New research alliance to strengthen Australian tropical marine science

16 November 2020

The University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) have joined forces today to launch an exciting new initiative to develop the world’s best marine science leaders.

The AIMS@UWA Alliance is the next step in a long-standing collaboration between the two leading marine institutions.

UWA Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Tim Colmer said the AIMS@UWA Alliance built on successful past collaborations.

“We’re looking forward to expanding our joint research and opportunities for research student training, to address research needs in our tropical marine areas,” Professor Colmer said.

The Alliance will focus on improving capability in tropical marine science, particularly by providing support for postgraduate students and early career researchers.

AIMS CEO Dr Paul Hardisty said AIMS was delighted to partner with UWA on such an important program.

“The Alliance signals an ongoing and enduring commitment to develop the best marine science talent in the world, focused on issues of relevance and value to Western Australia and the planet’s ocean,” Dr Hardisty said.

AIMS and UWA gather at the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre to celebrate the new AIMS@UWA Alliance.

UWA Oceans Institute Director Associate Professor Julian Partridge said the alliance’s ambition was to have an internationally visible, highly regarded cohort of emergent leaders in tropical marine science working together under the AIMS@UWA banner to address major issues in tropical marine environments.

“Research will emphasise applied science with impact, underpinned by fundamental environmental research,” Associate Professor Partridge said.

The initial cohort of AIMS@UWA researchers includes 12 PhD students and four postdoctoral researchers, all co-supervised by AIMS and UWA academic staff. By offering joint supervision, the Alliance will allow these future leaders greater opportunities to learn, network, and collaborate.

In the coming months, the Alliance anticipates offering new postdoctoral and PhD positions to address topical issues with modern methods, spanning marine molecular biology (including eDNA for marine monitoring), marine plastic mitigation, and machine learning applied to tropical marine data.

The AIMS@UWA Alliance build upon the successful AIMS@JCU collaboration, which facilitates the sharing of research infrastructure in Townsville and provides enhanced opportunities for the training of postgraduate students in tropical marine sciences.