An interdisciplinary research laboratory


The MIO research laboratory is a component of the OSU-Pytheas Institute and is under the joint direction of Aix-Marseille University, Toulon University, the CNRS and the IRD.

Our goal is to better understand the oceanic system and its evolution in response to global changes. The MIO constitutes a center of expertise in marine biology, ecology, biodiversity, microbiology, halieutics, physics, chemistry, biogeochemistry and sedimentology. Our working environment is the world ocean, alongside its continental, atmospheric and sediment interfaces.

Key figures :

  • A staff of 250 people, including around a hundred university professors and associate professors and researchers (CNRS, IRD), around fifty engineers and technicians, more than seventy PhD students and post-docs, and an administrative team supporting research.
  • Five sites: the Luminy campus of Aix-Marseille University, the Endoume Marine Station, the University of Toulon, the IFREMER Marine Institute in La Seyne-sur-Mer and the New Caledonian IRD center in Nouméa.
  • Six research teams.
  • Four challenges, five technical shared services, five transverse technical platforms and three technical platforms (CEM Team).
  • A marine environment-observation unit within the OSU-Pytheas is endowed with the use of the inshore oceanographic research vessel Antédon II.

MIO scientists pursue their research in the following fields:

  • Oceanic and atmospheric circulation
  • Marine ecosystems, from bacteria to fish
  • Biological functioning in extreme environments and ocean pollution

This research involves oceanographic campaigns with the deployment of underwater instruments that are equipped with sensors such as buoys, towed instruments and AUV gliders, and coastal radar; satellite-image analysis; and analytical and experimental laboratory work. Numerical analyses and modeling are an important component of this research.

These research themes are part of national research axes such as MERMEX/MISTRALS, HYMEX/MISTRALS, LEFE/CNRS, EC2CO/CNRS and International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) within the IMBER, SOLAS and LOICZ projects and, thus, involve interventions in all the world’s oceans.

The Luminy and Toulon campuses - An exceptional setting

Exterior view of the buildings - OCEANOMED Marseille Luminy
Towards the forecourt of the Mediterranean building - OCEANOMED Marseille Luminy
Exterior view of the buildings - OCEANOMED Marseille Luminy
Building R - La Garde-Toulon Campus
Building X - La Garde-Toulon Campus