UWA Oceans Institute

About the Institute

The UWA Oceans Institute is a multidisciplinary marine research organisation, established in 2010 and based at The University of Western Australia (UWA). Located in Perth, Western Australia, the proximity of the Oceans Institute, adjacent to the Indian Ocean, makes it a hub for world-class collaborative marine research.

The research profile of the Oceans Institute brings together UWA's multidisciplinary research strengths in areas such as oceanography, ecology, engineering, resource management and governance to deliver Ocean Solutions Research that address key ocean challenges. The Oceans Institute is committed to engaging and working together with State and Federal government bodies, a range of industries, businesses and research institutions, and the community at local, national and international levels.

1. Strategy

Australia is a marine nation with more territory in the ocean than on land. Our economy relies on our oceans resources, through fisheries, transport, oil and gas and tourism, and we must ensure the sustainable use of these resources for the future.

The Oceans Institute aims to develop opportunities to offer ocean-based solutions for the conservation and the sustainable use of our marine resources including water, food, energy and bio-resources. A cross - and multi-disciplinary approach enables the Oceans Institute to integrate and focus on evidence-based solutions that will benefit society. These are broadly captured under the following programs: ‘Safeguarding our Resources’, ‘Influencing Governance and Policy’, ‘Building Resilience’ and ‘Exploring and Discovery’.

Strategic objectives

The following priorities drive the Oceans Institute’s operational activities and long-term focus:

  • Foster and promote interdisciplinary marine-related research across traditional science, engineering, social and policy boundaries.
  • Provide excellence and leadership in ocean science and technology, locally and globally.
  • Provide a focal point for quality training of post-graduate students in ocean research.
  • Address the needs of Australian society, government and industry for safely operating in the marine environment.
  • Promote innovative collaborative opportunities in marine research and technology in Western Australia.
  • Articulate an evidence-based, intelligent and innovative use of marine resources to create opportunities for human and economic development.
  • Generate the knowledge needed to reconcile the sustainable use of ocean resources with the conservation of its biodiversity.
  • ECM faculty website

2. Leadership and Governance

The research focus and strategic direction of the Oceans Institute is overseen by both an external Advisory Board and an Executive Board to enhance the impact and sustainability of the Institute’s research activities.

Advisory Board

The UWA Oceans Institute Advisory Board comprises senior representatives from a range of major research institutions and the state government. The Advisory Board provides independent, high level advice on industry and policy needs and trends in the Indian Ocean region to guide strategic planning for the Oceans Institute.


Dr Ian Poiner
Chair, Austrlian Institute of Marine Science Associate
Prof Lyn Beazley
Previous Chief Scientist of Western Australia, Sir Walter Murdoch Distinguished Professor at Murdoch University and a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies at UWA
Dr Larry Madin
Executive Vice President and Director of Research, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA
Ms Andrea Gleason
Director, WA Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Perth, Australia
Dr Tom Hatton
Principal, Thomas Hatton Environmental Consulting and Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency, Perth, Australia
Prof Peter Davies
Interim Director, UWA Oceans Institute
Prof Shaun P. Collin
Deputy Director, UWA Oceans Institute
Ms Tracy Parker
Executive Officer, UWA Oceans Institute

Executive Board

The UWA Oceans Institute Executive Board is chaired by UWA?s Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, and brings together members from collaborating faculties to develop the strategic priorities and objectives for the successful operation of the Institute.


Prof Robyn Owens
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research (Chair)
Prof Peter Davies
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research
Prof Shaun Collin
UWA Oceans Institute Deputy Director    
Prof Tony O’Donnell
Dean, Faculty of Science
Prof John Dell
Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics
Prof Erika Techera
Dean, Faculty of Law
Ms Tracy Parker
UWA Oceans Institute General Manager
Mr Daniel Van Hees, Ms Gundula Winter
PhD Student Representatives

Leadership Team

The Oceans Institute has established a core Leadership Team with the primary function of implementing the Institute?s operational strategy. The team meets fortnightly to consider actions and activities that support the strategic vision of the Institute.

3. Membership

Membership of the Oceans Institute comprises over 250 academic and student members from across UWA, bringing together a broad portfolio of scientific and other capabilities and enhanced opportunities for collaborative, multidisciplinary research.

Our members include Postgraduate Students undertaking ocean-based research as well as Adjunct appointments, further enriching our marine expertise.