Research lines

The balance of the research of the IU-ECOAQUA researchers in the last 36 years shows excellent results. Thanks to funding, personnel training, R & D activities financed with public funds at the regional, national and international level and the participation of private companies, the IU-ECOAQUA researchers generate knowledge and science in the almost 250 projects developed in the last 40 years. Its impact on research is also demonstrated by the numerous contributions to congresses in the five continents, as well as publications in international journals indexed in the academic world, the publication of books and the publication of book chapters and working documents.

All of the Institute's research lines are framed within the priority research objectives of the EU's Horizon 2020, the European Technology Platform in Aquaculture (EATiP) or the Maritime Cluster of the Canary Islands. The lines of research that correspond to each research group are:

Research lines

Aquaculture research group (GIA)

Denomination: Fish nutrition
Responsible: Lidia Esther Robaina Robaina
Line acronym: NUTRITION
Description: Use of experimental diets for the determination of nutritional requirements (proteins, lipids, fatty acids, carotenoids) and optimization of different cultivation parameters mainly in marine fish. Relationship of nutrition with the metabolic activity of the animal and its effect on the quality of the final product.

Denomination: Larval culture and fingerling production
Responsible: Carmen Mª Hernández Cruz
Line acronym: LARVAS
Description: Optimization (survival and growth) of larval cultures. Semi-intensive culture techniques (mesocosms). Effects of diets enriched in larvae. Formulation of microdiets for larval feeding. Larval culture techniques.

Denomination: Cultivation of New Species
Responsible: Javier Ro
Acronym of the line: NEW SPECIES
Description: Capture and acclimatization of wild reproducers to captivity. Reproduction, larval culture techniques and fattening of new species, especially fast-growing fish. Effect of feeding on reproduction. Obtaining and studying captive settings: laying season, optimal sex ratio, quality of laying.

Denomination: Aquariology
Responsible: Lucía Molina Domínguez
Line acronym: AQUARIUMS
Description: This line on ornamental species aquaculture was born in 2000 incardinated between the lines of new species, reproduction, larval culture and nutrition in aquaculture. It is about investigating the adaptation to the captivity of species with ornamental value, its reproduction and larviculture, optimizing its culture technology. All this arises on the one hand from the need for diversification in aquaculture, due to the special biogeographical conditions of the Canary Islands, and of course, also because of the enormous trade boom in ornamental species that we are living in recent years. We have worked with species of syngnathids, shrimp, jellyfish and corals, as well as with other species, not considered ornamental in principle, such as Sardina pilchardus.

Denomination: Cultivation of octopus
Responsible: Juan Socorro Cruz
Line acronym: OCTOPUS
Description: The main lines of action carried out by our group, involves the development of a larval culture technique that makes possible the integral cultivation of this species, working mainly in various alternatives of live food and enrichment for Artemia that may facilitate the larval culture of this species, where the main bottleneck lies in the cultivation of the pelagic paralarva at the beginning of the benthic phase. On the other hand, we are immersed in the JACUMAR plans in the optimization of octopus fattening, mainly in floating cages. For them the nutritional need of this cephalopod is being evaluated, as well as developing different semi-humid feeds that can substitute fresh food in a fattening farm.

Denomination: Reproduction in aquaculture
Responsible: Hipólito Fernández-Palacios Barber
Line acronym: REPRODUCTION
Description: Study of the reproduction in the fish and optimization of the quality of laying in cultivable species. Effect of feeding on the reproduction and selection of individuals resistant to stress. Nutritional requirements during reproduction.

Denomination: Genetic improvement in fish
Responsible: Juan Manuel Afonso López
Acronym for the line: GENETICS
Description: The line of genetic improvement in fish is developed in gilt considering characteristics of growth, quality of the fish and meat and skeletal malformations, the estimates of their parameters genetic tests and the genetic evaluation of broodstock. In parallel, internal physical markers (PIT and VIE) and genetic markers (microsatellites) are developed.

Denomination: Genetic markers in aquaculture
Responsible: Mª Jesús Zamorano Serrano
Acronym of the line: GENETIC MARKERS
Description: Within this line we work with molecular markers as coadjuvant measures to the improvement fish genetics programs. The line emerges as a useful tool to address these programs, so that the evaluation of the players is carried out as accurately as possible. The development of molecular markers allows the management with genetic basis of the players. Likewise, we are in the development phase of QTLs of characters with industrial interest.

