PARTNER#1 Institut de Ciències del Mar- CMIMA ICM Spain

Pg. Marítim de la Barceloneta, 39-47. E08003 Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain. Phone: 3493 2309500, Fax: 3493 2309555, email: Webpage:

Institution profile
The ICM is one of about 90 research institutes of the Spanish CSIC (National Council for Scientific Research). It has recently merged with the UTM (Unidad de Tecnología Marina) in the brand-new CMIMA (Centre Mediterrani de Recerca Medioambiental). Its staff numbers about 190, including 35 staff scientists. It includes Departments of Oceanography, Marine Geology, Marine Resources and Aquaculture, and Marine Biology. The CMIMA manages the research vessels BIO García del Cid (with capacity for 12 scientists) and BIO Hespérides (with capacity for 25 scientists and responsible for the austral summer Spanish programs in Antarctica).

Several scientists at the ICM are involved in marine plankton ecology studies, from microbes up to mesozooplankton and fish. There is a long tradition of studies on plankton dynamics in relation to physical and chemical environmental conditions, in the ocean but also in lakes and coastal lagoons. Several scientists at the ICM are particularly involved in microbial ecology studies of phytoplankton, bacteria, flagellates and ciliates. This group has grown in the last five years to include six staff scientists. A molecular biology laboratory has been recently set up to apply molecular techniques to the study of microbial diversity in aquatic habitats.

The institute has facilities such as a Flow cytometry laboratory, scanning electron microscopy, HPLC, inverted and epifluorescence microscopes, as well as image analysis systems to count and size plankton, and the usual lab facilities for microbiology biochemistry and oceanography. The ICM also has environmental chambers, a nutrient analysis facility, a radioactivity laboratory and other equipment necessary for laboratory work with microorganisms. During the past years, the research activity at the ICM has been funded by several Spanish as well as EU funded projects (MARE, DIADEME, MEDIPELAGOS, MEDEA, MIDAS, MATER, PICODIV, NTAP, BIOHAB). The ICM has hosted several Marie Curie Fellows in the past, and we are currently helping train several European PhD students and postdocs from Germany, Italy, France and Austria.

Dr. Josep M. Gasol Research scientist Project coordination

Group coordination, Flow cytometry, Carbon cycling
Prof. Carlos Pedrós-Alió Research professor Microautoradiography and FISH
Dr. Rafel Simó Research scientist Sulfur cycling
Prof. Marta Estrada Research professor Carbon cycling, EOC production
Dr. Ramon Massana Postdoctoral scientist Supervision of diversity work (DGGE, sequencing)
Dr. Jarone Pinhassi Postdoctoral scientist Sampling, diversity work
Maria Vila Ph.D. student S-cycling
Laura Alonso Ph.D. student C-cycling
Vanessa Balagué Technitian Assistant to all of the above
Clara Cardelús Technitian Assistant to all of the above


Selected references relevant to BASICS

  • 2001 Vaqué, D., E.O. Casamayor & J.M. Gasol. Dynamics of whole community bacterial production and grazing losses related to changes in the proportion of bacteria with different DNA-content. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 25: 163-177
  • 2001 Díez, B., C. Pedrós-Alió, T.L. Marsh and R. Massana. Application of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) to study the diversity of marine picoeukaryotic assemblages and comparison of DGGE with other molecular techniques. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 67:2942-2951.
  • 2001 Simó, R. Production of atmospheric sulphur by oceanic plankton: biogeochemical, ecological and evolutionary links. Trends Ecol. Evol. 16: 287-294.
  • 2001 Massana, R., C. Pedrós-Alió, E.O. Casamayor and J.M. Gasol. Changes in marine bacterioplankton phylogenetic composition during incubations designed to measure biogeochemically significant parameters. Limnol. Oceanogr. 46:1181-1188.
  • 2000 Schauer, M., R. Massana and C. Pedrós-Alió. Spatial differences in bacterioplankton composition along the Catalan coast (NW Mediterranean) assessed by molecular fingerprinting. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 33:51-59.
  • 2000 Massana, R., E.F. DeLong and C. Pedrós-Alió. A few cosmopolitan phylotypes dominate planktonic archaeal assemblages in widely different oceanic provinces. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 66:1777-1787
  • 2000 Gasol, J.M. & P.A. del Giorgio. Using flow cytometry for counting natural planktonic bacteria and understanding the structure of planktonic bacterial communities. Sci. Mar. 64: 197-224
  • 2000 Simó R, Pedrós-Alió C, Malin G, Grimalt JO. Biological turnover of DMS, DMSP and DMSO in contrasting open-sea waters. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 203: 1-11
  • 2000 González, R. Simó, R. Massana, J.S. Covert, E.O. Casamayor, C. Pedrós-Alió, M.-A. Moran. Bacterial community structure associated with a DMSP-producing North Atlantic algal bloom. Appl Environ Microbiol 66: 4237-4246
  • 1999 Simó R, Pedrós-Alió C. Role of vertical mixing in controlling the oceanic production of dimethyl sulphide. Nature 402: 396-399
  • 1999 Gasol, J.M., U. L. Zweifel, F. Peters, J. A. Fuhrman & Å. Hagström. Significance of Size and Nucleic Acid content Heterogeneity as measured by Flow Cytometry in Natural Planktonic Bacteria. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 65: 4475-4483
  • 1998 Casamayor, E.O., Calderón-Paz, J.I., Mas, J., Pedrós-Alió, C. Identification of phototrophic sulfur bacteria through the analysis of lmwRNA band patterns. Arch. Microbiol. 170: 269-278.
  • 1995 Gasol, J.M., del Giorgio, P.A. Massana, R. Duarte, C.M. Active versus inactive bacteria: size-dependence in a coastal marine plankton community. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 128: 91-97
  • 1996 Simó R, Grimalt JO, Albaigés J. Sequential method for the field determination of nanomolar concentrations of dimethyl sulfoxide in natural waters. Anal Chem 68: 1493-1498
  • 1993 Pedrós-Alió, C. Diversity of bacterioplankton. Trends Ecol. Evol. 8: 86-90.