UWA Oceans Institute


The UWA Oceans Institute recognises that in many instances more can be accomplished in collaboration with other organisations and people, than can be achieved alone.

We collaborate at all scales – from local to global – and with individuals, communities and groups, peak bodies, other higher education and research institutions, governments and global organisations.

The Institute works with a growing list of partners including industry, government and non-government organizations and national, regional and international research institutions. All are committed to helping progress and advance our understanding of the oceans through solutions-based research.

Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC)

The UWA Oceans Institute is a key player in the most ambitious and prestigious interdisciplinary marine partnership in the Southern Hemisphere, the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC).

This dynamic high-level research partnership brings together CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), the Fisheries Division of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Western Australia and the UWA Oceans Institute researchers and infrastructure.

With the vision to drive global knowledge of the Indian Ocean marine environment and its sustainable management, IOMRC will be the leading marine science partnership in the Southern Hemisphere. The IOMRC partnership was created to further our multifaceted knowledge of the Indian Ocean.

The IOMRC will continue to build Australia’s international marine research status through stimulating, innovative and synergistic research as well as the training of the next generation of researchers.

Two state-of-the-art, multimillion dollar purpose-built facilities have recently been completed to house the IOMRC partnership – one at the UWA Crawley campus and the other at Watermans Bay, located 20 minutes from the main campus on the ocean front. The $63 million, five-storey Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre at Crawley is the new home of the UWA Oceans Institute.

More information about the IOMRC is available on UWA's Campus Management website.

The $13 million refurbishment of the Watermans Bay Marine Centre, was completed in 2015. The laboratory at IOMRC Watermans Bay has the ability to draw clean seawater from the Indian Ocean and pump it into the facility, making it one of a few laboratories of its type in the world with such capabilities. UWA is currently working towards equipping the building with an undersea observatory facility. The Watermans Bay laboratories are now being utilised for critical research projects including tropical and temperate reef systems (corals and kelp).

Local partnerships

West Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI)

The UWA Oceans Institute recognises the importance of local partnerships, linking with the West Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) and its scientific partners to support marine research that is focused on the pressing needs of Western Australia. WAMSI is a leading Australian marine research organisation, formed by a collaboration of State, Federal, industry and academic entities cooperating to create benchmark research and independent, quality scientific information.

The Pawsey Super Computing Centre

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre operates multiple supercomputers, data-intensive machines and storage systems that use the most advanced technologies available.

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre is an unincorporated joint venture  between CSIRO, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and UWA and is supported by the Western Australian and  Federal Governments.

National nodes, centres and committees

ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies

Oceans Institute member Professor Malcolm McCulloch is a Program Leader for the ARC Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at UWA.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies undertakes world-best integrated research for sustainable use and management of coral reefs.

The ARC Centre is a partnership of James Cook University (JCU), the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), The Australian National University (ANU), the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), The University of Queensland (UQ) and the University of Western Australia (UWA).

Centre for Mining, Energy and Natural Resource Law (CMENRL)

The Centre for Mining, Energy and Natural Resources Law stimulates education and research on legal issues arising from the mining, energy and natural resources sectors of the Western Australian economy.

Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS)

Since its establishment in 1997, the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems (COFS) has developed one of the most sophisticated research and modeling facilities in offshore geomechanics and engineering anywhere in the world.

The Centre provides solutions to worldwide offshore foundation needs through high-quality and sophisticated modeling and experimental facilities.

Co-operative Enterprise Research Unit (CERU)

The Co-operative Enterprise Research Unit (CERU) is a focal point for research, education and outreach activities focusing on the co-operative and mutual enterprise sector.

CERU is a multi-disciplinary unit with skills that encompass the business, economic and social aspects of these unique enterprises. Our global research network offers a broad range of skills and expertise.

Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS)

The UWA Oceans Institute continues to support the work of IMOS by leading research, utilising state-of-the-art IMOS facilities. Providing strong capabilities for ocean and coastal modelling, IMOS delivers a wide range of opportunities in ocean science and technology.

IMOS is a national collaborative research infrastructure, supported by the Australian Government. It is operated by a consortium of institutions as unincorporated joint venture, with the University of Tasmania, as Lead Agent, in partnership with CSIRO, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Bureau of Meteorology, Sydney Institute of Marine Science (encompassing the University of New South Wales, The University of Sydney, Macquarie University and University of Technology Sydney), University of Western Australia, Curtin University and the South Australian Research and Development Institute.

Industrial Transformation Research Hub OFFshore Floating Facilities Hub (ITRH)

The UWA-led ARC ITRH for Offshore Floating Facilities is tackling critical engineering challenges and creating improved designs and operating procedures for remote, deepwater offshore oil and gas projects. With its partners: Shell, Woodside, Lloyds Register and Bureau Veritas, ITRH will draw on world-leading expertise across meteorology and oceanography, hydrodynamic, geotechnical and reliability engineering. The aim of the ITRH is to develop and deploy new technologies and analysis methods that are required for safe and efficient projects, spanning wave and current forecasting, vessel motion and offloading analysis, riser and mooring longevity and novel anchoring and subsea foundations.

National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) Marine Biodiversity Hub

The National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) Marine Biodiversity Hub is a research partnership for understanding and managing Australia’s marine biodiversity supported by the National Environmental Science Programme.

National Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility (NGCF)

The National Geotechnical Centrifuge Facility is a world leading geotechnical centrifuge modeling facility that brings together six Australian universities working on a wide range of geotechnical problems both offshore and onshore.

Hosted by COFS at UWA, the NGCF combines proven technical expertise and state of the art geotechnical centrifuges in a new 650m2 laboratory.

