Research

Providing an evidence base to underpin the sustainable use of Australia’s marine ecosystems.

Australia’s marine territory is the third largest on Earth.

By 2025, marine industries will contribute some $100 billion a year to the economy, with oceans and coasts providing a further $25 billion worth of often unrecognised ecosystem services such as carbon dioxide absorption, nutrient cycling and coastal protection.

The National Marine Science Plan 2015─2025 identifies major challenges related to sustainable ocean use into the future. These include maintaining national security, safety, energy and food supplies, protecting biodiversity and ecosystem health, ensuring sustainable coastal development, adapting to climate variability and change, and prioritising resource allocation.

AIMS provides research and knowledge to help meet these challenges, so that governments, industry can make informed decisions about marine management. To this end we collaborate, consult and provide and exchange data and knowledge with Australian and international researchers, stakeholders, Traditional Owners and the wider community.

Through constant innovation, we’re finding ways to capture, manage, analyse and share vast amounts of information to better understand how natural and human pressures affect coastal and ocean ecosystems. Our cross-disciplinary teams and cutting-edge infrastructure support wide-ranging experimental programs, integrated observing systems and long-term monitoring, and systems for environmental risk assessment and decision-making support.

The primary focus of our research is to support a resilient Great Barrier Reef, sustainable coastal ecosystems and industries across northern Australia, including environmentally sustainable offshore oil and gas development on Australia’s North-West Shelf.

 

Enhancing science quality

AIMS’ is committed to research of the highest quality and integrity and it is why we routinely rank in the top three marine science organisations in the world.

At AIMS we apply an internal, multi-layered process of quality assurance in addition to the peer review publication and acceptance process:

  • Rigorous design of experimentation and field sampling, and our data analysis and interpretation
  • Documented standard procedures for key activities across the spectrum of our activities
  • Requiring our scientists to follow the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and comply with our own internal research code of conduct policies in order to ensure our objectivity.
  • An organisational credo of continuous improvement
  • Subjecting all reports and papers to rigorous internal peer and supervisor review
  • Ensuring that our people are experts in their fields, and have career progression pathways that stress academic rigour, impact, and scientific quality.
  • Access to the very best marine science infrastructure available anywhere on the planet.
  • The careful curation of long-term data sets and sample archives (some collected over decades) allow us to revisit and review our science outputs, and to build our understanding of complex ecosystems as our knowledge base expands.
  • Five-yearly complete organisational science reviews by an independent panel of international experts.