UWA Oceans Institute


Cutting-edge research

Our research is broad in its reach and specific in its findings. Our state-of-the-art facilities produce world-class research results.

Effective collaboration

Collaboration is at the heart of our research. Important collaborationswithin and outside of UWA allows researchers access to valuable facilities.

World-class facilities

Our facilities are at the forefront of scientific discovery. They are regularly maintained and updated to ensure valuable research results are made possible.

The UWA Oceans Institute accesses a wide range of state-of-the-art research facilities and equipment hosted at UWA to meet global demands for world-class innovation in marine research. These facilities support the major areas of research at the Oceans Institute from ocean engineering to oceanography and ecology, furthering the frontiers of knowledge in ocean science and technology.

Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre

The Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre comprises two projects - a new facility being constructed on UWA’s Crawley campus and an upgrade to the former Watermans Bay Marine Centre. The facilities are being developed as part of a collaboration between UWA, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, CSIRO and the Department of Fisheries WA.


IOMRC Crawley

IOMRC Crawley will be a leading marine research facility with the largest marine research capability in the Indian Ocean rim.

The under-construction Crawley facility will include state-of-the-art laboratories designed for biogeochemistry, hydrodynamics, oceanography, neurobiology, electrophysiology, molecular biology, computer modeling and video analysis.

A unique inclusion within the facility will be the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems’ new 10-metre diameter centrifuge.

Once complete, the facility will house over 240 researchers undertaking critical work in areas including oceanography, marine ecology, fisheries, geochemistry, governance, marine technologies and engineering. It will enable vital international research into areas such as climate change, sustainable use of marine resources, marine biodiversity and coastal zone management.

Estimated completion: 2016.

IOMRC Watermans Bay

The IOMRC Watermans Bay is a significant seawater facility for broad marine research into the Indian Ocean.

The IOMRC Watermans Bay is a significant seawater facility for broad marine research into the Indian Ocean.

The Watermans Bay facility offers world-class laboratories including constant temperature rooms, a quarantine facility, aquaria, dark room, fresh seawater delivery system and meteorological and radar monitoring systems.

The beachside hub is a base for more than 40 scientists and research staff under the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre partnership and supports a wide range of experimental and observational science projects.


ARC Research Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities (RHOFF)

RHOFF will address the critical engineering challenges associated with Australia’s next generation of offshore oil and gas projects, which will require innovative floating facilities such as floating liquefied natural gas.

Drawing on world-leading multi-disciplinary expertise at UWA across metocean, hydrodynamic, geotechnical and reliability engineering, RHOFF will develop and deploy the 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.

Australian Coastal Ocean Radar Network

The Ocean Glider Facility of the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) is responsible for the deployment, operation and maintenance of the ocean glider fleet across Australia. The autonomous ocean gliders provide a great opportunity to undertake sustained measurements of the water column on the continental shelf and slope. Ocean gliders collect high resolution profiles of physical, chemical, and bio-optical variables to be taken up in research, and the extensive computer facilities and ability for simulations provide strong capabilities for ocean and coastal modelling.     The Advanced Geochemical Facility for Indian Ocean Research

This geochemical facility hosts two multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers and a fluoride excimer laser system. This equipment provides the ability to obtain high precision isotopic analyses of a large range of elements enabling applications across all fields of science.

Australian National Facility for Ocean Gliders (ANFOG)

The Ocean Radar Facility, also part of IMOS, is responsible for the deployment, operation and maintenance of shore based High Frequency (HF) Radar systems for near-real time mapping of surface currents, waves and wind direction at six sites around Australia. The HF Radar is the only system that can provide synoptic measurements of surface currents providing information required for emergency services such as search and rescue and oil spill monitoring.     Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy (CEEP)

CEEP addresses complex, multi-faceted environmental problems through quality research for policy makers and program investors. The Centre integrates research and information and from a range of different disciplines, including physical sciences, biology, and social sciences within an economic framework to improve the management of Australia's environment.

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

CMENRL stimulates education and research on legal issues arising from the mining, energy and natural resources sectors of the WA economy. The Centre aims to promote research in mining, energy and natural resources law with an emphasis on collaborative projects and activities conducted in cooperation with the public and private sectors.Centre for Marine Futures

Facilities at the Centre for Marine Futures include a sophisticated image analysis lab where still and video imagery, for benthos and fish are processed by a highly-skilled team of analysts. The Centre’s field capacity includes deploying state- of-the art stereo video systems to sample fish assemblages non-destructively.

Centre for Microscopy Characterisation and Analysis

This centre provides an extensive range of facilities and equipment, ranging from electron, ion, light imaging and microanalysis facilities to a unique ion probe facility and MRI facility. The Centre has instruments and expertise in a range of analytical techniques.

Centre for Offshore Foundations Systems (COFS)

COFS houses the only geotechnical centrifuge modeling facility in Australia. This facility features sophisticated research- level devices for conducting the specialised laboratory and model testing needed to characterise conventional and carbonate sediments.

COFS facilities also comprise large and mini O-Tubes that simulate underwater wave and current conditions.

The Environmental Research Laboratory

This facility enables the modeling of water quality in lakes, reservoirs and harbours. The laboratory monitors plankton dynamics while also monitoring nutrients in areas of groundwater, coastal, industrial or urban contamination.

The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

This Laboratory supports research on the dynamics of coastal ocean flows and ocean mixing. This laboratory houses a precision direct-drive rotating turntable, internal wave generation tanks and turbulence generation facilities.

The Hydrodynamics Laboratory

The Hydrodynamics Laboratory at UWA’s School of Mechanical Engineering is equipped for model testing in the field of hydrodynamics and offers instrumentation that allows accurate high-frequency pressure measurements and the acquisition of images of impacts on structures.    National Geosequestration Laboratory

This national, multi-site facility features the latest in geophysical sensors, data analysis and high performance computing equipment focused on delivering research and solutions to help enable commercial-scale storage of carbon dioxide to reduce manmade greenhouse gas emissions and therefore help mitigate their effects on the environment.

Pawsey Supercomputer Centre

The Pawsey Supercomputer Centre encourages research using supercomputing, large-scale data storage and visualisation in Western Australia.  Pawsey currently stores large amounts of marine research data for sharing and collaboration. They also provide facilities and expertise in areas including nanotechnology, radioastronomy, high-energy physics, medical research, mining and petroleum, architecture and construction, multimedia, and urban planning.

The Western Australian Biogeochemistry Centre (WABC)

Located at UWA, the WABC is well equipped for terrestrial and marine studies in biogeochemistry and offers a range of analytical and interpretive services to researchers both within UWA and in the broader scientific community. The WABC has four isotope ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS) plus access to a considerable range of further analytical instrumentation (GC, HPLC, CE and autoanalyser)

Zebrafish Facility

The development of a UWA Zebrafish facility is underway, making it the first multi-user Zebrafish research facility in the state. The facility will initially be used for biomedical research, including a project that will study the mechanisms of aging and vision.

The facility is expected to be completed by 2016.