The Ecophysiology of Marine Organisms (EOMAR) group of the ECOAQUA University Institute, leaded by May Gómez Cabrera, was founded in 2008 thanks to the concern of some researchers from various disciplines of Marine Sciences, who looking for answer several questions in the field of Oceanography, allowing a better understanding of marine ecosystems.

It has been incorporating several lines of research into its structure, and currently focuses its work on the ecophysiology of marine organisms, enzyme biochemistry, marine pollution, the risk caused by microplastics to marine fauna, and the field of toxic algae and invasive species.

It is a group especially committed to the conservation of the marine environment and the dissemination of the results obtained, both at national and international congresses and through various actions aimed at society in general.

It is currently growing, adding laboratories, equipment and staff.  For now, the number of official members is 12, linked to various projects: IMPLAMAC, RESPONSE, LICEM, MICROPLEACH, CAPonLitter and EnviroPlaNet.

Its headquarters are located in the Ciencias Básicas building of the Tafira University Campus of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.


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  • May Gómez Cabrera

    Deputy Director of the University Institute ECOAQUA and head of the EOMAR Group and also of the Doctoral School of the ULPGC, this professor is a specialist in Zoology. Her research lines are especially related to Ecology, Physiology and Biochemistry of Zooplankton. She has also studied the transfer of microplastics in the marine food chain.

    Academic position: Professor of the ULPGC

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  • Alicia Herrera Ulibarri

    PhD in Marine Sciences by the ULPGC, her line of research focused on marine pollution by microplastics, and its transfer through food webs and the possible effects on marine organisms, for which she won the first award of the Telefónica Chair of the University of ULPGC. Co-founder of the Latitud Azul Association, she is particularly concerned with dissemination, with the aim of generating a change in environmental conscience.

    Academic position: "Viera y Clavijo" Researcher of Excellence

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  • Rodrigo Almeda García

    PhD Almeda received the extraordinary end of degree award (Marine Biology, ULL) and the extraordinary PhD award (Marine Sciences, UB) and has worked as a contract researcher in the United States and Denmark. He is currently leader of the research line "Plankton ecology and marine pollution" at University Institute ECOAQUA. He has been highlighted by prestigious research programmes at European (Marie Curie) and national (Ramón y Cajal) level. Currently, he focuses on the study of the effects of plastic additives on marine food webs.

    Academic position: “Ramón y Cajal" Researcher of Excellence

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  • Ted Packard

    PhD in Oceanography from the University of Washington, he currently teaches Ecosystem Oceanography in the Master's Degree in Oceanography at the ULPGC. His research interests focus on the Ecology, Physiology and Biochemistry of Plankton. Also in metabolism, respiration, ammonium excretion, and the growth and production of planktonic communities.

    Academic position: University Institute ECOAQUA Researcher

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  • Emilio Soler Onís

    PhD in Marine Sciences from the ULPGC, he is accredited by the IOC-UNESCO as an expert in the identification of potentially harmful algae. His research focuses on the control and monitoring of changes in marine ecosystems in the Macaronesian region, climate change and organisms associated with microplastics, among other lines.

    Academic position: Researcher at the Canary Islands Harmful Algae Observatory (OCHAB), associated with EOMAR.

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  • Ico Martínez Sánchez

    Researcher graduated in Marine Sciences from the ULPGC, and specialises in zooplankton ecology, physiology and biochemistry. Her lines of research concern metabolism, respiration, ammonium excretion and the growth and production of zooplankton communities. She has also carried out several projects on the transfer of microplastics in the marine food web.

    Academic position: Researcher contracted at University Institute ECOAQUA (ICP2)

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  • Marta Sampalo Morales

    Pre-doctoral researcher with a degree in Biotechnology from the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville (UPO), with a Master's degree in Biotechnology from the University of Cadiz (UCA), specialising in the management of bioremediation projects, specifically, complex effluent treatments using microalgae technology. Her line of research focuses on the effects of microplastic additives on marine phytoplankton, in order to achieve a circular and environmentally sustainable system, especially with the oceans.

    Academic position: PhD student of the ULPGC

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  • Alberto Navarro Molina

    Graduated in Veterinary with a master's degree in Animal Health and Food Safety from the ULPGC. He has completed the scholarship of the Inserta Program of the Fundación Universitaria de Las Palmas (FULP) with the position of veterinarian at the Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre de Tafira. He is currently working as a predoctoral researcher,  his main line of research is the impact generated by plastics on marine vertebrate fauna. 

    Academic position: PhD student of the ULPGC

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  • Jessy Le Du-Carrée

    PhD in biology and animal physiology from the University of Western Brittany (UBO), Jessy Le Du is a postdoctoral researcher of the EOMAR group. His current research focuses on the study of the effects of plastic additives on marine organisms, including ecotoxicity tests, the use of "Effect-directed analysis" for the identification of toxic organic compounds in complex mixtures such as plastic leachates and the use of molecular techniques, and enzymatic biomarkers in ecotoxicology. He has recently been chosen as a postdoctoral researcher as part of the "Juan de la Cierva" National Program.

