• The Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, under the Faculty of Marine Sciences in Annamalai University is the one and only UGC Advanced Study Centre for Marine Biology in India, for five-decades.
  • This is the one and only Indian Institute, placed among the top 10 in the world for mangrove research.
  • This is the only single Centre in the world, which has produced 600+ Ph.Ds in Marine Sciences.
  • This Centre has done extensive ecological and biological studies in Antarctic southern Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Andamans, the Great Nicobar, Laccadives islands, Gulf of Mannar, Gulf of Kuchchh, Sundarbans, etc.
  • Established in 1957, the Centre has 6 decades of accomplishment in the field of marine biology.
  • This Centre is strategically located with easy access to different marine and terrestrial environments bordering coastal fishing villages.
  • Its research publications are very significant, numbering more than 2,000 in the field of marine sciences, in the journals with high impact factor.
  • The Centre has significantly contributed to technical and managerial manpower numbering more than 5,000 graduates employed in national and international academic institutions in India and abroad.
  • The Centre has been organizing many training programmes / Workshop / Seminars / Symposia / Conferences. For instance, the UNU sponsored “International Training Programme on Mangrove diversity and Ecosystems” is being conducted continuously for the last 15 years; and this has trained globally about 200 foreigners on mangrove management.
  • The Centre has made breakthrough research in breeding the ornamental clown fish in estuarine waters. The centre’s contributions are worth-mentioning in developing data base for marine biodiversity and ecosystems, demonstrating techniques for mangrove restoration and its role in saving human lives during tsunami. The centre is participating in the national research programmes pertaining to marine pollution, algal blooms, drugs from the sea, potential fishing zone, satellite coastal and oceanographic research, ocean biogeochemistry, and ecosystem research.
  • The Centre has adequate infrastructure facilities such as, buildings, research laboratories, library, remote sensing & GIS, auditorium, major analytical equipment, sea-worthy boats, hatchery and grow-out pond facilities, adventurous aquatic sports facilities such as canoes, kayaks, snorkeling and SCUBA diving.
  • The Centre has aptly been recognized as the Centre of Excellence by Govt. of India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences, UGC, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Department of Science & Technology, and Department of Biotechnology.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (Govt. of India) has already established an “Environmental Information System (ENVIS)” Centre in 1992 for collecting scientific information about coastal and marine ecosystems, and the Centre was selected as the Best in the country in 2006.
  • Based on all these merits, the present proposal is drafted for establishing a “Centre of Excellence in Marine Biology” in India with financial support of the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (Govt. of India).

Growth & achievements of the Centre:


in 1957

Marine Biological Station (Annamalai University)


in 1961       

Department of Marine Biology (Annamalai University)


in 1962       

Introduced M.Sc. Marine Biology Programme


in 1963       

Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology (UGC)


in 2010       

Faculty of Marine Sciences (Annamalai University) Recognitions


in 1984-20  

UGC sanctioned Special Assistant Programme (SAP)


in 1987  

UGC sanctioned COSIST (Committee on Strengthening of infrastructure for Science & Technology)


 in 1989         

Silver Jubilee Celebrations


in 1989         

 Introduced M.Sc. Coastal Aquaculture Programme


in 1992     

Started  the  Environmental  Information  System  (ENVIS) Centre,  Ministry  of  Environment  and  Forests  (Govt.  of India)


in 2000        

Initiated an Ocean Science and Technology (OSTC) Cell, Ministry Of Earth Sciences (Govt. of India)


in 2000-11   

Fund    for    Improvement    of    Science    &    Technology Infrastructure in Universities and Higher Educational Institutions (FIST Program), Department of Science & Technology (Govt. of India)


in 2000-14    

MoU    with    United    Nations    University    to    conduct International Training programmes related to conservation of mangroves and biodiversity


in 2002     

Department of Biotechnology (Govt. of India) sponsored the M.Sc. programme on Marine Biotechnology


in 2003  

Introduced M.Sc. Ocean Science & Technology, integrated programme


in 2004         

Centre   for   Excellence   in   Ornamental   Fish   Culture   , Ministry of Earth Sciences (Govt. of India)


in 2005           

Introduced M.Sc. Marine Microbiology and M.Sc. Marine Food Technology Programmes


in 2007           

“Best ENVIS Centre” Award by Ministry of Environment & Forests (Govt. of India)


in 2010     

Centre  of  Excellence  and  Innovation  in  Biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology (Govt. of India)


in 2011           

UGC  Centre  with  Potential  for  Excellence  in  Particular Area (CPEPA) in Marine Biology


in 2011      

Recognized    in    the    programme    on    “Promotion    of University Research and Scientific Excellence” (PURSE), Department of Science & Technology (Govt. of India)


in 2012           

Golden Jubilee celebrations


in 2013-16   

Centre of Excellence for Training and Research in Frontier Area of Science and Technology, Ministry of Human Resource Development (Govt. of India)


in 2013      

First    International    Training    Course    on    Mangrove Ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean Region, Kenya, Dec. 2-9, 2013 in collaboration with United Nations University, Canada.


in 2015            

Celebration of the accomplishment of 550 +Ph.D.


in 2015           

Elevated CAS VI to CAS VII status by UGC under Special assistance Programme.


in 2015           

Started four year undergraduate programme on Fisheries (Bachelor of Fisheries Sciences; B.F.Sc.)



