Published: 22 May 2012
A world class marine research facility for urban Sydney
A major upgrade to the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) has provided Sydney with a rare facility, a modern marine research institute in the middle of a major urban city.
Dr Emma Johnson of SIMS and the NSW minister for primary industries, Ms Katrina Hodgkinson, in the new laboratories at SIMS.
The newly constructed major research facilities of SIMS, which is on the foreshore of Chowder Bay, Mosman, were officially opened this month.
The new facilities include a state-of-the-art aquarium and new laboratories designed for cell and molecular, microbiological, and field biology research. Other new facilities include lecture theatres, research vessels and an administration building and conference centre, as well as accommodation for around-the-clock research and visiting scientists. Teaching laboratories have also been refurbished.
‘The public view of marine science often seems to be a remote coral atoll or the bottom of the sea. But the urban waterway surrounding us is the face of modern marine science and Sydney Harbour and our coastline provide an incredible resource for marine research and management,’ says Professor Peter Steinberg, Director and CEO of SIMS.
‘The world is an increasingly urbanised place, and the interaction between people and the marine environment happen in places like Sydney, where 20 per cent of Australians live. It happens on our doorstep, not just in the middle of the Pacific,’ says Prof. Steinberg.
The new Ian Potter Research Aquarium includes one of Australia’s two operational seawater Physical containment (containment level 2) laboratories.
‘These allow SIMS scientists to research invasive species and other potentially pathogenic or harmful microorganisms,’ says Prof. Steinberg.
‘SIMS is now perfectly placed to be at the cutting edge of research into threats to our local marine environment and into the impacts of climate change. It will allow us to better understand systems as well as be involved in their remediation and restoration.’
Over 100 researchers and PhD students from around the world are already involved with SIMS. Last year SIMS announced a masters degree in marine science, which has attracted over 20 applications for the first intake in 2012.
SIMS was founded by a collaboration between four major Sydney research universities, University of Technology (UTS), University of Sydney, Macquarie University and University of NSW. It has received $19.5m from the Australian Government’s Education Investment Fund and $600k each from the NSW State Government and The Ian Potter Foundation to complete the facilities.
Source: Sydney Institute of Marine Science