a row of flat transparent bottles with microalgae inside, with yellow lids


Modern lab facilities across Townsville, Darwin and Perth

The Australian Institute of Marine Science provides staff, visiting researchers and commercial clients a range of modern laboratory facilities at each of its three locations in Townsville, Perth and Darwin.

Led by a commitment to research excellence, AIMS delivers advanced technology and infrastructure including specialised analytical facilities, organic/inorganic chemistry and microbiology. Each laboratory meets national and international standards for best practice and hosts a suite of the latest scientific instrumentation and equipment - some available nowhere else in the world.

AIMS’ exceptional research facilities feature:

  • More than 10 specialised laboratories across Australia, with over 100 experienced laboratory scientists and technicians;
  • Secure sample storage, including large walk-in coldrooms and -20° C freezers, in addition to large -80°C freezers; and
  • Large data storage and efficient lab book monitoring and archiving across the laboratories.

Analytical Laboratory

Our analytical laboratory provides assay services for carbon, nitrogen, alkalinity, pigment, and nutrients in seawater and solid samples to internal and external clients. It supports environmental monitoring projects, Seasim monitoring and other projects, processing more than 15,000 water, filter and sediment samples annually. The work of the AT lab involves routine instrumental analysis, with a major focus on quality principles.

Arafura Timor Research Facility (ATRF)

Based in Darwin, this multidisciplinary facility provides access to biochemical, coastal oceanographical, physiological, molecular, and genetic analysis technologies.

Biomolecular Analysis Facility (BAF)

The Biomolecular Analysis Facility allows for the structural determination of interesting biological compounds from marine organisms and study of microplastics in the marine environment.

Chemistry Laboratory

Our Townsville chemistry lab is home to AIMS microplastics research and the study of biologically interesting compounds from marine organisms. 

Chromatography Laboratory

The Chromatography lab allows for the separation and identification of organic compounds from marine systems.

General Purpose Laboratories

Across Townsville, Darwin and Perth, our general laboratories allow for analysis of marine water, sediment, and organisms using microscopic, chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques (HPLC, spectrophotometry, fluorometry, & others).

Laboratories at sea

The RV Solander and RV Cape Ferguson provide laboratory facilities for on board sample preparation and storage.

PC2 Laboratories

AIMS Townsville is home to two PC2 labs for the study of living marine organisms and marine systems using molecular technologies. Including biosecurity Class 5.2 premises. The PC2 laboratories supports the work of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program and provides resources for the study of the role of microbes in marine systems. 

Symbiont Culture Facility

This specialised facility houses the culture collections of marine symbiotic algae for research for both internal and external researchers. The facility houses instruments for the study of ecologically important marine algae such asIPAMs, microscopes, and controlled environment cabinets.

The facility supports AIMS marine research activities including: coral disease and ecology studies, the impact of pesticides on marine life and coral growth rate, the development of temperature tolerant dinoflagellates (assisted evolution), and supports SeaSim research activities and projects.

X-Ray Laboratory

Our X-Ray lab houses the coral densitometer used for the study of coral growth and calcification.