Traversing European Coastlines

An expedition to study coastal ecosystems and their response to the environment, from molecules to communities

A scientific voyage to address environmental challenges

With TREC, we embark on a journey through European coastlines to explore the biodiversity and molecular adaptability of microbial communities as well as key selected organisms. We focus on coastal habitats as they are the richest in species biodiversity and they also often present the highest levels of pollution. 

By combining the expertise and infrastructure of EMBL and our multiple European partners, TREC aims to initiate a new era of coastal ecosystems exploration. The goal is timely and ambitious – to observe, model, and understand the effects of changing environments on organisms and communities, at the cellular and molecular levels.

TREC is a flagship project of Planetary Biology, one of the transversal themes launched by EMBL’s new Programme “Molecules to Ecosystems” 2022-2026.

We want to address major issues of human and planetary health:

Measure the amounts and study the effects of organic and inorganic pollutants.

Survey biodiversity loss and monitor the impact of invasive species.

Identify carbon fixation pathways and develop new harnessing strategies.

Measure the impact of global warming and acidification on ecosystems; study molecular adaptations.

Explore symbioses to understand molecular mechanisms of organismal interactions.

Identify new antibiotics, track antimicrobial resistance spread, and design control strategies.


Learn more about the expedition and our activities


Discover the scientific projects driving the expedition

Mobile Service

Find out how TREC and local research projects will be supported through EMBL’s new mobile service


Scientific workshops and courses for the researchers

13 Sep 2023

Exploring Nexus Island

Learn more about the game-based workshop that lets participants experience what it feels like to be a researcher on the TREC expedition.

26 Jun 2023

Connecting scientists, engaging citizens

The TREC expedition stop in Sopot offered an opportunity to create connections with Polish scientists and citizens around the topics of planetary biology and ocean science.