Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas - Las Cruces

Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas - Las Cruces

The Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas, located in Las Cruces, central Chile (Region V), was created in 1982 as the marine research laboratory of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC), to provide access to local marine organisms for experimental work and to study the Chilean coastal ecosystems, which are unique in many ecological, oceanographical and climatic characteristics.

The "Estación de Investigaciones Marinas" (ECIM) is a marine research and teaching station fully integrated with the main university campus located in Santiago (120 km away), where most of the permanent researchers in marine biology and ecology are located and where additional research and teaching infrastructure is also located.
ECIM offers one of the few points of access worldwide to up-welling ecosystems, which are abundant along the Chilean coast, including the area around ECIM. Throughout its more than 20-years history as a marine protected area, the adjacent near-shore waters and rocky shore have remained closed to human intervention. As one of the oldest coastal and marine reserves in the world, the ECIM area has been, and continues to be, an important source of long-term data concerning human impact on marine and coastal ecosystems. Today, the station is devoted to experimental marine biology and ecology, and to the study of global change.
ECIM has in-door and out-door experimental facilities, and modest housing facilities. This infrastructure is complemented by laboratories in Santiago dedicated to molecular biology, chemical and biochemical analysis, microscopy, cytometry and bioinformatics.

Installations to which access is offered

  • Laboratories: laboratories at ECIM and at Santiago's Campus of the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, with access to basic research infrastrcuture, administrative and technical support.
  • Small vessel: 8.4 m Ilan fully equipped for research in the coastal zone allowing basic oceanographic work (including Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP), CTDs, etc), pelagic sampling and diving activities. Smaller boats are available.
  • Aquarium facilities: indoor and outdoor tanks for experiments with marine invertebrates, algae and fish at ECIM
  • Platforms: access to the platform equipment and support from technical staff. Three platforms are available:
  1. a molecular biology platform dedicated to DNA, RNA and protein analysis (DNA sequencing typically involves the analysis of 15 sequences per day);
  2. a chemical analysis platform dedicated to metal and trace elements analysis;
  3. an imaging platform with a transmission and scanning electron microscope

    Application form here.


    Departamento de Ecología
    Avenida Bernardo O'Higgins 340
    Phone: +56-23 54 26 20
    Fax: +56-23 54 26 21
    Web sites:,

    Contact person: Sylvain Faugeron