blue and white AIMS vessel with 50th anniversary logo on hull

Celebrating 50 years of AIMS

Science for tomorrow’s oceans

Montage: aerial photo of buildings next to a beach, an old research vessel, caravans with a banner proclaiming the Australian Institute of Marine Science, a diver works underwater with old research equipment, a researcher is in a high tech coral laboratory


In 2022, AIMS celebrates our golden anniversary – 50 years of important scientific research providing unique insights into Australia’s tropical marine estate, and building knowledge to develop innovative solutions to support the sustainable use and protection of these ecosystems.

From Ningaloo in the west, across the Top End to the Great Barrier Reef, AIMS’ researchers understand large-scale, complex and emerging challenges in iconic marine habitats in Australia’s vast and remote tropical waters.

We don’t do this alone. With the help of our partners across science, Traditional custodians and industry, our knowledge is applied where it can have the greatest impact. In return management agencies, marine industries, and coastal communities directly benefit from AIMS’ high quality, objective research.

Our oceans’ future is uncertain. Australia’s tropical marine ecosystems are under stress and coral reefs face threats to their existence. In these challenging times, our science will help ensure Australia’s tropical oceans will continue to provide sustainable wealth and enjoyment for generations to come.


Celebrating 50 years of the Australian Institute of Marine Science


Throughout 2022, we celebrate AIMS’ past successes, reflect on our transformation and growth as an organisation, and look to our future as the nation’s tropical marine science agency as we continue our science for tomorrow’s oceans.

Writing at the Reef Residency

11-17 June 2022

Aerial view of solar panels at the AIMS Cape Cleveland site
Townsville AIMS Headquarters. Image by: Joe Gioffre

Six writers participated in a one week writing residency at our unique location at Cape Cleveland, south of Townsville.

This experience was a collaboration of arts and sciences focusing on the unique asset of the Great Barrier Reef. Sponsored by AIMS and the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies, the residency fostered writing that included traditional owner perspectives, notions of place, the environment, the reef or issues of climate change.

The residency concluded with a panel discussion on storytelling's relationship with science.

Learn more about the residency at the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies website

AIMS 50th Anniversary Trail Run

Sunday 14 August 2022

three people are running along a trail with bush and ocean in the background
Image: Jo Hurford

Slap on your sunscreen and lace up your shoes – because we are opening our gates to a unique trail run experience at our Cape Cleveland headquarters, located 50km south of Townsville

Choose a 3km, 8km or 12.5km adventure, exploring the AIMS site, beach and nearby Bowling Green Bay National Park.

Head to Outer Limits Adventure Fitness website for more information on how to register. Registration is open now and closes Friday 12 August at 12pm.

Ghost Net Project


coral reef scene with fish, coral and turtle made from ghost net
A coral scene within the ‘Aquatic Museum’ piece created by the Ghost Net Collective and Erub Arts. Image by Heidi Luter.

AIMS staff are celebrating our love of the sea, science, creativity and ocean protection by collectively participating in a large art installation based on ghost nets - discarded fishing gear, which float on ocean currents, posing a danger to marine life.

The project is a collaboration between AIMS, the Ghost Net Collective, Erub Arts and the Torres Strait Regional Authority. The ghost nets used in this project were collected on a Cape York beach clean up, and staff across all three AIMS sites have been learning the ropes to stitch and weave the fibres into sponges, corals, fish and other marine life to build an art piece which reflects AIMS science and ocean issues.

The final work was displayed at the AIMS Marine Science Symposium in July, and thereafter displayed in part at AIMS sites in Townsville, Darwin and Perth.