Biodiversity

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Latest news

Jellyfish blooms are likely to be a common sight this summer with rising ocean temperatures one of the main causes of substantial population growths.
Small orange flecks spotted floating around in a respiration chamber at a NIWA laboratory have led to a discovery about the spawning habits of a deep-sea stony coral in New Zealand waters.
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.

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

Critter of the deep - episode 3: sea spider
Sea spiders look similar to land spiders, but they are in their own special group.
Dr Jade Maggs talks about reef sharks
A global survey involving 123 scientists from 58 nations raises concerns about the global status of reef sharks.
A journey under the ice, with Peter Marriott
Chill-proofed divers plunge in the Ross sea, Antarctica.
Tour of the NIWA Invertebrate Collection with Sadie Mills
The NIWA Invertebrate Collection (NIC) holds specimens from almost all invertebrate phyla.
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.
Now back on dry land, Voyage Leader Richard O'Driscoll reflects on the final days of RV Tangaroa's 2015 Antarctica expedition.
It has been another amazing week here on the Tangaroa. On Saturday we saw Antarctica which was an absolutely breath-taking experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life!
Scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division explain the blue whale research they are leading onboard the New Zealand-Australia Antarctic Ecosystems Voyage 2015.
NIWA voyage leader Dr Richard O’Driscoll updates the Tangaroa’s encounter with the planet’s largest living beings – the Antarctic blue whales – and discovers what’s on their menu.
The first objective of the New Zealand- Australia Antarctic Ecosystems Voyage was successfully achieved with the completion of the research at the Balleny Islands.

An interactive guide to the sea stars, brittle stars, feather stars, sea eggs, and sea cucumbers (echinoderms) of New Zealand.

Scientists from NIWA and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have used a remote operated vehicle (ROV) equipped with cameras and a grappling arm to locate and sample specimens of sea pen previously unknown to science, hidden in the undiveable depths of remote Fiordland.

The ability to properly manage our freshwater resources requires a solid understanding of the flora and fauna which live in and interact with them.

Scientists have returned from a two-week survey to the north of New Zealand, near the Kermadec Islands, with photos and footage of new-to-science fish.

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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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Freshwater Ecologist
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Marine Biology Technician
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Marine Ecology Technician
Principal Technician - Marine Biology
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Marine Biologist
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