MOI Units

Biological Oceanography Unit

Vision: Set-up of a full-fledged and fully equipped unit for marine biological research

Mission: To undertake biological research and development for the sustainable management of resources in support of the ocean economy of the Republic of Mauritius

Functions & Responsibilities:

1. To undertake research geared towards:

2. Exploration and sustainable exploitation and management of our marine living resources.

3. Understanding marine organisms’ functions and their interactions between and within complex ecosystems.

4. Understanding climate change impacts on the local environment for development of mitigation and adaptation strategies.

The Biological Oceanography unit, housed in Block C, comprises three laboratories: (i) Molecular Biology, (ii) Marine Biotechnology (iii) Aquaculture (including a coral facility).

The Molecular Biology lab comprises facilities for specimen preparation, DNA extraction and amplification, and photomicrography. The lab is currently involved in the assessment of marine living resources in Mauritius waters using DNA-based techniques and it also provides services to the Seafood industry.  It can also undertake research on genetic connectivity and diversity of marine populations, including aquacultured species.  When fully equipped, research will use advanced molecular techniques to study population genetics, coral/zooxanthellae genetics and microbial ecology.


Marine Biotechnology Unit

Vision: Contribution towards addressing key societal challenges and supporting the development of an ocean economy.

Mission: To conduct and promote research in marine biotechnology through sustainable use of marine resources for societal and environmental benefits.

Functions & Responsibilities:

1. To conduct marine-related fundamental and applied research.

2. To generate knowledge that will further the development of marine biotechnology sector.

3. To identify opportunities for collaborative projects locally and internationally.

4. To disseminate the results and findings through technical reports, scientific publications and public awareness initiatives.

5. To promote continuous intellectual capacity building in the field of marine biotechnology and oceanography.

The Marine Biotechnology unit conducts research on marine organisms of economic importance. The basic laboratory facility has been set up to undertake research related to Aquaculture, Food and Feed, Pharmaceutical and Environment sectors.  Further, it is providing its technical support on biosecurityaspect with respect to marine invasive species.  The Aquaculture unit comprises an aquaculture lab and a coral facility. The aquaculture lab is being set up to conduct research on the early life stages of marine organisms, covering areas such as feed, water quality, genetics, health and production records. The coral facility is being equipped with indoor aquaria for conducting various experiments on corals, including the use of sexually propagated corals for transplantation.


Chemical Oceanography Unit

Vision: To become a comprehensive department and a national leader in the utilization of fundamental and applied marine chemistry research for the sustainable development of the ocean economy.

Mission: To enhance knowledge of the marine environment by providing undisputed baseline data related to the field of chemical oceanography, consequently contributing to the social and economic development of Mauritius.

 Functions & Responsibilities:

1. To undertake research in the context of chemical oceanography focusing on interests and priorities of Mauritius.

2. To process data and disseminate information relating to chemical oceanography.

3. To provide long term patterns in trends and changes of ocean chemistry.

4. To understand and monitor the biogeochemical processes which govern the functioning of the marine environment and ecosystems, including the coastal zone and the ocean-atmosphere interaction.

Block B includes the Chemical Oceanography as well as the Marine Geosciences units.  The Chemical Oceanography unit is divided into the natural product- and the analytical chemistry labs.  The natural product chemistry lab undertakes screening of marine sponge extracts for their biological activities (e.g. anti-cancer and anti-Alzheimer) and subsequent isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds. Besides seawater analyses for nutrients and pollutants, the analytical chemistry lab also undertakes analyses with regards to the identification of submarine groundwater discharge for the determination of the flux of freshwater released in the lagoon.


Marine Geosciences Unit

Vision: The geological processes, from coast to deep ocean, understood through intelligent observation, sound data and open sharing of information for the benefit of society and the environment.

Mission: We combine advanced science with state-of-the-art technology through international and strategic partnerships to achieve lasting results in Earth sciences research, dissemination of knowledge locally and internationally, and to support the Republic of Mauritius in the long-term development of the ocean economy.

Functions & Responsibilities:

1. To seek scientific knowledge of the Earth from coast to deep ocean

2. To develop high quality research in Earth sciences

3. To foster scientific collaborations in marine geosciences

4. To communicate scientific understandings of the Earth geological processes

To support the Government of Mauritius in the sustainable development of the Ocean Economy through sound scientific knowledge, data and understanding of the Earth sciences

The Marine Geosciences unit conducts research on the structure and tectonics of the ocean basins and the mid-ocean ridge processes.  Its main areas of interests include the structure and evolution of the Western Indian Ocean, the structure of the oceanic crust and upper mantle beneath the volcanic islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues, and the Mascarene Plateau, the Central Indian Ridge and its associated hydrothermal sites, as well as associated seismic activities.


Physical Oceanography Unit

Vision: Physical oceanography shaping the daily livelihood

Mission: To undertake physical oceanographic research and development for sustainable ocean development in waters of the Republic of Mauritius

Functions & Responsibilities:

1. Gear towards an operational physical oceanographic and remote sensing with GIS

2. Develop an oceanographic database

3. Ocean hazard management forecasting

4. Ocean data management

5. Develop ocean services for the government and public

6. Advise on ocean hazard mitigation and adaptation

The Physical Oceanography unit in Block A has been assigned a GIS room with the aim to facilitate activities relating to the measurement of physical parameters, their analysis and the setting up of appropriate charts.