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    SIMS at work
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    World Harbour Project
    linking global urban waterways
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    SIMS, achieving excellence in
    marine research, education and
    community engagement.

Research themes

  • 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


    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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  • Angela Catterns interviews Professor Emma Johnston


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

    2UE Dr Emma Johnson Interview on Afternoons



  • Great reading in September newsletter


    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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  • Sydney Harbour a Systematic Review of Science 2014


    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


    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.


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


    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


    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


  • SIMS reaches out with video classes


    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


    Take a look at our new SIMS Video here



Long Term Projects

Facility Upgrade

In 2009 SIMS received $19.5 M from the Commonwealth Education Investment Fund, further augmented by $1.2 M from The Ian Potter Foundation and the NSW Government Science Leveraging Fund, to enhance its facilities. These infrastructure grants have resulted in a world class marine facility.


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.