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


Michelle Kelly, Managing Editor.

Sadie Mills, Technical Editor.

Buy or download a NIWA Biodiversity Memoir


Principal Technician - Marine Biology