The Life History Service gathers in a single space all the necessary equipment to analyse different life history parameters -mainly in fish- as well as staff specialised in the different techniques.


The service is carried out in five laboratories:


Histology: Production of histology blocks and tissue slides, stained or not, to cut with the microtome. They are specialised in paraffin sectioning (until 3.5 μM) and routine staining with haematoxylin-eosin of fish gonads. Embedding and cut in resin and other stains are also offered on request. The laboratory of histology has a Leica TP 1020 processor, a Leica EG 1160 embedder, a Leica RM 2155 microtome, a Leica XL Autostainer, two Memmert stoves, fume hoods, two chemical storage cabinets and chemical warehouse for formaline-fixed samples storage.





Bioenergetics: Quantification of the energy (in calories or kilojoules) in different kind of tissues of marine organisms by calorimetry. Estimate of fish egg quality, by calorimetry or dry weight. The laboratory of bioenergetics is equipped with a 6300 Parr calorimeter bomb connected to PC for data download, two Memmert stoves and a Selecta stove. 




Reproductive parameters: Estimation of reproductive parameters of fish. It is specialised in microscopic sex determination, maturation, sexual cycle, reproductive strategy, and determination of fecundity (both by the stereological and gravimetrical method). The laboratory is equipped with a microscope Leica Z6 APOA with Leica DFC490 digital camera, an optical microscope Leica DMRE with motorised stage and Leica DFC320 digital camera, a Leica DM 5500B fluorescence microscope with motorised stage and Leica DFC310FX digital camera.






Sclerochronology: Determination of the annual age in fish otoliths roasted, burnt or natural, both in sections and in the whole structure. The laboratory of sclerochronology is equipped with two Leica MZ6 stereo microscopes with digital cameras Leica DFC290HD and Leica IC80HD, and a stereomicroscope Leica EZ4 HD. 





Image analysis: Measurement, quantification and analysis of structures from histological sections of fish gonads, estimation of fecundity by the auto-diametric method. Dendrochronology studies in otoliths of fish. Generation of multifocus images. Generation of microscopic high resolution tiled images. Fluorescence images processing. The service is equipped with Leica Q-Win 3.4, LAS v4.1 software (Modules: Macro Editor, Advanced Analysis, Store and Recall, Multistep, Macro runner, Interactive measurement, Live measurement, Multifocus and Extended annotation), Govocitos 2.1., AnalySIS, COFECHA and ARSTAN.




The Life History Service offers the collection, processing and analysis of samples as well as the facilities so that customers themselves can process their own samples, always in strict compliance with the use regulations of the service.

The method used by this service to set the contractual relationships with its customers is the assay application form. Any specific requirements must be outlined in this application form.

  • The assay application forms will be available for download directly from the website: Assay application form (.doc), or requested by email to
  • The assay application form must be sent, correctly filled, signed and scanned by email to the address:
  • Applications will be answered by strict order of arrival.
  • Once the application is received, the customer will be sent a communication with an estimated response time of the results.

You can request advice in advance on the extraction and preservation of samples as well as on the most appropriate techniques and methods in order to estimate the parameters required in each case.

The Life History service offers special prices for customers that have a contractual relationship with the CSIC. You can consult the list of prices on the following link: Prices 2021.

For further information please contact:




Francisco Saborido Rey


Phone: 986 23 19 30 ext. 860253

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