Marine Invertebrates

Latest news

Scientists mapping the Hauraki Gulf seafloor have discovered huge colonies of tubeworms up to 1.5 metres high and collectively covering hundreds of metres providing vital habitats for plants and animals.
A giant squid and several glow-in-the-dark sharks were surprise finds for NIWA scientists last month on the Chatham Rise during a voyage to survey hoki, New Zealand’s most valuable commercial fish species.
Sam Fraser-Baxter heads to the Wairarapa for one of New Zealand’s longest-running marine surveys – counting baby lobster.
A worm that feeds on bacteria and has no eyes is one of the standout stars of almost 600 unfamiliar and potentially new ocean species identified at NIWA in the past year.

Our work

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.

Latest videos

Ocean acidification - what is it?

The on-going rise of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is not only changing our climate—it is also changing our oceans. Take a look at the work of the NIWA-led CARIM project into what these changes may mean for the delicate balance of marine life.

NIWA Blake Ambassadors Vlog 3: its bongo time! TAN1810
18 Nov 2018. NIWA Blake Ambassador—Lana Young—explains how bongo nets are deployed to collect plankton around the clock on board the RV Tangaroa.
NIWA Blake Ambassadors Vlog 3: Fishing for water!

7 November 2018. In this Vlog 2 update live from Tangaroa, NIWA Blake Ambassador Siobhan O’Connor shares a typical shift, starting at 2.30am, collecting water samples from different ocean depths which are carefully analysed in the lab. 

Washed up like a jellyfish on the sand this summer? New Zealand has the moon jelly, spotted jellyfish, and lion's mane, and all three jellyfish are prevalent in our coastal waters all around the country, and the ocean, at this time of year. Jellyfish have weak powers of direction, they drift into bays, and tides and currents wash them up.

The return of the upgraded RV Tangaroa represents a huge advancement for New Zealand science and exploration

NIWA today welcomed home RV Tangaroa, New Zealand’s only deepwater research vessel, after a $20 million dollar upgrade to enhance its ocean science and survey capabilities.

In the past half century, mangroves have increased in extent in estuaries and tidal creeks throughout the upper half of the North Island.

The decorator crabs, or camouflaged crabs, are very different creatures from the paddle crab. They’re slow movers that rely on disguise to evade predators, decorating their shells with whatever flotsam and jetsam comes to claw.

Ever had a crab nip your toe at the beach? The culprit is most likely the paddle crab.

Estuarine restoration research is relatively new in New Zealand and has been largely instigated by community groups that have become increasingly concerned with the decline of plant and animal species.

Specimens can be loaned to universities, colleges, museums and other research or education institutions for the use of resident research staff.

Welcome to the newsletter for NIWA's National Centre for Aquaculture & Biotechnology. Here we'll bring you news of research discoveries, new initiatives, courses, and events in these exciting and commercially-orientated fields.

Useful information and resources on New Zealand's marine flora and invertebrate fauna.
Ocean acidification is the name given to the lowering of pH of the oceans as a result of increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.
Different groups of organisms need trained specialists (taxonomists) to distinguish a new species from one that is already named and scientifically described
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.

Inshore and onshore biodiversity sampling activity is about to commence in the Bay of Islands as the Bay of Islands Ocean Survey 20/20 project enters its next phase.

Census of Marine Life-affiliated scientists, plumbing the secrets of a vast underwater mountain range south of New Zealand, captured the first images of a novel “Brittlestar City” that colonized against daunting odds the peak of a seamount – an underwater summit taller than the world’s tallest building.

These endemic freshwater crustaceans are truly living fossils that originated in Gondwana at least 325 million years ago and have changed little morphologically since that time.

The giant squid (Architeuthis), the world’s largest invertebrate, has never been seen alive – until now. A new Discovery Channel special joins an international expedition team in the waters off New Zealand as they succeed in capturing living juvenile specimens for the first time. The juveniles were found in the larval stage, ranging in size from 9 to 13 millimetres. The expedition, fully funded by the Discovery Channel, was undertaken in cooperation with NIWA and led by marine biologist Dr Steve O’Shea.

Recent underwater surveys of the Tonga Island Marine Reserve are revealing the benefits of marine protection.

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All staff working on this subject

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Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Senior Regional Manager - Wellington
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
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Marine Ecology Technician
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Marine Ecology Technician
Principal Technician - Marine Biology
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Marine Biologist
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