CretaCosmos, the mesocosm facility of the Oceanography Institute of HCMR in Crete ( is an infrastructure of global importance, being surrounded by an extreme oligotrophic marine environment and complemented by a variety of laboratories of 3 HCMR Research Institutes, housed in the same area of Thalassocosmos. The geographic position of Crete makes HCMR the ideal place for experimental hypothesis-testing at the lower end of the productivity gradient. Running mesocosm experiments at CretaCosmos is not only feasible and easy but also pleasant due to a variety of accommodation services (smaller and larger hotels and plenty of restaurants) offered in walking distance during an extended touristic period at the world-known mild climate conditions of Crete.

The infrastructure allows for large-scale experiments involving: a) global environmental problems, b) issues regarding the functioning of the marine ecosystem under disturbance and/or pollution, c) trophic relationships that support food webs and supply marine biological resources, d) experimental investigation of changes in goods and services of the marine environment under the pressure of significant changes in physico-chemical and biological characteristics of the marine ecosystem.