Information regarding COVID-19 and AIMS

AIMS is committed to helping slow the spread of COVID-19 to our people, our community and to those from other organisations with whom we work. In line with regulations from the Australian Government, we are changing the way we operate. The information below is intended to share changes we have made, and will be updated as required.

Our priority is the health, safety and welfare of our staff. We are monitoring what is a constantly changing situation, aligning our comprehensive approach with advice from the Australian Government’s Department of Health and adjusting our procedures as necessary. These measures maintain the health and well-being of our people while keeping important scientific research functioning.

Despite this disruption, AIMS continues to function and deliver the best science for the nation.


Updated 5th June 2020

Working arrangements

AIMS operates out of three major facilities in Townsville, Darwin and Perth. Each of these sites differ in terms of risk profiles and therefore we have applied different approaches to each of them.

In Perth, where we share a building with other users on the University of Western Australia campus, the office is closed from Monday 16th March until further notice. All staff are working from home.

Staff have now returned to AIMS’ office in Darwin, at the Arafura Timor Research Facility, on the Charles Darwin University campus.

Our Townsville site is a standalone location. At present, this site remains open, however the number of people at the site has been reduced significantly to ensure social distancing controls are easier to implement and more effective. The majority of staff are working from home.

Our National Sea Simulator is a key facility at our Townsville site that requires ongoing service and maintenance by technical staff and scientists. This attendance ensures the viability of long term experiments and survival of organisms. At this time, our SeaSim staff have revised working arrangements to ensure increased social distance between people.

Access to Townsville site for visitors

AIMS has placed restrictions on visitors to our Townsville site, including contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers.

  • All visitors must be approved and be hosted by an AIMS staff member.
  • All visitors must complete a Visitor Screening Form prior to their visit.

Alternatives to a visit such as video conferencing or deferring the visit are to be used where possible. Meetings deemed essential are now restricted to 5 people, unless a risk assessment is conducted that addresses COVID-19 risk. Please contact your host at AIMS for further information.

Field work

The AIMS field program provides essential science for Australia, and lies at the core of who we are as an organisation. However, this field work requires close working conditions and is often conducted in remote locations and involves staff working in close proximity to each other.

To ensure the safety of our field staff and scientists through social distancing, we paused our field work, from 26th March 2020. 

As of 24th April 2020, strict social distancing measures put in place by the Australian Government have lowered the rates of infection and rates of transmission in the community considerably. As such, AIMS will recommence limited field work and operations across all our sites. All field work will be assessed on a case-by-case basis before recommencing, with staff safety paramount.

This decision seeks to maintain the health and well-being of our people while keeping important scientific research functioning.

We continue to monitor COVID-19 closely, and can respond quickly as the situation changes.

Public tours

Public tours of our Townsville facility are suspended until further notice.

AIMS attendance at meetings, conferences and symposiums

AIMS staff are operating within the restrictions placed on domestic and international travel. No work-related travel is occurring at this time.

Contacting AIMS

AIMS staff are generally contactable via email or mobile phones.

General enquiries – Townsville only

Tel: +61 7 4753 4444 (Townsville)
Fax: +61 7 4772 5852


Tel: +61 (0) 407 102 684 (Perth)