Genesis and growth of organization:

           Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) in Marine Biology is a reputed Marine Institute in India which is actively engaged in teaching, research and extension activities in Marine Sciences. The Centre is located 12 Km away from the main campus of Annamalai University in a rural setting, having ideal location and easy access to different marine environments such as estuary, mudflats, mangroves, backwaters, sandy beach and coastal seawaters, bordering coastal fishing villages.

            This Centre was established during 1957 as a field laboratory for the Department of Zoology, Annamalai University at Parangipettai. It obtained separate department status by the Annamalai University in 1961. This department was recognized for its outstanding research contribution by the University Grants Commission (UGC) as the Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology in October 1963. The main laboratory building of this centre was declared open by the first Chairman of UGC, Dr. C. D. Deshmukh. From the inception through the fledgling Marine Biological Station days till now, this Centre has been the cynosure of the scientific eyes world over. In recognition of the academic accomplishments achieved, the Annamalai University elevated this Centre as a separate FACULTY OF MARINE SCIENCES in the academic year 2010- 2011.

Academic and Research accomplishments of organization:

           The Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology is the global leader in mangrove research. According to a bibliometric study, among the top 10 highly cited papers in the world, two articles are from India, that too from this Centre. In Historiography, the research papers of “K. Kathiresan”, Dean of this Centre has the maximum citation with global citation score. The Centre has contributed significantly to mangrove research and to the standing of India as the third top country in the world, according to the study (Seaweed Res. Utilin. 35: 226-237, 2013).

           The Centre initially offered M.Sc. Programme in Marine Biology & Oceanography and it expanded its academic arena by introducing post-graduate programmes in Coastal Aquaculture, Marine Biotechnology, Marine Microbiology and Marine Food Technology courses and then by introducing a five year integrated post-graduate programme in Ocean Science and Technology, and recently a four year undergraduate programme in fisheries. In addition to these on-campus programmes, the Centre also is offering off-campus programmes: M.Sc. in Marine Biology & Oceanography, M.Sc., Coastal Aquaculture, and Post Graduate Diploma in Aquaculture Technology & Management.

           With the continued and untiring efforts of all the teachers, the Centre has so far successfully completed more than 200 research projects funded by various national and international agencies. The centre could also attract a number of consultancy projects towards Marine Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for Dredging Corporation of India, NLC, Chemplast, ESSAR, L&T, Indomer and other public sectors and private organizations.

The Centre has made research accomplishments as follows:

  • Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology is a pioneer in marine biological research. It has discovered 3 species as the first world record, 11 marine species new to science, and 51 species as the first Indian record. A few new records are (i) a fish that molts its skin, (ii) a fish devoid of pelvic fins, (iii) a diatom species that caused mass mortality of invertebrates and fishes. The Centre has compiled about 4,000 biological species to be present in mangrove ecosystems of India, and this is perhaps the largest compilation of species in the world mangroves.
  • Developed techniques for restoration of mangroves in degraded coast and demonstrated these techniques to work in the field along the south east coast - at Vellar estuary (35 hectares) and in Pondicherry (15 hectares).
  • The mangroves, developed by the Centre, saved more than 1000 human lives during the tsunami of 26th December 2004. In this regard, a scientific paper has been published as the first scientific report in the world to prove the tsunami- mitigating effect of mangrove forest.
  • Established India’s first ‘Broodstock Bank for Marine Ornamental Fishes’ at the Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University with the financial support of National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB), and scaled - up the hatchery production of clown and damsel fishes.
  • Established the Marine Ornamental Fish Hatchery at Agatti Island, Lakshadweep with the financial support of the Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE), Ministry of Earth Sciences. Now, this unit has been upgraded as CMLRE Field station and, is being operated by the Ministry.
  • Developed technologies for the hatchery production of 13 species of Clown, five species of Damsel and one species of each Cardinal and Dottyback fishes using the estuarine water (first of its kind in India and elsewhere). The technologies were commercialized and also extended to different coastal and island communities of our country, through trainings and demonstrations and successful entrepreneurs were also developed throughout the Country.
  • It is a recognized Centre for Marine Biodiversity, Marine Environmental Impact Assessment, and Coastal Ecological studies.
  • Technologies developed by the Centre are transferred to coastal communities/ officials through training and extension programmes, in particular about breeding clown fish, seaweed farming, spirulina culture, and mangrove restoration.
  • The Centre has also published many books, Newsletters, bibliography, State-of-the-art reports, special publications besides several monographs, field guides and laboratory manuals.