oximeter OXI 330i Crison; Salinometer w/ conductivity cell 013010-ATI-Orion; Metrohm 744 pH meter: water quality measurement equipments.

- Cryopreservation system of CryoLogic CONTROL SYSTEMS Pty. Ltd. for regulating the temperature during the cryopreservation of biological material.

- Waters HPLC, model Aliance spectrophotometric detectors 2690 diode array (DAD) and fluorescence for the determination of PAH and other organic compounds.

1.2. Shared Equipment:

- Nikon Microscopes: 90i fluorescence microscope, inverted microscope TE2000S, 50i Microscopes, Microscope Inverted Microscope Eclipse TS100 and E200.

- Olympus CK30 inverted optical microscope.

- Nikon Magnifying: Magnifying SMZ1500, SMZ1000, SMZ70 and SMZ800.

- Rooms to incubate isothermal embryolarval bioassays.

- Tanks for larval rearing of fish, shellfish, etc.

- Freezer at -20 °C and -80 °C.

- Stove 80, INDELAB IDL-EI-208.

- Forno Muffle, Obersal 10 PR/400 PAD.

- Autoclave Raypa AES110.

- DirectQ-5, ultrapure water.

- Refrigerated Centrifuge Hettich Zentrifugen Rotanta 460 R. Centrifuge 20-R OrtoAlresa Digicen.

- Beckman DU640 spectrophotometer.

- Freeze Dryer Christ Alpha 1-4.

- Particle Counter, Beckman Coulter Multisizer 3.

- Gas flumes.

- PH meter Crison GLR 21 Oxyguard Handy Polaris Portable Oxymeter, Oxymeter YSI 500, a thermo analytical Radiometer PIONEER 30.

- Membrane filtration system 0.22 mm, Millipore YT30 142 HW.

- Distiller Raypa DES 4.

- Magnetic stirrers, precision balances.

2. Underwater activities:

The group also has available all the necessary equipment for scuba diving in the ECIMAT:

- Diving Compressor Charging to 220 atm bottles (model Verticus 5 BAUER), seven complete diving suits, locker rooms, showers.

- A Zodiac inflatable boat with outboard engine (50 horsepower).

-A 8 m boat.

- Professional divers.

- Access to the sea by a marina.

 

SERVICES

A clean water is imperative for the production of high quality food products and an absolutely essential element to ensure the commercial success of the Galician shellfish.

Nowadays, the protection of the coastal marine environment must take into account the legislative framework created by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) (Directive 2000/60/EC) and its transposition into Spanish law in modifying the Water Law (Law 62/2003 of 30 December, on fiscal, administrative and social), Water Planning Regulation (RD 907/2007), and subsequent Water Planning Instruction (Order ARM/2656/2008). While the more recent and specifically marine Directive is implemented (Directive 2008/56/EC, "Marine Strategy") and the resulting Spanish law on protection of the marine environment, the above standards (designed from a perspective of continental waters) are the starting point from which to establish coastal monitoring programs on the Spanish coast today.

The experience of the research group, leading interdisciplinary studies of integrated assessment of pollutions in the Galician waters, entitles us to respond to these new legislative demands using modern chemical and biological tools for the evaluation of sea water quality backed by international institutions with competence in marine environmental management (ICES, OSPAR).

The Ecotox Team offers the following services (Check Rates):

- Advising the private productive sector related to the marine environment.

- Comprehensive assessment of coastal marine pollution.

- A priori Environmental Risk Assessment for human interventionsin coastal systems.

- Ecotoxicological studies of environmental quality in areas of interest for shellfishing and aquaculture.

- Evaluation of the sensitivity of marine invertebrate larvae to certain contaminants in coastal ecosystems.

- Determination of Cu, Pb, Zn and Cd in natural waters, chemical speciation and fraction of the total metal content available to organisms.

- Participation in training courses related to the marine environment, at the university and outside the university, with the possibility of practical teaching.

Some of the techniques used in the research group are:

- Measurement of indicator parameters in water and sediment quality: BOD, phosphates, dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, salinity, H 2 S, redox potential and organic content.

- Determination and speciation of Cu, Zn, Cd and Pb in sea water.

- Determination of Trace Metals (Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb) in biological matrices: Digestion of tissue in the presence of HNO3 and H2O2 followed by metal analysis by ICP-MS.

- Determination of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments and marine organisms.

- Embryo-larval test in water and sediment elutriates.

- Bioassays with phytoplankton: algal growth, production, photosynthetic efficiency.