Information for researchers

TZS offers access to coastal ecosystems, several research vessels, sampling equipment, diving facilities, aquarium rooms, laboratories and long-term databases. There is helpful staff on site all year round to welcome and assist visiting scientists. The use of facilities has to be reserved in advance and is liable to charge. 

Those who wish to carry out research at TZS are requested to fill in the Application form well in advance. For the busy summer season, the deadline for applications is the end of March. When planning a larger research project one should always contact the station personnel to confirm availability of resources.

To improve our services and promote the openness of science, the University of Helsinki Research Stations start to collect information on the research conducted and data gathered at the station or associated eLTER area (WelFIN, Western Gulf of Finland) in 2022. Please follow this link. Filling in the form takes about 10 minutes. If you have any questions concerning the form, please contact Tanja Lindholm

Please see Staying at TZS for details on accommodation, dining, payments, sauna, laundry etc.

TZS has several boats / vessels for coastal research, including the 18.5 m R/V Augusta equipped for heavy-duty sampling and the hover craft Saga for winter studies. The boats are presented here.

All small boats have to be booked beforehand either through the online booking system or through the TZS office. All larger vessels (R/V Augusta, R/V J.A. Palmén and hover craft R/V Saga) are booked through Göran Lundberg (senior technician, fleet manager) or Jostein Solbakken (research technician).

Rowing boats can be used without charge by those working at TZS. They must, however, be booked beforehand either through the online booking system (if you have a boat permit) or through the TZS office.

Motor boats require a boat permit and a fee is charged for their use. To get the permit, one must have sufficient technical skills and an understanding of one’s responsibilities as a captain of the boat. Also knowledge of the local waterways and conditions that may occur at sea is required. An introduction to the boats by TZS technical staff is required before you can obtain a boating permit. If you need a permit, please contact the technical staff well in advance to book time for boat training. 

Smaller boats can be booked via the online booking system. You need to register for the online booking system and an admin will then grant you access to book the types of boats that you have a permit for (it might take a day to get access, so please register in advance). You need to assign a “captain” for the boat (legal requirement) at least 48 hours before departure, otherwise the booking is cancelled automatically. Cancellations should be done as soon as they become evident, so that the boats can be used by others instead and so that you will not be charged for unnecessary reservations. Contact the TZS research technicians for assistance with the bookings. Note that registration and booking functions in the online booking system are not available before you have a signed boat permit. You are only allowed to book boats you have a permit for. If you cannot see the boats in the booking system, you either do not have a permit to use them or they are docked. If you have a permit, please contact the technical staff and they will open the booking for you. In case you forgot your password, please contact the technical staff and they will reset your password for you.

Please note that the driver is legally responsible for the boat and the safety of the passengers. Always follow the rules for users of motorboats which are found here.

If you are planning to dive at TZS, please contact our diving safety officer to discuss your diving plans. Please note that a diving permit is needed for diving at TZS. As of 2022, everybody must seek a new dive permit. Terms and safety instructions have been described in the permit form. A diver should also have a filled-in health report form or valid medical certificate and diver’s insurance. Diving services at TZS include e.g. sampling, deployment of research equipment, checking of experimental set-up, and scientific diving training. These diving services are liable to charge. Some dive equipment can be borrowed for research and course work, and there is a compressor for filling tanks to 200 and 300 bar. 

Read more about scientific diving training organised at TZS by the Finnish Scientific Diving Academy.

The area around TZS area is protected as a nature conservation area, which includes the sea and the seafloor, and where only activities related to research and education are allowed. A special permit is required for sampling in the area. Throughout the year it is not allowed to move in the area outside the official waterways or to go ashore any islands. Fishing is not allowed. Avoid moving outside official tracks. Visits to islands are allowed only under supervision of course teachers and if you must visit breeding islands during the bird-breeding season, you must always consult one of the research coordinators first. 

