Research facilities

Marine@UGent Core Facility

The Marine@UGent Core Facility (M@UG-CF), a dynamic hub where innovation meets the sea, brings together unique, innovative and multidisciplinary infrastructure with the aim to further facilitate and boost marine and maritime state-of-the-art research across faculties, department and lab boundaries.

The Core Facility, of over 1000 m², is situated on the UGent campus in Ostend, at the Belgian coast and close to associated research institutions such as the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) and Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO).

Dry Lab (operational)

A fully equipped laboratory with a wide range of technologies, from basic laboratory equipment to specialized equipment like flow cytometer and UPLC-MS/MS (details of the equipment on request). This lab plays a supporting role and is suitable for preparing, processing and analyzing samples collected or produced in the field or in the wet lab facilities.

Multifunctional wet lab (coming soon)

A freshwater wet lab that is flexible and can be used for various aquatic and terrestrial experiments. Examples include microalgae cultivation or studying (dune) plants (including saline plants, given the nearby availability of natural seawater).

Multispecies aquaculture facilities (under construction, expected early 2025)

Two hatcheries with temperature-controlled cultivation areas, seawater supply and blower air. The first hatchery (temperature range of 16-30°C) is suitable for shrimps and bivalves, with a separate room for the larval stage (designed for 100 L tanks for larvae, and one 2000 L tank for bivalve eggs) and one nursery unit (designed tanks of 200-300 L). The second hatchery can be cooled to 12°C, futher reduction of the water is possible with sawater coolers. It consists of separate rooms for the preparation and culture of macroalgae (seaweed; designed for tanks ranging from 100 up to 1000 L). Both hatcheries connect to a central recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) for seawater reuse.

Multifunctional saltwater wet lab (under construction, expected early 2025)

This versatile room, with a temperature range of 16-30°C, can house tanks of 140L (24 tanks, linked in pairs). It's for example suitable for mesocosm experiments or other experiments requiring large water volumes (e.g. pilot scale anti-fouling experiments, marine aerosol reference tanks).

Saltwater wave flume (under construction, expected in 2026)

An innovative and highly technological salt-water wave flume with dimensions of 20 m (length) x 1 m (width) x 0.7 m (depth). It can simulate regular and irregular waves and currents and is equipped with a wave making system, a powerful pump, and a removable double bottom for installation of sediment beds and fixation of floating structures. The flume has its own RAS and life support system and cooling (ambient range 16-23°C & water. Everything is resistant to seawater, which allows to work with living marine organisms, which is unique in Europe.

Marine@UGent labs render image

ASSETS of the Marine@UGent Core Facility

  • Marine OST1Proximity to the sea, the main research field. Our facility is strategically located near the sea, allowing us to directly engage with marine environments.
  • Anchoring in the local & regional research ecosystem fostering maximum synergy through collaboration with other research infrastructure (Ostend Marine Station, Raversijde test dike, Flanders Maritime Laboratory (Coastal and Ocean Basin & Shallow Water Towing Tank), MariFish Inc. - Living Lab) and research institutes (VLIZ, ILVO, RBINS). In addition, our interconnection with the M@UG consortium, uniting all marine and maritime researchers, fosters close collaboration with the industry.
  • Unique infrastructure due to the scale, the high-tech infrastructure engineered for saltwater research and the on-site availability of natural seawater.
  • Multidisciplinary approach, seamlessly integrating engineering, biological and biotechnological research facilities in one facility.
  • One-stop-shop, serving as the gateway to all relevant UGent Core Facilities. In addition to the Marine@UGent infrastructure, we can reach out to other Core Facilities for additional specialized infrastructure and analyses.

Partner facilities

In addition to the Marine@UGent Core Facility, we can easily link you with a number of world-class marine and maritime research laboratories and test facilities in the Blue Ecosystem Ostend.

Get in touch with us, we'd be happy to bring you in contact with the most suitable partner for your research question.

Check the Partnerships page for more information about the Blue Ecosystem Ostend.