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Search begins for new AIMS CEO

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28 September 2010

After what will be seven extraordinary years at the helm of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) CEO, Dr Ian Poiner, has announced he is stepping down in mid 2011.

Dr Poiner's tenure has seen enormous growth and change, with AIMS positioning itself as a hub for high quality research into the nation's tropical seas. As well as continued growth in Townsville, there has also been a dramatic expansion of AIMS' operations in both Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Dr Poiner has played an outstanding leadership role in Australian marine science, particularly through his involvement with the Oceans Policy Science Advisor Group. He has also had significant international successes including chairing the International Scientific Steering Committee for the Census of Marine Life (a research program assessing and explaining the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine organisms throughout the world's oceans).

As CEO, Dr Poiner, consolidated AIMS's position as a centre of world-class research and advice not only on matters of great scientific importance but also as an organisation the nation could depend on during crises such as this year's Shen Neng I grounding on the Great Barrier Reef.

He has built very strong networks with industry and other science users particularly in the Great Barrier Reef region and North-west Western Australia.

Dr Poiner's legacy has been ensuring AIMS' research activities are world class and consistent with national and emerging needs by ensuring a focus on scientific excellence and building stronger linkages with all levels of government, industry, the scientific and wider communities.

He was also a key driver in AIMS being awarded large infrastructure funding - most notably the $15 million Research Vessel Solander and the $55 million allocation for the AIMS Tropical Marine Research Facilities Project. Over half of this infrastructure allocation will go to the construction of a state of the art aquarium facility in Townsville, that will enable scientists to simulate a vast range of different marine environmental parameters. Aims will also be a partner in the $63m Indian Ocean Marine Research Institute in Perth.

Chair of the AIMS Council, Wayne Osborn, said AIMS is deeply indebted to Dr Poiner and the leadership he has provided during his tenure. As result of Dr Poiner's decision, AIMS has commenced a recruitment campaign to source a suitable candidate for this role.

‘I wish to take this opportunity to thank Dr Poiner for his outstanding effort and dedication to the Institute over the past 6 years and wish him all the best with his new endeavours. Council looks forward to his ongoing leadership of AIMS over his final year at the Institute,' Mr Osborn said. 

David Mead, General Manager, (07) 4753 4212

Wendy Ellery, AIMS media liaison, (07) 4753 4409; 0418 729 265;

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