The Algarve Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR) is a non-profit research organization located on the Gambelas Campus of the University of Algarve, dedicated to R&D in the Marine Sciences. The infrastructure receives approximately 20 international users per year. Approximately 15 projects are run on the station annually and more than 50 projects use the laboratories and platforms.
The Ramalhete Marine Station is in the Ria Formosa lagoon National Park, a unique coastal mesotidal lagoon, separated from the ocean by a system of barrier islands and inlets, with very high biodiversity and an ideal natural laboratory protected by national and international legislation. The station allows for the tailored provision of experimental setups in a wide range of conditions, including ocean acidification for experiments with fish.
CCMAR laboratories are well equipped for biological research at various levels. A computational Cluster dedicated to bioinformatics tasks offers software for genome assembly and transcriptomics studies. Complementary services include molecular biology (sequencing and proteomics) and analytical and structural chemistry.
Transport between the Gambelas Campus of the University of Algarve and Ramalhete Marine Station is available during working days.
Users carrying out procedures with live animals must hold an animal experimentation certificate from Felasa and a license from National authorities (DGAV) must be required in advance. A typical access consists of finalizing the planning (generally initiated remotely), the setting up and the monitoring of experiments. Longer experiments may be setup by the service provider and the visit will be for monitoring and finalizing experiments, preparation of storage or other materials, collection of samples for various purposes, storage in appropriate media. Some samples may need to be initially locally analyzed in laboratories and platforms. Technical and scientific support will be assigned to the visitors according to the specific objectives of the TA. Visitors will be provided their own office and lab space and they will have full independence and will receive as required logistical (reception, integration into infrastructure through the Liaison Officer), technical (labs and platforms dedicated technical staff) or scientific (if inhouse expertise is required) support. Local accommodation can be booked by CCMAR. Paperwork and shipment costs of special materials, reagents or equipment will be responsibility of the users. Costs related to shipment of samples may be covered by the TA and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. There is a weekly seminar programme, complemented by visitor and invitation conferences. Visitors will be given access to the general services: administration, general services including Internet access, accommodation, documentation and communication, and labs. Pre-flight cancellation insurance and full health/work/travel insurance covering pre-existing medical conditions, world-wide travel assistance and emergency air transportation services covering the full period of access from departure to return are required. This is a private cost not covered by the TA.
CCMAR Ramalhete Experimental Station
Infrastructure: CCMAR Ramalhete Experimental Station
Location: Faro, PORTUGAL
Web site address: www.ccmar.ualg.pt
Contact: Ana Amaral (email@example.com)
The Ramalhete Marine Station (Ria Formosa Natural Park) enables a variety of experiments with larvae and juveniles of several fish species such as nutrition, behavior, and physiology, including acidification studies. It consists of 500 m2 of indoor tanks, isolated rooms for studies that require environmental control or behaviour, wet and dry laboratories. A 900 m2 outdoor area is used for larger volume tanks and other needs. The station has been used mostly for projects related to fish (seabass, seabream, sole), cephalopods (cuttlefish) and macroalgae.
CCMAR laboratories (Gambelas Campus) are well equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and technology platforms (mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, confocal and light-sheet microscopy, electrophysiology, cell culture) for biological research at all levels, from biochemistry to molecular biology, bioinformatics, nutrition, physiology, behaviour and ecology.
Services currently offered by the infrastructure
The Ramalhete Marine Station can provide access to projects requiring tanks of different capacities: 100L (n=24); 500L (n=20); 1000L (n=22); 3000L(3); 9000L(5). All tanks are set flow-through supplied with filtered natural sea water. Indoor and outdoor systems of tanks for CO2 experiments simulating oceanic acidification scenarios are available. Tanks and space can be adapted to fulfill specific experimental needs as temperature control, photoperiod, light intensity, or salinity. Fish species available include sole (Sole senegalensis), seabream (Sparus aurata) and seabass (Dicentrachus labrax).
The CCMAR labs provide access to platforms and support services (Gambelas Campus): Molecular Biology (incl. sequencing and proteomics), Analytical Chemistry (hplc and GC mass spectrometry and NMR), Imaging (confocal, lightsheet), Cell culture and the genomics/transcriptomics data analysis pipeline (CETA computational infrastructure.).
Modality of access
A user group will have access to the services offered under this TA: 1) access to experimental facilities – tanks and supporting laboratories – and organisms (fish, molluscs and macroalgae) at Ramalhete (CCMAR, Faro), and/or 2) access to labs and platforms (CCMAR Gambelas Campus). Support will be provided in the first instance through the Liaison Officer who will take care of introduction to local rules and permits needed, ensure integration of visitors and projects into the scheduling of the infrastructure, and will help with access to facilities. Users will be able to carry out their projects according to pre-arranged planning and they can do at least some of the analysis in situ. As a rule, user access the facilities with complete independence from local research groups. Only if requested, users can benefit from interaction with a local group to benefit from their expertise. Users are expected to provide a seminar and a report of the visit.
Paperwork and shipment costs of special materials, reagents or equipment will be the responsibility of the users. Costs related to shipment of samples may be covered to some extent and will be evaluated on a one-by-one basis. Pre-flight cancellation insurance and full health/work/travel insurance covering pre-existing medical conditions, and including world-wide travel assistance and emergency air transportation services, are required covering the full period of access from departure to return. This is a private cost not covered by CCMAR.
Unit of access
Access typical consists in finalizing the planning (generally initiated remotely), the setting up and the monitoring of experiments. Longer experiments may be setup by service provider and the visit will be for monitoring and finalizing experiments, preparation of storage or other materials, collection of samples for various purposes, storage in appropriate media. Some samples may need to be initially locally analyzed in laboratories and platforms. Technical and scientific support will be assigned to the visitors according to the specific objectives of the TA.
Costs are declared by a combination of units of access and actual costs. The unit of access at Ramalhete Marine Station, is defined as tank/week (e.g. 20 units of access are 20 tanks during one week or 10 tanks during two weeks). The unit of access for CCMAR labs is person/day.