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Europe has a very long and distinguished history in marine biology and its coastal marine biological stations are the oldest in the world. For example, Stazione Zoologica in Naples, Station Biologique in Roscoff and Kristineberg Marine Research Station in Fiskebäckskil were all established in the late 19th Century. Even at that time these stations acted as international infrastructure sites to serve, enhance and develop collaborative marine research worldwide. Now the major marine research stations in Europe are developing new technologies and facilities that allow a higher quality of service, not only for the marine biologist community but also for other disciplines, like the increasing number of scientists that are turning to marine organisms as models.

ASSEMBLE is an EU FP7 research infrastructure project comprising a network of marine research stations. The project runs from March 2009 to February 2013. ASSEMBLE partners are developing an integrated infrastructure to optimize the possibilities for European scientists to conduct to excel in research on marine ecosystems and marine biological models using the most advanced approaches in modern biology.


Objectives and activities of ASSEMBLE

The fundamental objectives are to enhance trans-national access to the existing key infrastructures for marine sciences and improve these infrastructures with respect to the provision of marine model organism.

To this end this initiative comprises the following activities:


To increase coordination between marine stations both within and outside of the ASSEMBLE network. This includes organizing workshops, establishing a virtual tool-box of best practice guidelines as well as a common database for marine organisms.


To improve the quality of provision of marine organisms with emphasis on models for marine genomics; this includes whole, multi-cellular organisms, unicellular eukaryotic organisms and cell lines as well as genetic and molecular resources.

Transnational Access

To provide access to a comprehensive set of marine ecosystems, to a wide variety of marine organisms, and to state-of-the-art experimental facilities, technological platforms, research vessels etc. 


The ASSEMBLE infrastructure sites

  • Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences, Kristineberg & Tjärnö, SE
  • Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, Oban, UK
  • Station Biologique de Roscoff, FR
  • Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls, FR
  • Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples, IT
  • The Algarve Marine Sciences Centre, Faro, PT
  • Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat, IL
  • Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas, Las Cruces, CL
  • Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, DE        


Transnational Access – remote & on-site

On-site and remote access is available for marine research projects. Each ASSEMBLE infrastructure site offers access to installations such as general and climate controlled laboratories, state-of-the-art experimental facilities, technological platforms, research vessels, and a wide variety of marine organisms (either on-site or by shipment).

  • Calls for applications are launched twice a year, except for shipment (remote access) of smaller volumes of marine samples that can be applied for on a running basis. First call will be launched soon; deadline September 15, 2009.
  • Projects applied for should be initiated within the call designated 6 month period. Projects will normally be of 1-4 weeks duration.
  • Only European user groups (from EU Members states or Associated states) can apply and only to ASSEMBLE sites outside their own country.
  • Selection will be based on scientific quality, relevance and feasibility of the project.
  • New users and users from outside the ASSEMBLE network will be prioritized.
  • The User Selection Panel will comprise four ASSEMBLE members and four external evaluators.

All details at www.assemblemarine.org    

Project manager
Ulrika Hjelm, PhD

University of Gothenburg
The Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences - Kristineberg
S-450 34 Fiskebäckskil , Sweden
Phone: ++46 (0) 523 18548

E-mail: ulrika.hjelm@loven.gu.se