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    SIMS achieving excellence in marine research, education and community engagement

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    SIMS, achieving excellence in
    marine research, education and
    community engagement.
  • Banner 3
    SIMS, achieving excellence in
    marine research, education and
    community engagement.

Research themes

  • Urbanisation


    Sydney Harbour is Australia's largest, and most iconic, urbanised estuary. This makes SIMS an ideal place from which to understand, and help manage the pressures of urbanisation on the harbour and coastal ecosystems.

  • Biodiversity


    Sydney Harbour is one of the most biologically diverse harbours in the world. SIMS scientists are using both traditional and modern molecular techniques to expand our knowledge of this immense biodiversity.

  • Climate Change

    Climate Change

    The oceanography of the east coast of Australia is dominated by the East Australian Current. This current is increasing in strength making South-East Australia a global hot spot for climate change. SIMS is ideally placed for studying the causes and impacts of climate change in marine systems.

  • Ocean Resources

    Ocean Resources

    The ocean provides a wealth of resources for our use. SIMS scientists' research on the sustainable use of ocean resources is comparably broad, ranging from studies of the molecular mode of action of potential new pharmaceuticals to enhancing fish and prawn stocks along our coast.

  • Marine Management

    Marine Management

    From exploitation of key fisheries to conservation of endangered species, marine management relies on science to inform policy decisions. SIMS research is playing a critical role in managing our marine environment.

Bulletin board

  • SIMS Masters has broad appeal


    Now in its third year, the SIMS Masters program in Marine Science and Management continues to grow.

    1240060_820674887945928_550548181_nCEO and Director of SIMS, Professor Peter Steinberg was recently interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald and pointed out that "the course is now attracting a significant number of students from Asia, South America, Europe and America…a sign that the course is getting international profile".

    Read the full article Masters article

  • The search for the ocean's super-predator


    Film 29th April, 6pm at Australian Museum


    The Australian Museum, the Australian Marine Science Association and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science are proud to present the first in a series of evening film screenings about all things marine.

    Curated by SIMS marine biologist Adriana Verges and documentary film maker Stephen Oliver, this series will consist of screenings of marine-themed documentaries followed by Q&A sessions. 

    To see the full flyer click here.

    oceans super predator

  • Climate Change Report Released


    Working Group II of the IPCC has today released its summary report.

    This is the second of a trio of reports which together will form the IPCCC's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)

    The summary from Working Group II sets out the impact that global warming and climate change will have over the next century and also addresses possible adaptation strategies.

    "In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans. Evidence of climate-change impacts is strongest and most comprehensive for natural systems."

    SIMS does extensive research on the impacts of climate change on our oceans and coasts. For questions or further information please contact Catherine Maher catherine.maher@sims.org.au.

    Read the full report IPCC_WG2AR5_SPM_Approved.pdf 

  • 17th issue of Marine Matters


     The 17th issue of Marine Matters is now available. It includes:

    - a new look for the IMOS Ocean portal
    - Annual planning meeting roundup
    - IMOS data streams support informed management of the Great Barrier Reef
    - release of the State of the Climate 2014 report
    - the Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network
    - a new Argo animation
    - making the IPCC headlines
    - coral ecosystems recovering relatively quickly to a marine heat wave
    - new era of collaborative marine research in the Great Australian Bight
    - colorful observing  footprints
    - data quality control for CTD profiling data
    - a student profile of Paige Kelly and
    an update from the IMOS OceanCurrent website

  • Autonomous Underwater Vehicle


    Chowder Bay was a buzz with excitement over the arrival of Professor Stefan Williams & Iver - one of the autonomous underwater vehicles built and maintained by the Australian  Centre for Field Robotics at the University of Sydney.

    The vehicle is controlled by an on-board computing platform which is used for sampling sensor information, with a broad range of applications for high-resolution marine survey work.


  • International Women's Day Recognition


    The Australian Academy of Science has announced that Professor Emma Johnston has been awarded the inaugural Nancy Millis medal for Women in Science.

    Professor Johnston is the Director of the SIMS Sydney Harbour Research program, and an Australian Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales.

