The objective of the MARBIGEN project is to fully exploit and further develop the research potential of the Institute of Marine Biology and Genetics (IMBG) of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) in the area of biodiversity.
The capacities of the institute have been demonstrated by achievements recognized by the European and international scientific communities, and in the year 2005 was expressed in the external evaluation report. The project will allow the institute to strengthen its research and technological development and to get established in a first-line position in biodiversity science. The location of IMBG in the heart of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, which is a biodiversity hot spot and one of the most vulnerable to climatic change sea basins, argues for the significance of establishing it as a high level centre for genomics and biodiversity research. This will be accomplished by:
- upgrading existing and acquiring new equipment,
- developing biodiversity research topics through hiring incoming scientific personnel,
- taking advantage of the knowledge and experience existing in excellent research entities of the EU through exchanges of researchers,
- the organization of workshops and seminars.
Activities in this context will be carried out using a two-pronged approach designed to:
- enhance its capacities to assess biodiversity by enforcing current up-to-date high throughput genomics technologies, supported by bioinformatics and biodiversity informatics and by introducing automated and precision 3D phenotyping at meio- and macro- organismal level
- strengthen its capacity to study changes in biodiversity by developing an in-house experimental facility for in vivo experiments with the potential for manipulation of environmental conditions, as well as an innovative experimental site for long-term studies concerning the impacts on biodiversity of anthropogenic stressors and climate change on coastal ecosystems.