National Marine Science Committee (NMSC)

The National Marine Science Committee (NMSC) promotes co-ordination and information sharing between Australian Government marine science agencies and the broader Australian marine science community. The NMSC comprises representatives of 29 organisations conducting and using marine research across Australia. A list of members can be found on the committee's website.

Western Australian Biogeochemistry Centre (WABC)

The Western Australian Biogeochemistry Centre is a centralized stable isotope facility housed at UWA. The Centre brings together a critical mass of researchers in stable isotope science, particularly in its application to environmental and ecological problems in both terrestrial an marine environments. The WABC is a core facility of the John de Laeter Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry.

Woodside Oceanworks

OceanWorks is an exciting, new collaboration between Woodside FutureLab and UWA. Woodside FutureLab is a dynamic network connecting the best and brightest people, across Western Australia to collaborate, create and innovate.

We bring together researchers, entrepreneurs, subject matter experts and parallel leading industries to create a world-class legacy of technological excellence.

OceanWorks is a unique lounge space focussed at bringing together industry and academia.

Woodside RiverLab

The RiverLab – a collaboration between Woodside and The University of Western Australia – is a unique initiative aimed at developing innovations in offshore engineering via research, education and outreach.

RiverLab brings together a community of researchers from diverse disciplines, with state-of-the art equipment, to enable unique field measurements and experiments in the Swan River.

International collaborations and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)

Global Ocean Observation System (GOOS)

GOOS is an international program preparing a global framework of observations, modeling and analysis of ocean variables.

The UWA Oceans Institute has joined with the Australian Institute of Marine Science to support the coordinating activities of the recently established Biology and Ecosystems Panel of GOOS.

This Panel aims to develop and coordinate efforts to implement a sustained and targeted global ocean observation system of essential ocean biological variables, driven by societal needs. The resulting information will be crucial to inform priority scientific and societal questions and will facilitate critical policy development and management decision-making on ocean and coastal resource sustainability and health.

Matariki Network of Universities (MNU)

The Matariki Network of Universities is an international group of leading, like-minded universities, each amongst the most historic in its own country and recognized as being:

  • A premier place of advanced learning, nationally and internationally
  • Research-intensive across a broad subject base
  • Focuses on providing a high-quality student experience
  • Flexible, modern, innovative, comprehensive and globally-orientated.

The seven universities in the Matariki Network of Universities are high-quality research-intensive universities that pride themselves on the quality of their undergraduate programs and student experience. Each institution is responsible for a research theme:

  • Brain and mind (Integrative Neuroscience): University of Otago
  • Quantum science: University of Tubingen
  • Peace and conflict: Uppsala University
  • Disaster resilience: Durham University
  • Cyber security: Dartmouth College
  • Sustainability, environment and resources: Queen’s University
  • Oceans and the blue economy: The University of Western Australia

Stichting Deltares

Deltares is an independent institute for applied research in the field of  water and subsurface. Throughout the world, we work on smart  solutions, innovations and  applications for people, environment and  society. Our main focus is on deltas, coastal regions and river basins.  Managing these densely populated and vulnerable areas is complex,  which is why we work closely with governments, businesses, other  research institutes and universities at home and abroad. Our motto  is Enabling Delta Life.

As an applied research institute, the success of  Deltares can be measured in the extent to which our expert knowledge  can be  used in and for society. For Deltares the quality of our expertise  and advice comes first.

In 2017, UWA and Deltares signed a MOU to increase collaboration on a  broad range of research topics, in particular related to coastal dynamics,  water quality modeling and offshore engineering.

University of Seychelles Blue Economy Research Institute

UWA Oceans Institute and the University of Seychelles’ Blue Economy Research Institute signed an MOU to cooperate in enhancing research and training capabilities; providing policy and managerial support to achieve common marine conservation objectives; providing expertise and technical support in marine environmental monitoring; and exploring collaborative opportunities in ocean engineering, ocean forecasting, aquaculture and coral reef health.

Universiti Malaysia Terengganu

UWA and the University Malaysia Terengganu (MUT) signed an MOU to explore joint research programs, co-supervise students, staff and student visitors and explore opportunities in development of on-line training.

University of Mauritius

An MOU was signed to enhance relations between UWA and the University of Mauritius in Indian Ocean research. The two Universities, through the UWA Oceans Institute and the Faculty of Ocean Studies, will now seek opportunities for integrated research and research capacity development in the Indian Ocean in emerging research areas such as ocean engineering, aquaculture, ocean forecasting, marine energy and marine ecology.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

The UWA Oceans Institute entered into an MOU with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to cooperate in the research areas of marine sciences and engineering, environmental management and governance. This MOU has also provided for opportunities to establish joint research programs and staff and student exchange.

Worldwide Universities Network (WUN)

The Worldwide Universities Network is a group of 19 research- intensive universities, bringing together the expertise necessary to  address issues that impact the planet, and its people. The Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) spans eleven countries  across six continents, supporting the facilitation of collaborative research,  and the exchange of research staff and students. The major issues facing our planet are of a magnitude that no single  institution or organisation can address on its own. They require the  pooling and sharing of knowledge across institutions, disciplines, and  geographical areas.

WUN collaborations aim to involve a number of world-leading academic  partners in addressing the following 'Global Challenges':

  • Responding to climate change
  • Understanding cultures
  • Global higher education and research
  • Public health and non-communicable disease

Zhejiang University Oceans College

The collaboration between China’s Zhejiang University and UWA promotes complementary expertise and a joint vision to drive economic growth in oceans and marine development in both China and Australia. The UWA Oceans Institute and the Oceans College at Zhejiang University are committed to establishing joint research programs and laboratories to establish closer links between marine researchers.