On just a handful of nights between October and December each year, the AIMS National Sea Simulator becomes a hive of activity as scientists study the coral reef phenomenon, mass spawning on the Great Barrier Reef.

This annual event provides a narrow window of opportunity for recovery on the Reef. This year, AIMS scientists are focused on research towards reef recovery, adaptation and restoration, as well as understanding how human and natural drivers influences the early lives of corals and crown-of-thorns starfish.

Learn more about Reef spawning research in the SeaSim


The National Sea Simulator is a key location during REEF LIVE, a two-part, live broadcast event on ABCTV and iView.

Tune in on Friday, December 4 and Sunday December 6 to be part of the excitement and wonder of coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef!

Dr Ann Jones will be behind-the-scenes at the world's most sophisticated marine research aquarium, witnessing coral spawning at the same time as it is occurring on the Great Barrier Reef, meeting the scientists and discovering the cutting edge research happening our HQ, south of Townsville, QLD.

Learn more about REEF LIVE

Watch the trailer

Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program

The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) is the world's largest collaborative effort to help the Great Barrier Reef survive climate change. The best minds from several research organisations are working together to develop a toolkit of effective, at-scale Reef interventions that are feasible, safe, acceptable and affordable. These could be implemented if, when and where it is decided action is needed.

The time to work on these interventions is now. The National Sea Simulator plays a critical role for much of the research within the RRAP R&D phase, and will be expanding over the coming years.

AIMS is the managing entity for the RRAP, which is funded by the Partnership between the Australian Government's Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Learn more about the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program


Meet the spawning team

AIMS research in coral spawning and the early life history of corals and other tropical invertebrates has been underway for over two decades. Our world-class team have contributed significantly to the fundamental understanding of coral reproduction and adaptation, and their efforts are now geared to research on how we can help the Great Barrier Reef into a warming future.

Below are some of the lead scientists involved in spawning in the National Sea Simulator in 2020.


National Sea Simulator operation manager

Craig Humphrey

Media contact