Biodiversity

Latest news

NIWA researchers are heading out from Tasman early next week to survey an area thought to be home to important juvenile fish nurseries.
After a decade-long effort, NIWA’s latest Biodiversity Memoir has just rolled off the presses. Written by marine biologist Kareen Schnabel, the 350-page treatise presents everything we currently know about the different kinds of squat lobster living in New Zealand’s waters.
Five specialist NIWA divers were left ‘gasping’ during their recent plunge under the ice near Scott Base.
For more than 20 years NIWA scientists have been nurturing three plants that are the only examples of their kind in existence.

Our work

The ability to properly manage our freshwater resources requires a solid understanding of the flora and fauna which live in and interact with them.
NIWA hosted an IPBES workshop entitled “Visions for nature and nature’s contributions to people for the 21st century” held from 4-8 September 2017 in Auckland.
NIWA is conducting a five–year study to map changes in the distribution of plankton species in surface waters between New Zealand and the Ross Sea.
Our oceans are expected to become more acidic as carbon dioxide concentrations rise. This will likely have impacts on the plankton, which play a major role in ocean ecosystems and processes.

Latest videos

Diving deep to check up on our lakes

NIWA scientists jump overboard to check out the health the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes. The work is part of NIWA's national LakeSPI programme—an ecological health check for lakes throughout New Zealand. 
Underwater research to protect and maintain New Zealand's freshwater resources.

Recording underwater biodiversity after earthquakes

NIWA’s marine ecologist Dr Dave Bowden talks about the catastrophic changes to the seafloor in the Kaikoura Canyon following the November 2016 earthquake.

Exploring the deepsea

Despite many centuries of maritime exploration, only a fraction of our planet's seafloor has been observed. NIWA Deepsea Scientist Di Tracey tells us what it feels like to probe deep beneath the waves to see what's living on the ocean floor.

Taking the pulse of Antarctica’s ocean ecosystem
Niwa scientists have anchored an echosounder to the sea floor of Terra Nova Bay that could reveal the mystery of silverfish reproduction under the Antarctic ice.
NIWA researchers are heading out from Tasman early next week to survey an area thought to be home to important juvenile fish nurseries.
After a decade-long effort, NIWA’s latest Biodiversity Memoir has just rolled off the presses. Written by marine biologist Kareen Schnabel, the 350-page treatise presents everything we currently know about the different kinds of squat lobster living in New Zealand’s waters.
Five specialist NIWA divers were left ‘gasping’ during their recent plunge under the ice near Scott Base.

The abundance and diversity of life in our rivers, lakes and estuaries is the ultimate indicator of the health and wellbeing of our aquatic ecosystems. NIWA is helping to ensure that New Zealand’s unique and iconic freshwater species are healthy, abundant and thriving.

For more than 20 years NIWA scientists have been nurturing three plants that are the only examples of their kind in existence.
Heading to the Campbell Plateau south of New Zealand, 25 scientists and crew onboard R.V. Tangaroa will carry out a deep sea camera survey of the seabed to better understand the biodiversity of seabed habitats in commercial fishing areas.
NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa will sail out of Wellington Harbour on Sunday for the first scientific voyage since the lockdown.
Diving deep to check up on our lakes

NIWA scientists jump overboard to check out the health the Rotorua Te Arawa lakes. The work is part of NIWA's national LakeSPI programme—an ecological health check for lakes throughout New Zealand. 
Underwater research to protect and maintain New Zealand's freshwater resources.

The Ross Sea Region Research and Monitoring Programme (Ross-RAMP) is a five-year research programme funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and run by NIWA to evaluate the effectiveness of the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area.
The Fish Passage Assessment Tool has been developed to provide an easy to use, practical tool for recording instream structures and assessing their likely impact on fish movements and river connectivity.
One of the world's leading scientific publishers has named a paper cowritten by a NIWA scientist as one of 250 groundbreaking findings that could "help change the world".
NIWA hosted an IPBES workshop entitled “Visions for nature and nature’s contributions to people for the 21st century” held from 4-8 September 2017 in Auckland.
A team of international researchers leaves Wellington this weekend to explore the bottom of the Kermadec Trench – one of the deepest places in the ocean.
Recording underwater biodiversity after earthquakes

NIWA’s marine ecologist Dr Dave Bowden talks about the catastrophic changes to the seafloor in the Kaikoura Canyon following the November 2016 earthquake.

A NIWA scientist is calling for greater protection of submarine canyons around New Zealand as their rich marine life comes under increasing threat from human activity.
Exploring the deepsea

Despite many centuries of maritime exploration, only a fraction of our planet's seafloor has been observed. NIWA Deepsea Scientist Di Tracey tells us what it feels like to probe deep beneath the waves to see what's living on the ocean floor.

The seafloor of the Ross Sea region is covered in ice for much of the year, but many benthic sea creatures live and thrive there.
Te Papa has released a publication containing information, including pictures, distribution maps for all 1,262 known fish species found in our waters.
The Southwestern Pacific OBIS Node site is a gateway to marine biodiversity data from Antarctica to as far north as Fiji.
Identifying creepy crawlies in your local stream just got a whole lot easier and faster, thanks to a new 3D identification system developed by a NIWA researcher.
Taking the pulse of Antarctica’s ocean ecosystem
Niwa scientists have anchored an echosounder to the sea floor of Terra Nova Bay that could reveal the mystery of silverfish reproduction under the Antarctic ice.
NIWA scientists have anchored an echosounder to the sea floor of Terra Nova Bay that could reveal the mystery of silverfish reproduction under the Antarctic ice.

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All staff working on this subject

Principal Scientist - Fisheries
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Principal Scientist - Fisheries
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Regional Manager - Wellington
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Marine Biologist (Biosecurity)
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Freshwater Ecologist
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Marine Ecology Technician
Principal Technician - Marine Biology
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Marine Biologist
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