Staff Researcher


Phone: (34) 93 230 95 00

Ramon Massana

I am a Research Scientist at the ICM-CSIC with a wide experience in marine microbial ecology, with special focus on protist ecology and evolution. I completed my PhD in 1993 at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Then, I did a postdoctoral stay at the University of California, Santa Barbara and returned at the ICM, where I consolidated in 2005. My broad research line is the study of the phylogenetic and functional diversity of marine microbes. This exploration is conducted by applying simultaneously several tools, such as sequencing of environmental rDNA genes, metagenomics, single cell genomics, FISH specific countings and experiments. I am particularly interested in opening the black box of heterotrophic flagellates and exploring the role of these unpigmented protists in marine food webs as bacterial grazers and nutrient remineralizers. It is remarkable how little is known on the dominant members of this assemblage in marine waters, and I focus on a set of uncultured lineages named MAST that are widespread and abundant in surface oceans. I am the Coordinator of the group “Ecology and Genomics of Marine Microorganisms” that integrates about 30 people at the ICM, including senior scientists, postdocs, PhD students and technicians, with the common umbrella of understanding the biodiversity and functioning of marine microbial plankton. This group is the responsible for monitoring at the Blanes Bay Microbial Observatory, NW Mediterranean Coast, which operates continuously since 2001. My more than 30 years of expertise have resulted in the publication of about 150 scientific papers (H index of 61), the invitations to international meetings and the lead of several international and Spanish research projects. During 2016-2020 I have been the Coordinator of the EU Innovative Training Network SINGEK conceived to promote the use of Single Cell Genomics to address critical ecological and evolutionary questions in microbial eukaryotes.


R. Massana, A. Labarre, D. López-Escardó, A. Obiol, F. Bucchini, T. Hackl, M.G. Fischer, K. Vandepoele, D.V. Tikhonenkov, F. Husnik, P.J. Keeling
ISME Journal, 15, 154-167. DOI: 10.1038/s41396-020-00770-4

A. Labarre, A. Obiol, S. Wilken, I. Forn, R. Massana
Limnology and Oceanography, 65, 49-.60. DOI: 10.1002/lno.11379

A. Obiol, C.R. Giner, P.Sánchez, C.M. Duarte, S.G. Acinas, R. Massana
Molecular Ecology Resources, 20, 718-731. DOI: 10.1111/1755-0998.13147

O. Canals, A. Obiol, I. Muhovic, D. Vaqué, R. Massana
Molecular ecology, 29, 2824-2839. DOI: 10.1111/mec.15528

C.R. Giner, V. Balagué, A.K. Krabberød, I. Ferrera, A. Reñé, E. Garcés, J.M. Gasol, R. Logares, R. Massana
Molecular ecology, 28, 923-935. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14929

T.A. Richards, R. Massana, S. Pagliara, N. Hall
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 374, 20190076. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0076

J.F. Mangot, I. Forn, A. Obiol, R. Massana
Environmental Microbiology, 20, 3876-3889. DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.14408

M.C. Pernice, C.R. Giner, R. Logares, J. Perera, S.G. Acinas, C.M. Duarte, J.M. Gasol, R. Massana
ISME Journal, 10, 945-958. DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2015.170

A.M. Cabello, F.M. Cornejo-Castillo, N. Raho, D. Blasco, M. Vidal, S. Audic, C. de Vargas, M. Latasa, S.G. Acinas, R. Massana
ISME Journal, 10, 693-706. DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2015.147

R. Massana, J. del Campo, M.E Sieracki, S. Audic, R. Logares
ISME Journal, 8, 854–866. DOI: 10.1038/ismej.2013.204

R. Massana
Annual Review of Microbiology, 65, 91-110. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-micro-090110-102903


DIVAS - Temporal trends of planktonic viruses in an oligotrophic coastal system (DIVAS)
Principal investigator:
Funding entity: MCIYUStart: 01/06/2020End: 31/05/2023
PROMISE - Protist Metabolome Screening
Principal investigator:
Funding entity: MINECO APCINStart: 01/12/2017End: 30/11/2020


MIXOCARB - The Role of Mixotrophs in the Oceanic Carbon Cycle
Funding entity: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IOFStart: 01/04/2015End: 31/03/2018
DYGEMAST - Dynamics, genomics and functional significance of uncultured marine Stramenopiles
Funding entity: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IEFStart: 01/04/2014End: 31/03/2016
FLAME - Population Ecology of Model Marine Heterotrophic Flagellates
Funding entity: MICINNStart: 01/01/2011End: 31/12/2013
BioMarKs - Biodiversity of Marine Eukaryotes
Funding entity: EU ERANET BiodivERsAStart: 09/12/2008End: 31/12/2013
ESUMAST - Ecological significance of uncultured marine stramenopiles
Funding entity: FP6-2004-MOBILITY-5Start: 01/12/2005End: 30/11/2007


Genome basis for functional differentiation in uncultured lineages of marine bacterivores
Author: A. LabarreSupervisor: R. Massana
Institution: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)Year: 2020
Spatial, temporal and behavioral patterns of marine protists
Author: C. Rodríguez GinerSupervisor: R. Massana, R. Logares
Institution: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)Year: 2017
Marine photosynthetic picoeukaryotes: community structure at different spatial scales
Author: A.M. Cabello PérezSupervisor: M. Latasa, R. Massana
Institution: Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran CanariaYear: 2016
Abundance and diversity of marine microbial eukaryotes
Author: M.C. PerniceSupervisor: R. Massana Molera
Institution: Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran CanariaYear: 2014
Ecology of an uncultured heterotrophic flagellate lineage: MAST-4
Author: R. Rodríguez MartínezSupervisor: R. Massana Molera
Institution: Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran CanariaYear: 2012
Culturing bias in the study of marine heterotrophic flagellates diversity
Author: J. Del Campo García-RamosSupervisor: R. Massana Molera
Institution: Universitat de BarcelonaYear: 2011
Diversidad del picoplancton eucariótico marino mediante métodos moleculares
Author: B. Díez MorenoSupervisor: C. Pedrós-Alió, R. Massana
Institution: Universitat de BarcelonaYear: 2001