Marine biodiversity is the result of nearly 4 billion years of evolution, and organism molecular and biochemical innovations. Marine organism biodiversity provides a unique blue print to understand the evolution of the complex tree of life and drivers of species evolution. Several recent research approaches have triggered unexpected advances in the understanding of biological systems, including:
- the development of “model” organisms - such as certain species of fish, invertebrates and algae - that may be used to understand biological phenomena and processes;
- high throughput ‘omics’ technologies - such as genomics, proteomics and metabolomics - which provide a global and integrative view on biological molecules, by enabling the exact and simultaneous study of thousands of genes, proteins and metabolites;
- increased computing power, which has exponentially enlarged our capacity to treat data and simulate models and scenarios.
CCMAR researchers exploit these new approaches to gain insights into the basis for the success of marine organisms and to build a knowledge base to:
- predict the impact of environmental pressure on marine ecosystems;
- provide insight into the functional diversity of emblematic species and ultimately the sustainable exploitation of marine organisms that may be a source of bioactive compounds or novel solutions based on biomimicry;
- identify new biomaterials;
- establish the foundation for the sustainable exploitation of commercially relevant species.