An interdisciplinary research laboratory


The M.I.O Oceanography research laboratory forms part 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. M.I.O constitutes a center of expertise in marine biology, ecology, biodiversity, microbiology, halieutics, physics, chemistry, biogeochemistry and sedimentology. Our working environment is the world ocean, along with its continental, atmospheric and sediment interfaces.

Key figures :

  • A staff of 250 people including about a hundred University professors and associate professors as well as researchers (CNRS, IRD), about fifty engineers and technicians, more than seventy PhD students and post-docs, as well as a administrative team supporting research.
  • 5 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.
  • 5 research teams,
  • 4 key themes of cross-disciplinary research, 2 poles, 9 analytical platforms,
  • A marine environment observation unit within the OSU-Pytheas, endowed with the use of the inshore oceanographic research vessel Antédon II

MIO scientists pursue their research in the fields of :

  • oceanic and atmospheric circulation,
  • marine ecosystems, from bacteria through fishes,
  • biological functioning in extreme environments and ocean pollution.

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

These researchers work within the l’IGBP au sein des programmes IMBER, SOLAS and LOICZ projects which are components of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and as such, involve interventions in all of 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