About NIWA's Biodiversity Memoirs

The NIWA Biodiversity Memoirs are comprehensive, definitive, illustrated reference works that capture the rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific study of New Zealand’s distinctive marine fauna and flora.

The information in these monographs provides the foundation upon which marine biological and ecological research sits.

These important publications are indispensable references for academic researchers and postgraduate students interested in marine systematics and the conservation of New Zealand’s unique aquatic biodiversity, much of which is found nowhere else in the world.

Many marine invertebrates such as sponges and corals form ‘gardens’ or biological habitats that support other animals, including commercially important fish species. These habitats can be vulnerable to damage by human activities such as fishing and seabed mining, thus knowledge of their biodiversity is critical for understanding the function of deep-sea and seamount ecosystems in order to improve their management.

The series

The NIWA Marine Biodiversity Memoir series began in 1955 as the New Zealand Oceanographic Institute Memoirs (volume 1–107). Topics covered by these earlier monographs include New Zealand oceanography, hydrology, microbiology, bathymetry, sedimentation, submarine geology and geomorphology, and also included contributions on the Ross Sea. Most of the NIWA Biodiversity Memoir volumes are authored by our NIWA taxonomists funded by our Coasts and Oceans Research Programme 2 Marine Biological Resources: Discovery and definition of the marine biota of New Zealand, but many are authored by overseas specialists if expertise is lacking in New Zealand.

In 2016 we released the first of our revitalised editions in the NIWA Biodiversity Memoir series, including colour in-situ imagery of the New Zealand fauna and a new-look front and inside cover design.

Style guide for authors

The two key criteria for eligibility for publication in the NIWA Biodiversity Memoir series is geographical coverage and size of manuscript (the minimum printed [finished] size is 50 pages). Manuscripts are usually prepared only after invitation from NIWA, but we are open to proposals. Manuscripts should be prepared in the styles of the latest NIWA Biodiversity Memoir outlined in the Marine Fauna of NZ - Style Guide for Authors. [PDF 690KB].


Michelle Kelly, Managing Editor
NIWA Coasts & Oceans National Centre
Private Bag 99940, Newmarket, Auckland 1149
41 Market Place, Auckland Central 1010
New Zealand
Phone +64 9 375 2037


Sadie Mills, Technical Editor
NIWA Coasts & Oceans National Centre
Private Bag 14901, Kilbirnie, Wellington 6241
301 Evans Bay Parade, Greta Point, Wellington 6021
New Zealand
Phone + 64 4 386 0464


Buy or download a NIWA Biodiversity Memoir

Front cover of the latest NIWA Biodiversity Memoir: Reiswig, Henry Michael; Kelly, Michelle 2018. The Marine Fauna of New Zealand. Euplectellid glass sponges (Hexactinellida, Lyssacinosida, Euplectellidae).  Wellington, New Zealand: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). (NIWA Biodiversity Memoir; 130)
Front cover of new-look NIWA Biodiversity memoir series: Cairns, Stephen D. 2016. The Marine Fauna of New Zealand: Primnoid octocorals (Anthozoa: Alcyonacea) – Part 2. Primnoella, Callozostron, Metafannyella, Fanellia and other genera. Wellington, New Zealand: National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). (NIWA Biodiversity Memoir; 129) 131 pages. Front cover image by Crispin Middleton, NIWA.