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    SIMS, achieving excellence in
    marine research, education and
    community engagement.
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    World Harbour Project
    building resilient urban ports and harbours
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    SIMS at work

Research themes

  • Urbanisation

    Urbanisation

    Sydney Harbour is Australia's largest, and most iconic, urbanised estuary. This makes SIMS an ideal place from which to understand, and help manage the pressures of urbanisation on the harbour and coastal ecosystems.

  • Biodiversity

    Biodiversity

    Sydney Harbour is one of the most biologically diverse harbours in the world. SIMS scientists are using both traditional and modern molecular techniques to expand our knowledge of this immense biodiversity.

  • Climate Change

    Climate Change

    The oceanography of the east coast of Australia is dominated by the East Australian Current. This current is increasing in strength making South-East Australia a global hot spot for climate change. SIMS is ideally placed for studying the causes and impacts of climate change in marine systems.

  • Ocean Resources

    Ocean Resources

    The ocean provides a wealth of resources for our use. SIMS scientists' research on the sustainable use of ocean resources is comparably broad, ranging from studies of the molecular mode of action of potential new pharmaceuticals to enhancing fish and prawn stocks along our coast.

  • Marine Management

    Marine Management

    From exploitation of key fisheries to conservation of endangered species, marine management relies on science to inform policy decisions. SIMS research is playing a critical role in managing our marine environment.

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  • Unilever says it will ban face scrub product polluting harbour in two months

    Details:

    A global consumer company says in two months it will start phasing out a facial scrub ingredient polluting Sydney Harbour.

    The push back against tiny microscopic plastic beads used in scrubs and exfoliants, along with other plastic fragments is to be stepped up, with scientists about to start examining if they are accumulating in fish regularly consumed by humans.

    Consumers can also vote as they shop by downloading a phone app to scan barcodes on scrubs and exfoliating creams to check whether they contain the harmful polyethylene microbeads.

    The plastics, smaller than half a millimetre, have been found in sediment in the harbour and can be ingested by worms which are in turn consumed by fish. At Middle Harbour scientists found 60-100 particles of plastic micro debris in 100 ml of sediment – among the highest levels recorded in the world.

    Read more here.

  • Launch World Harbour Project

    Details:

    The SIMS led, World Harbour Project was officially launched by the Hon. Rob Stokes, Minister for the Environment and Heritage at the IUCN World Parks Congress on 17th November.

    Minister Stokes 1.jpg

    SIMS CEO, Peter Steinberg described the aims of the project to the large audience.  While international partners Dr Ricardo Coutinho from Rio De Janeiro and Prof. He Qing from Shanghai conveyed the critical importance of this global research project. SIMS would like to thank all supporters who attended the launch. We look forward to your involvement along the path of the project's development.

     

     

     

  • Birthing Unit at SIMS

    Details:

    The term "water birth" took on a whole new meaning at SIMS last week when three proud dads gave birth to 337 baby seahorses in the research aquarium.

    UTS Honours student, Scott McCormack who is studying the White Seahorse as part of a research project into the impacts of climate change, discovered his project was the focus of attention last week as SIMS staff flocked to observe the birthing process.

    baby seahorses

  • World Harbour Project

    Details:

    Like Sydney, many of the world’s major cities are situated on the coast or on large estuaries.  These waterways are part of the fundamental fabric of these cities, and the interaction between the cities' residents and the marine and estuarine environment is critical to the functioning of these urban centres. 

    The SIMS led, World Harbour Project will link researchers and managers on a global scale to address the challenges faced by urban marine environments.

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    SIMS was honoured to host representatives from over 14 international partner organisations for the inaugural workshop .  The workshop was a resounding success and really set the way forward for what will be an incredibly valuable global project.

     

     

  • Major successes for SIMS scientists

    Details:

    Success in ARC Funding 

    SIMS congratulates all our scientists who were successful in the recent round of Australian Research Council Discovery grants and Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards.  Scientists from all four of SIMS founding universities were successful, on projects ranging from the ecogenetics of marine organisms and their responses to climate change, to microbial oceanography, to predicting coastal erosion. Further details of these world class research projects can be found on the Australian Research Council’s website at http://www.arc.gov.au/applicants/fundingoutcomes.htm

     

  • Extract from speech to NSW parliament by Hon. Rob Stokes

    Details:

     To read the extract from speech from NSW parliament by Hon. Rob Stokes please click here

     

  • Angela Catterns interviews Professor Emma Johnston

    Details:

    In case you missed this interview last week, take a listen now.

