University of Barcelona (UB),founded in 1450, boasts of a student body of 63,020 and a research staff of 5,312 members. The University of Barcelona (UB) is the largest of the six universities of Barcelona and of the ten in Catalonia. The UB is ranked the first Spanish university, and the twenty third European institution in scientific quality and productivity. Research in the Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences concerns nearly all fields in ecology with groups leading Spanish research in Marine Biology. The main research of UB participants in MERCES project is focused on the ecology and conservation biology of coastal and deep benthic ecosystems, specifically on coralligenous, algal and fish communities and the Marine Protected Areas as a management tool for conservation. The results of the group have been diffused in top peer-reviewed international journals in several scientific-technical reports for local and national administrations.