Isla Magueyes Laboratories


Modern teaching and sophisticated research facilities are available both on campus and at the field station. A department library specializing in marine science publications is located at the main campus. The field station is on 18 acre Magueyes Island within a protected embayment off La Parguera, 22 miles from Mayagüez. In addition to classroom and laboratory facilities, the marine station has indoor and outdoor aquaria and tanks with running sea water and three museums containing reference collections of fish, invertebrates, and algae. Boats include a 51 foot Thompson trawler; a 35 foot diesel Downeast; and a number of small and medium sized open boats. Research facilities for warm water aquaculture include some 8 acres of earthen ponds, plastic pools, and aquaria.

Magueyes Island Marine Laboratories

The Magueyes Island Facilities are located at a field station established in 1954 in support of marine science research and education for the academic programs of the Institute of Marine Sciences, now Department of Marine Sciences of the University f Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. The facility is administered by the DMS and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

"Image of Students"

The principal departmental research laboratories and teaching facilities are located at Magueyes. There, graduate students have access to modern laboratories equipped with state of the art equipment for marine and oceanographic research. The marine station is located within a broad embayment protected by coral reefs and within close proximity to a wide variety of tropical marine habitats: large coral reef complexes, mangrove islets, extensive seagrass beds, rocky and sandy shorelines, a world-famous bioluminescent bay, sand and macroalgal plains, and hypersaline pools. Surrounding waters are generally calm and clear providing excellent opportunities for field research. The insular shelf extends six miles offshore. A sbmerged reef line, marks the edge of the shelf beyond which depths of several thousand meters are quickly encountered.

Specific research laboratories at Magueyes include: 

  • Algal / Marine Botany Lab

  • Chemical Oceanography Laboratory

  • Coral Reef Biology Laboratory

  • Fisheries and Essential Fish Habitat Laboratory

  • Geological Oceanography Laboratory

  • Marine Microbiology Laboratory

  • Marine Physiology

  • Marine Population/Ecology Laboratory

  • Molecular Marine Biology Laboratory

  • Reef Studies and Monitoring Laboratory

  • Remote Sensing Facilities

  • Zooplankton Laboratory

The DMS Magueyes facilities include 5 laboratory buildings with approximately 27,000 square feet. The main building houses administrative offices two general teaching laboratories, one large class room, a small conference room, a student computer center, faculty offices and the research laboratories. Additional laboratories, faculty offices and laboratories and student offices are distributed in the remainder 4 buildings. Several laboratories have a running seawater system and aquaria. A NOAA tide and weather station wave-data recording station operated housed at the site.

The DMS also possesses temporary dormitory and kitchen facilities for visiting research scientists and students. These facilities are available for a modest fee and reservations arrangements should be made through Mrs. Lilivette Valle at lilivette.valle@upr.edu

Access and Communication with Magueyes Laboratories

Access to the island requires previous request and authorization by university authorities. Twenty four hour boat service is provided by the DMS. The island is fully connected to telephone and Internet services, and within minutes of La Parguera Village with numerous hotels, restaurants, pharmacy and grocery stores.

Telephone: 787-899-2048 ext. 223

Marine Capabilities

Research vessels available through the DMS  Marine Operations Section include; 


"Image of R/V Sultana Bruno & Stillman 42"

  • Small crafts from 14- to 29 feet for near shore work

"Image of Small crafts from 14- to 29 feet for near shore work"

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