Denomination: Stress and well-being in Aquaculture
Responsible: Daniel Montero Vítores
Acronym of the line: WELL-BEING
Description The ability to adapt to changes in culture conditions, mediated by the physiological response to stress, is of great importance in aquaculture, since alterations in these mechanisms imply generalized dysfunctions in the organism. In this line, studies of adaptation to captive conditions are addressed, the modulating effect of the capacity to respond to stress on the immune system, the use of food and, as well as various factors that modulate the response to stress, mainly nutritional factors.

Denomination: Animal health and food safety in the marine environment
Responsible: Félix Acosta
Line acronym:

Denomination: Immunology and vaccines in aquaculture
Responsible: Felix Acosta
Acronym of the line :

Denomination: Quality of the final product
Responsible: Rafael Ginés Ruiz
Line acronym: QUALITY
Description: Characterization of the quality of products from aquaculture, taking into account both sensory and acceptance properties as well as physical and biochemical parameters physical Influence that different factors of production exert on said quality, such as diet, breeding conditions and handling around slaughter.

Group in Biodiversity and Conservation (BIOCON)

Denomination: Conservation of terrestrial and marine biodiversity, especially in terrestrial and marine turtles of insular ecosystems
Responsible: Luis Felipe López Jurado
Line acronym: CONBIO
Description: Characterization of the degree of conservation of terrestrial and marine species and ecosystems. Monitoring of species of conservationist interest. Recovery programs for endangered species.

Denomination: Paleontology and Palaeoclimatology of the Canary Islands
Responsible: Joaquín Meco Cabrera
Line acronym: PALEO
Description: Atlantic geological testimony (Canary Islands, fundamentally) of the global climatic changes that occurred during the Neogene and the Quaternary. Relationship with volcanism and radiometric dating in collaboration with specific laboratories. Marine fossils contained in Pliocene, Pleistocene and Holocene deposits of the eastern Atlantic. Taxonomy, Biostratigraphy, Paleoecology. Fauna and flora migrations. Fossiliferous content of the Aeolian deposits and Canary paleosols. Taxonomy, Biostratigraphy and Paleoecology. Relationships between climatic changes and evolutionary crises in Anthropogenesis. Writings published on the testacean fauna since the seventeenth century. Scientific terminology. Cataloging of Canarian fossils and elaboration of reports and cartography for declaration of Cultural Interest Property of the paleontological sites. Palaeontological and dissemination museum work.

Denomination: Conservation of coastal and marine biological resources
Responsible: Ricardo Jesús Haroun Tabraue
Line acronym: GESBIOLITO
Description: Characterization of marine communities. Studies of the conservation status of protected coastal and marine species and ecosystems. Rehabilitation of marine ecosystems.

Denomination: Artisanal fisheries and fish behavior
Responsible: José Juan Castro Hernández
Line acronym: PESCOM
Description: Systematic studies of artisanal fisheries. Evaluation of fishing species: fish and cephalopods in the Canary Islands and nearby coastal areas of the African continent. Studies of time series to determine the dynamics of exploited fish populations. Ethological studies of littoral fish.

Denomination: Responsible management and management of marine protected areas
Responsible: Ricardo Jesús Haroun Tabraue
Line acronym: BIOGEST
Description: Intimately linked to the previous line, it tries to orient biological information of a more technical order for the management of biological resources. Creation and Management of Marine Reserves. Guidelines for the effective governance of protected marine spaces. Economic and social valorization of the marine natural resources of the Canary coast, from a perspective.

Marine Organisms Ecophysiology Group (EOMAR)

Denomination: Ecophysiology of marine organisms
Responsible: May Gómez Cabrera
Line acronym: ECOFIS
Description: Study of the aspects related to metabolism, respiration, ammonium excretion, growth and production of marine organisms, with special attention to planktonic communities. Metabolism in Jellyfish. Study of the main taxonomic groups of zooplankton.

Denomination: Enzymatic biochemistry
Responsible: Ted Packard
Line acronym: BIOENZIMA
Description: Study of the enzymatic reactions that control the biogeochemical processes of marine organisms. Study of carbon and nitrogen fluxes and mathematical models based on the principles of enzymology. Development of technology to detect the rates of biochemical processes at sea.

