UWA Oceans Institute

Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre

The Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre will boost marine science capacity in Australia.

The purpose built facility - known as the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, Crawley, has been constructed at the UWA Crawley campus.

Major refurbishments were also undertaken at the existing Department of Fisheries' marine centre approximately 24kms from Crawley, now also know as the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, Watermans Bay.

Features overview

The centre has been designed and constructed to aspire to high level contemporary sustainability principles as well as maximise the building's life and life cycle costs. For example, design and construction considerations include: careful consideration of the materials selected, the installation of LED lighting throughout, the orientation of the building, sun shading, the installation of purpose built end of trip facilities, and the use of recycled materials.

The site was selected for its proximity to existing specialised laboratories on the UWA campus such as the engineering precinct.

This location was identified in the Crawley Campus Plan, as a site for potential University development.

The $62 million facility includes:

  • offices and workstations for researchers, technicians and post-graduate students

  • flexible wet and dry laboratories with PC2 capability

  • flexible collaborative spaces, including the Woodside FutureLab

  • a ground level multi-purpose lecture theatre linked to a large interaction space with an external courtyard

  • outdoor undercover field staging, loading bays, technical areas and boat storage.
A unique inclusion within the facility is the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems. The centre installed a 11.5 metre beam centrifuge to operate the National Geotechnical Centrifuge facility.


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A collaborative project

The Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre is a collaboration that brings together four of Australia's leading research organisations working in and around the Indian Ocean:



The collaboration includes the development of new multi-disciplinary research teams and a graduate training environment that will significantly advance Australia's marine science capacity, capability, and profile.

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Support and funding

The development was made possible by a grant from the Australian Government as part of the Education Investment Fund, and contributions from the four collaborating organisations.

The Western Australian Government, through the Department of Fisheries, strongly supports Indian Ocean marine research and is a key stakeholder in the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, Watermans Bay.

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Marine research priorities

The Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre will build Australia’s international marine research status through stimulating innovative, collaborative research and the teaching and training of next generation researchers.

Integrated research between the joint partners

Research integration across partners is being stimulated by joint research investments in research fellows and PhD students, and the shared use of research facilities. These include UWA’s world-class microscopy and characterisation facilities, the AIMS vessel RV Solander and the oceanographic facilities provided by the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). The Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre will have significant international research collaborations with a range of other universities.

Visionary research themes

The partnership will facilitate research on the most important drivers of innovation in the marine sector – climate change, the sustainable use of marine resources, conserving marine biodiversity, coastal zone management, and security and safety – as identified in 'A Marine Nation', a framework for marine research and development, launched by Senator the Hon Kim Carr in early 2009. The partners are developing integrated and multi-pronged research programs to address these drivers.

Research outcomes such as:

  • multiscale biodiversity maps for the NW region
  • linked atmosphere-ocean models to better predict climate change
  • linked ocean-coast current and wave and biogeochemical models predicting responses of ecosystems to climate change and resource use
  • new policy options will be available to Government and industry for sustainable management of ecosystems in the Indian Ocean and the Timor Sea.


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Image Gallery

Images of internal and external views of Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, Crawley.

Indian Ocean Marine research Centre