    Emma will receive the award for her leadership and ground-breaking research in marine ecology.


  • Underwater Google reveals what lies beneath Sydney Harbour


    Divers propelled by underwater scooters have begun filming test footage from the bottom of Sydney Harbour and beyond into the deep waters off Bondi and Manly beaches as part of a joint project with Google Maps and the Catlin Seaview Survey.

    Professor Emma Johnston, from the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, said the underwater survey would provide a scientific baseline to monitor change across the harbour. It also will highlight hotspots for debris and other forms of pollution to galvanise government and public action.

    To read the full article please click here.


  • SIMS Fellow receives award


    Rebecca Neumann, 2011 Thyne Reid SIMS Fellow and postgraduate student from the UNSW received the 'Best student oral presentation' award at the 10th International Temperate Reef Symposium in Perth, WA on Friday last week for her talk entitled "The role of chemical defences of kelp in fighting disease". 

    To receive this kind of recognition at an international conference is a great achievement.

    Congratulations Rebecca.


  • Bald Reef gets Seaweed Transplant


    Marine ecologists in Sydney have successfully restored a once thriving seaweed species, which vanished along a stretch of the city’s coastline in the 1970s and 80s during high levels of sewage outfalls.


    A team of researchers from UNSW, the Sydney Institute of Marine Science and the NSW Department of Primary Industries has transplanted fertile specimens of the missing crayweed (Phyllospora comosa) onto two barren reef sites where it once grew abundantly.

    They took seaweed from Palm Beach and Cronulla and transplanted it to Long Bay and Cape Banks. 

    Read the full Media Release here




  • Wonders of the Water


    Sydney Morning Herald article 23 December

    Come delve into the waters of Sydney Harbour and learn a little of what our marine scientists are up to . "A lot of the research projects might seem quite minute and obscure but we need to understand very specific relationships to put the bigger picture together,"  says Dr. Inke Falkner. "We want to future-proof the harbour for future generations."

    Click on the link above to read the full article.

  • IMOS Marine Matters


    Click on the link to read the latest news from IMOS - Marine Matters

    IMOS Newsletter Issue 16

  • SIMS Foundation Newsletter


    Some holiday reading from the SIMS Foundation.

    Enjoy the Christmas edition of the Foundation Newsletter.

    IMG_0594 photo credit Ian Turner


  • IMOS awarded another $25.6M


    The University of Tasmania has been awarded a further $25.6 million under the Commonwealth Government's latest research infrastructure funding schemes, to extend operation of Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) out to June 2015.

    UTAS is the lead institution for IMOS, a national collaboration that deploys ocean-observing equipment throughout Australia's vast ocean territory. All of its data is available for research and teaching in the marine, climate and Antarctic sciences. SIMS  operates the NSW Node of IMOS.

    IMOS Director Mr Tim Moltmann welcomed the funding decision: "This is another vote of confidence for IMOS as an essential element of the national research infrastructure.

  • Death by plastic


    Take a look at this ABC video filmed at SIMS with UNSW oceanographer, Dr Erik can Sebille.


    And while you're there visit www.adrift.org.au to see where your litter is ending up.


  • Chinese Academy of Science @ SIMS


    SIMS was honoured to host a recent delegation from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

    Chinese delegationAssociate Professor Emma Johnston delivered a presentation on the structure of SIMS, and the critical collaborative research being undertaken within the Institute. 

Long Term Projects

Facility Upgrade

In 2009 SIMS received $19.5 M from the Commonwealth Education Investment Fund, further augmented by $1.2 M from The Ian Potter Foundation and the NSW Government Science Leveraging Fund, to enhance its facilities. These infrastructure grants have resulted in a world class marine facility.


SIMS operates the NSW node of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). IMOS is a nation-wide collaborative program which uses the latest advances in technology to observe the oceans. The program has strong links with similar international programs and agencies.

Sydney Harbour Research Program

SIMS is conducting a multidisciplinary research project. The objectives are to identify, preserve and enhance the resilience of those species and habitats in Sydney Harbour that have high ecosystem and conservation value, and to enhance the capacity of relevant government departments to make key management decisions regarding the Harbour.