Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls

Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls

The “Observatoire Océanologique de Banyuls” (OOB) is a marine research station also called “Laboratoire ARAGO” located on the north-western coast of the Mediterranean Sea, about 180 km south-west of Montpellier and 170 km north of Barcelona.

Created in 1881 by the Sorbonne zoologist Henri de Lacaze-Duthiers, the laboratory has always pursued its missions: educate future generations of scientists, scientific research, and outreach to the general public to learn about the marine environments. The Laboratatoire Arago employs ca. 180 staff members (administrative, technical, researchers, students...).

Research themes: 4 themes of research: BIOM (Biologie Integrative des Organismes Marins "Integrative Biology of Marine Organisms"); LOMIC (Laboratoire d'Oceanographie Microbienne "Laboratory of microbial oceanography"); LECOB (Laboratoire d'Ecogeochimie des Environnements Benthiques "Laboratory of Ecogechemisty of Benthic Environments"); COREUS (Biocomplexity of Coral Reefs Ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific).

Laboratories: Laboratories and climate control rooms with access to all basic research equipments, with technical support from staff. Access to library, computer and video equipment, a database on local environmental physico-chemical and biological parameters and a European database on copepods.

Platforms: Cytometry platform, one of the best-equipped in Europe with solid phase- and fountain flow cytometers; Imaging platform with a transmission electron microscope and a two-photon laser scanning confocal microscope; Culture platform (new equipment) for mass production of microorganisms. Access to the platform equipment and support from technical staff.

Marine facilities: The Nereis vessel (14m long) certified to work up to 20 miles from the coast and the Rufi (7m  long) dedicated to littoral work and diving. Access includes all onboard research equipments, and technical support from vessel crew.The laboratory scuba diving service is operated by 2 professional research divers.

Main marine model organisms used: Cephalochordate Amphioxus or Lancelet (Branchiostoma lanceolatum), Echinoderms (Holothuria sp....), Corals (ex. Caryophyllia sp...), Unicellular marine green alga Ostreococcus tauri, Marine eukaryotic virus.

Provision of marine organisms (remote access): One sample will include either collection of biological material from natural populations, temporary maintenance in aquariums or breeding/culture of marine organisms. List of species can be found at Shipment costs are not included but will be charged to the user.


Application forms for both on-site and remote access here.


Avenue du Fontaulé
BP 44
66651 Banyuls-sur-Mer, cedex
Phone: +33 4 68 88 73 14
Fax: +33 4 68 88 73 96

Web site:

Contact person, general: Virginie Bouetel OR Anne-Marie Genevière 

Contact person, remote access: Pascal Romans