    Academic position: "Juan de la Cierva" Postdoctoral Researcher

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  • Sofía Huelbes Muñoz

    Graduated in Marine Sciences with a Master's degree in Sustainable Management of Fisheries Resources. This researcher was hired through the «Investigo» program, an aid granted to the FCPTC of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria within the framework of the Next Generation EU Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, for the hiring of young job seekers to carry out research and innovation initiatives. 

    Her research project is part of the IMPLAMAC project, within the research line called " Study of microplastics and their influence on trophic chains". 

    Academic position: Hired researcher ICP2

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  • Antonio Paule Manzano

    A graduate in Biochemistry, he has a Master's degree in Reproductive Medicine from the Bernabeu Institute of the University of Alicante (UA) and another in Marine Cultures from the ECOAQUA Institute of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC).

    His research activity is based on marine toxicology, analyzing the impact of chemical compounds leached from microplastic additives on planktonic communities, especially on larvae of marine invertebrates such as sea urchins.

    Academic position: Hired researcher ICP2

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  • Olalla Alonso López

    Graduated in Marine Sciences from the University of Vigo with a Master's degree in Marine Conservation from the University of Oviedo. She has worked as a research support technician in several projects focused on marine pollution. She is currently working on the MICROPLEACH project studying the effect of various plastics on marine organisms.

    Academic position: Technical staff TCP4

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  • Alexandro Autiero

    Graduated in Marine Sciences at the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS, University of Porto), and currently pursuing a Master's degree in Marine Biology at the University of Algarve. His research interests are focused on addressing current and future environmental challenges in the marine environment, showing a strong commitment to marine sustainability and conservation. Funded by an ERASMUS grant, he is developing his Master thesis in the EOMAR group, with the main objective of investigating the effect of several external stressors (temperature or microplastics, among others) on the physiology of suprabenthic organisms.

    Academic position: Master student

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  • Anna Cunill I Sáez

    Graduated in Marine Sciences from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and holds a Master's degree in Oceanography. Currently hired as a project technician by the Fundación Parque Científico Tecnológico in the framework of the national project MICROPLEACH. Her research interest is focused on the ecotoxicology of emerging contaminants leached from plastic and their ecological and biochemical impact on plankton. Funded by an INVESTIGO grant, she develops her studies in the EOMAR group, with the main objective of determining the effect of various plastic additives on the mortality and larval development of different species of marine planktonic organisms.

    Academic position: Technician in TCP4 project

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Four researchers from the ECOAQUA Institute of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC) recently...
This has been confirmed by the researcher Emilio Soler, from the EOMAR group of the ECOAQUA Institute, after carrying...
May Gómez, director of EOMAR, gave a talk last week at the ULPGC on the occasion of the celebration of the...


17/03/2024 22/03/2024

Dates: March 17th 2024 - March 22nd 2024

Place of celebration: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania (Australia)

Organizers: University of Tasmania

Research group: BIOCON, EOMAR

Researchers: BIOCON: Inma Herrera / EOMAR: Rodrigo Almeda, Anna Cunnil, Antonio Paule Manzano


BIOCON: Session 18: Zooplankton production in the Anthropocene - Day: 18 de marzo de 2024.

13:45h: Inma Herrera participates with the paper: "Zooplankton community in the newly lava deltas in the Atlantic Ocean".

EOMAR: Session 2: Ecotoxicidad a través de los lixiviados dell plástico. Día: 21 de marzo de 2024 / Hora: 10:10 y 12:00 h / Intervienen:

10:00h:  Rodrigo Almeda participates with the presentations "Crude oil induces metamorphosis in marine invertebrate planktonic larvae" and "Impact of plastic additive leachates on zooplankton" // Anna Cunil participates with the paper ""Toxicity assessment of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) on marine zooplankton".

11:00h:  Antonio Paule Manzano participates with the paper "Searching for environmentally safer plastic additives using zooplankton as bioindicators"




Time and date: Wednesday, February 14th at 12:30 a.m.

Place of celebration: Faculty of Marine Sciences of the ULPGC, Las Palmas

Organizer: University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Researcher: May Gómez

Research group: EOMAR



Time: Wednesday, November 29th at 19:00 

Place of celebration: Archivo municipal, Avda. vargas, Arrecife

Organizer:  Lanzarote, Biosphere Reserve

Research group: EOMAR

Researcher: Emilio Soler Onís

Presentation: "Lanzarote's Microbiosphere and Climate Change"



The University Institute ECOAQUA is a research centre that belongs to the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, a public institution that offers a wide range of degrees in all the major areas of knowledge, with the aim of providing comprehensive training to those who come to it, in a commitment based on innovation, quality and internationalisation.