Avoid unnecessary visits to areas belonging to neighbors of TZS. There are several nature reserves in the vicinity of TZS (e.g. Ekenäs archipelago national park, Henriksberg nature reserve, Sandö bog) where moving and sampling is restricted. If you are planning to work on private land or water, you have to have a permission from the landowner. More information is available from Joanna Norkko.

Please see the map of the nature reserve.


Use of all experimental facilities is requested in the application form and should be discussed beforehand with TZS research coordinator Laura Kauppi.

TZS has several temperature-regulated rooms for small-scale experiments, as well as three bigger aquarium rooms for larger scale mesocosm experiments. The indoor mesocosm facility in the downstairs aquarium room includes 12 HDPE mesocosm tanks of ca. 700 l each with flow-through seawater. Lights can be installed above the mesocosms and they can be equipped with oxygen, temperature and salinity loggers for continuous monitoring of these parameters. Please consult Laura Kauppi for bookings and enquiries of the experimental facilities. 

There are also outdoor experimental facilities (‘greenhouses’) for summer-time experimental studies equipped with flow-through seawater. In addition to these experimental facilities, the station is well equipped for conducting large-scale field experiments. 

Seawater is supplied to the aquarium facilities via two joint pipes, with openings at 7 and 10 m depth outside the station. The water is not filtered, but runs through three sedimentation steps and is supplied to the aquaria from a large tank on the roof of the main building. Water temperature will fluctuate following the in situ conditions. There is a possibility to use pre-heated or cooled seawater. 

Reserve time for preparing your set-up to ensure a smooth experiment. The costs of construction or installation work needed for experiments have to be agreed in advance. After the experiments all experimental facilities have to be cleaned and emptied so that they are ready for the next users.  

No formaldehyde or other toxic substances are allowed in the experimental facilities. If harmful substances will be used in the experiments, their collection has to be organized before starting the experiment. Disposal of sand and soil waste originating from experiments has to be agreed with the TZS research technicians.

Please note that a special permit might be needed for experiments with vertebrates (including fish). This permit has to be applied for from the national animal experiment board well in advance before starting the experiments. More information is available from Joanna Norkko.

Field equipment should be booked well in advance through TZS research technicians or coordinator. Booking of the equipment through online booking system is no longer available. Do not take any equipment without booking it.

A list of available equipment can be found here. After use, all field equipment must be cleaned, rinsed with freshwater, dried and returned to its place. Plankton nets need to be hosed down in the rinsing room and are to be left dry hanging from the ceiling. Please inform the TZS research technicians about broken equipment.

Before deploying any research equipment in the field, please consult the TZS research technicians for best solutions. All equipment must be marked with your name, contact and a TZS sticker. All material in the field has to be removed after the research.

Please note that due to decreased storage capacity the station can no longer store equipment of researchers coming from outside the station. Equipment and gear left at the station after the project is finished will be disposed of annually.

The laboratory facilities include a multi-purpose laboratory and laboratories for nutrient analysis, C/N analysis, spectroscopy, microscopy and vacuum filtration. 

Laboratory chief Jaana Koistinen is in charge of the laboratory facilities and equipment. Jaana is also the occupational health and safety representative at TZS. Please contact Jaana for information regarding the services provided and general use of the laboratories. Working in the laboratories is not allowed without yearly orientation to laboratory practices and safety issues.

Laboratory analyses and services have to be agreed with Jaana and are ordered by filling an order form: 

A description of the laboratory spaces, laboratory analytical equipment and the field sampling equipment is found here. For bookings of microscopes and field equipment, please contact Laura Kauppi, for booking of laboratory space, use of analytical equipment or storage of samples, please contact Jaana Koistinen.

TZS also hosts a duplicate of the FINMARI phytoplankton culture collection, managed by the Marine Research Centre, Finnish Environment Institute, including approx. 100 species strains of Baltic Sea phytoplankton, which can be used in experimental work.

Eating and drinking and children are not allowed in the laboratory spaces. Users are expected to clean up the facilities after use. Contact laboratory staff for proper labelling and storage of hazardous waste.

Bench fees and costs for boat hire, technical assistance, accommodation and dining are charged according to the following price lists: