Benthic habitats

Latest news

Areas of Kaikōura’s seabed show promising signs of recovery just four years after the 2016 earthquake, says NIWA.
A new study is doing a deep dive into whether mussel farms could help reduce nitrogen in New Zealand waters.
A study investigating the level of change needed to improve the state of Hawke’s Bay’s marine environment highlights the magnitude and frequency of interventions required for the seafloor ecosystem to recover.
High-resolution mapping has produced the first ever global estimates of coastal habitat damage caused by anchoring.

Latest videos

Sally Watson - The science behind sediment cores

Sediment cores collected in the Queen Charlotte Sound/Tōtaranui will enable scientists to measure the impact humans are having on the shallow marine environment.


Samples collected near regions with high human influence (e.g., next to Picton port) will be compared to samples collected in areas with comparatively relatively low human influence (near marine reserves far from coastal development). 


In collaboration with Marlborough District Council, scientists from the University of Auckland and NIWA will investigate variations in sediment accumulation over time across the Queen Charlotte Sound. They will focus on how human induced changes, including elevated sediment input, introduction of microplastics and changes in sediment composition, influence the flora and fauna that live on the seafloor. 


This project is a part of a broader research initiative, Project EAST, which aims to understand the shallow marine environments around Aotearoa New Zealand. Project EAST uses a range techniques and integrates researchers from multidisciplinary scientific backgrounds to understand shallow marine Ecosystems, Anthropogenic impact, Sediment dynamics and Taiao (Māori perspectives on the natural environment). 


Project EAST team:

Dr Marta Ribo - University of Auckland

Dr Lorna Strachan - University of Auckland

Dr Sally Watson - NIWA

Dr Sarah Seabrook - University of Auckland/NIWA

Dr Rachel Hale - NIWA

Wire deployed corer floats being retrieved

Wire deployed corer floats being retrieved on board the RV Tangaroa. The corer sampled sediments at 9994 metre depths in the Kermadec Trench.

ST47 9990m landing

Wire deployed corer landing at 9994 metre depth in the Kermadec Trench. Deployment and retrieval on board the RV Tangaroa.

An international team led by scientists from the United States and New Zealand have observed, for the first time, the bizarre deep-sea communities living around methane seeps off New Zealand’s east coast.


All staff working on this subject

Coastal Marine Ecologist
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Marine Ecologist - Quantitative Modeller
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Strategy Manager - Coasts & Estuaries
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Principal Scientist - Marine Geology
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Fisheries Scientist
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Marine Biology Technician
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Marine Ecology Technician
Marine Ecology Technician
Principal Technician - Marine Biology
Marine Electronics Technician
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