    2UE Dr Emma Johnson Interview on Afternoons

     

    JohnstonEmma_director_ProfileShot

  • Great reading in September newsletter

    Details:

    Take a look at what's happening at SIMS in the latest Foundation Newsletter.

    It's a great way to stay in touch with your Institute.

    SIMS Foundation Newsletter September 2014

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  • Official launch of the Sydney Harbour Technical report

    Details:

    Professor Peter Steinberg, CEO Sydney Institute of Marine Science and Professor Emma Johnston, Director Sydney Harbour Research Program had the pleasure to receive The Hon Rob Stokes, NSW Minister for the Environment whom, officially launched this morning the Sydney Harbour Systematic Review of Science Technical Report 2014.

    Written by a team of 15 authors from the Sydney Institute of Marine Science, state government agencies and the Australian Museum, this report collates the currently available information within the world’s peer-reviewed, scientific literature.The report represents a valuable guide to the current state of knowledge of the harbour, and a succinct tool for stakeholders, policymakers, and the general public.

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  • Sydney Harbour a Systematic Review of Science 2014

    Details:

    The Sydney Institute of Marine Science has pleasure in presenting the inaugural Sydney Harbour Research Program Technical Report,  Sydney Harbour: A Systemic Review of the Science.  This report collates the currently available information within the world’s peer-reviewed, scientific literature, to provide a valuable guide to the current state of knowledge of the harbour. Please click to download the report.Sydney Harbour Research Program Report

    SHRP cover

     

     

  • Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome study will use vaccine to trigger imunity in diseased oysters

    Details:

    In the latest attempt to manage POMS, researchers from Sydney's Institute of Marine Science plan to inject a vaccine into the abductor muscle of the Clyde River Pacific Oysters.

    POMS is a disease which has caused major problems on oyster beds on the central coast of NSW.

    So far, the Clyde River Pacific Oyster has not been affected by the disease.

    To read more click here.

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  • Harbour Shark alarm: Acoustic network monitors our migrating marine life

    Details:

    Macquarie University's & Sydney Institute of Marine Science Professor Robert Harcourt is writing for the Daily Telegraph as a scientist in Residence under an Australian Science Media Program.

    In this article he talks about The Sydney Gates as part of a network of acoustic data loggers being a constituent of the  integrated marine observing system and, how scientists are tagging animals to find out where they go, what they do and who with.

    To read the article please click here.

     

  • Beautiful but a threat - Tropical Fish destroy Kelp

    Details:

    The migration of tropical fish as a result of ocean warming poses a serious threat to the temperate areas they invade, because they overgraze on kelp forests and seagrass meadows, a new study concludes.

    The harmful impact of tropical fish is most evident in southern Japanese waters and the eastern Mediterranean, where there have been dramatic declines in kelps.

    There is also emerging evidence in Australia and the US that the spread of tropical fish towards the poles is causing damage in the areas they enter.

    “The tropicalisation of temperate marine areas is a new phenomenon of global significance that has arisen because of climate change,” says study lead author, Dr Adriana Verges, of SIMS and the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences.

    Read the full detail at

    https://www.science.unsw.edu.au/news/study-beautiful-threat-tropical-fish-destroy-kelp

  • SIMS reaches out with video classes

    Details:

    SIMS is excited to have delivered its first video conference lesson for regional schools through facilities provided by the Australian Museum, and thanks to the fantastic presentation delivered by Dr. Erik van Sebille an oceanographer at UNSW.

    Erik taught the children of Westlawn Public School Grafton about ocean currents through his account of the true story of 28,800 rubber ducks lost at sea.  The students were very engaged, exploring the issues of plastics in our oceans. 

    Take a look yourself at Erik's website http://www.adrift.org.au/#what

    Erik van Sebille

  • Take a look at SIMS

    Details:

    Take a look at our new SIMS Video here

     

     

Long Term Projects

World Harbour Project

Initiated by SIMS, the aim of the World Harbour Project is to link, facilitate and enhance programs of research and management across major urban harbours and ports of the world. Project Partners : Abu Dhabi, Australia, Brazil, Greece, Grenada, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Qingdao, Shanghai, Singapore, Spain, USA

IMOS

SIMS operates the NSW node of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). IMOS is a nation-wide collaborative program which uses the latest advances in technology to observe the oceans. The program has strong links with similar international programs and agencies.

Sydney Harbour Research Program

SIMS is conducting a multidisciplinary research project. The objectives are to identify, preserve and enhance the resilience of those species and habitats in Sydney Harbour that have high ecosystem and conservation value, and to enhance the capacity of relevant government departments to make key management decisions regarding the Harbour.