Denomination: Systematics, biogeography and ecology of marine plants, both macroalgae and marine phanerogams of Macaronesia
Responsible: María Ascensión Viera Rodríguez
Line acronym: PLANTAMAR
Description: Systematic studies and determination of marine algae and phanerogams with different purposes: knowledge of the biodiversity of specific areas of the coast in order to characterize them ecologically; establishment of the reproductive phenology of certain interesting species for their rarity and / or utility, etc. Update and maintenance of the BCM herbarium of the ULPGC and exchanges with other national and international herbaria.

Denomination: Microplastics in the marine trophic chains
Responsible: May Gómez and Alicia Herrera
Line acronym: MICROTROFIC
Description: Study of the transfer of microplastics in the marine trophic chains and the possible effect of these on organisms.

Denomination: Planktonic ecology and marine pollution
Responsible: Rodrigo Almeda García
Line acronym: PLANKMAR
Description: This line of research focuses on the ecology of plankton, structure and dynamics of marine food webs and their response to anthropogenic stressors, in particular marine pollution (e.g., oil, microplastics, plastic additives, chemical dispersants, emerging pollutants, etc...).

Group of Tourism, Territorial Planning and the Environment (TOTMA)

Denomination: Tourism, marine environment and coasts
Responsible: María del Pino Rodríguez González
Line acronym: ORTCOTEM
Description: As a fundamental element for the organization and development of the tourist activity in the islands, it is necessary, among other things, an adequate environmental environment, not only for continue leading the so-called sun and beach tourism, as a mass tourism, attracted by the warmth of the climate and our beaches, but also to open new tourism alternatives. The satisfaction of the tourist user depends, to a great extent, on a high environmental quality, but also on how the tourist services are provided. At this point, the proper regulation of tourism businesses, as well as the activities they develop, acquires enormous practical relevance. Consequently, it is necessary to reorient tourism policy in the islands, to favor the management and management of the sector according to criteria of sustainability, as already highlighted at the Rio Summit in 1992, as in the following Community Environmental Programs. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out various studies to improve the current tourism model, as well as expand tourism activities, diversifying it. To this end, it is essential to: 1) achieve the proper protection and management of one of our most valuable natural resources: coasts; 2) propose new regulatory mechanisms for tourism companies, as well as the tourist activity itself, due to its enormous impact on the marine and coastal environment.

Denomination: Territorial planning and sustainable development
Responsible: Adolfo Domingo Jiménez Jaén
Line acronym: ORTEDESO
Description: In close connection with the research line described above and insofar as economic activities are necessarily carried out on the marine environment and the territory, it is necessary to carry out a detailed and integrated study of the same to make the development of such actions compatible with the adequate protection and management of natural resources and the territory. To do this, it is necessary to take as a basis the principles of sustainability, management and integrated management that are advocated, in general, from the International and Community Institutions, as well as the regulations in force in the different territories, particularly in the Canary Islands from, necessarily, the Territorial Planning Guidelines, as well as the Insular Plans.

Name: Businessman, Company and business activity.
Description: The entrepreneur, individual or social, as owner of the business activity is constantly changing, not so much for the activity itself, but for the rules that affect them. In recent years there have been legislative changes that have generally affected the individual entrepreneur (for example, the limitation of his responsability), as the social (changes in the Law of capital companies for the reform of corporate governance, among others). But there is more, the tourist entrepreneur, for his activity, is also subject to multiple sectoral regulations that affect their activity and requires constant attention.

Name: Tourist contracting.
Description: The entrepreneur and the company are dynamic elements of any economy. Its activity, inter-company relations and fundamentally, the relationship with the consumer as a purchaser or user of the goods and services offered in the market requires a detailed study of these relationships and the responsibility of the employer, whether social or individual. Along with this and particularly in tourism it appears as one of the key sectors of the Canarian economy. The new contract figures, condohotel, dynamic packages, holiday homes, etc., require an effort to face their regulation with security, so that the entrepreneur can face his activity with solvency but at the same time, the user has a safety bonus from the perspective of the execution of the agreement and the protection not only of their health and physical integrity, but also of their legitimate economic rights.

Name: Roman Law.
Description: Investigation and analysis of the Roman Law and its current and necessary influence in our legal systems.