Marine Invertebrates

Latest news

With cascading waterfalls and native bush tumbling down mountainous terrain, Fiordland is one of the most eye-catching parts of the country. But peer beneath the waves and you'll see that Fiordland's marine invertebrate and seaweed communities are every bit as remarkable and awe-inspiring.
A group of gorgonian octocorals that provide shelter for fish and invertebrates in the deep sea is the subject of NIWA’s latest Biodiversity Memoir.
Sadie Mills has come a long way from scaring the inhabitants of Scottish rock pools. Sarah Fraser explains.
New Zealand’s native fish are doing their best to climb up ramps in a NIWA laboratory so scientists can learn how to better help them navigate our tricky waterways.

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

Powering diversity in the Ross Sea

Fisheries scientist Dr Pablo Escobar-Flores delves into Antarctic mesopelagic science with a look at the small animals and organisms that help power the amazing diversity of life in the Ross Sea.

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.
Vent and seamount fauna - Tangaroa Seamount

A collection of images of some of the chemosynthetic barnacles, mussels, and shrimps on Tangaroa Seamount. The footage and specimens confirmed active hydrothermal venting.

NIWA's research vessel Tangaroa recently returned from a 3-week voyage, with pictures (see gallery at bottom of article), film footage and samples of new discoveries from the deep-sea floor, including footage of a new hydrothermal vent on an undersea volcano.

ROV Fiordland footage

Never before seen footage. This amazing footage was captured by our ROV in the Fiordland Sounds.

Antarctic Coastal Marine Life in a Changing Climate

NIWA marine ecologist Dr Vonda Cummings discusses the likely effects of climate change on marine invertebrates living on the seafloor of the Ross Sea coast.

A recent expedition to one of the deepest places on Earth has discovered one of the most enigmatic creatures in the deep sea: the 'supergiant' amphipod.

When you leave the beach this summer, the memory of a great holiday can be savoured with a sea shell. Lift it up to your ear, and you hear the roar of the sea once more.

The 'yeti crab' generated media attention worldwide when the first species was found around deep-sea hydrothermal vents off the Easter Islands at around 2200 m depth (Macpherson, Jones & Segonzac, 2005).

International Congress for Conservation Biology

5 December 2011 to 9 December 2011

NIWA is sponsoring the 25th International Congress for Conservation Biology.

NIWA staff are running three workshop 'Think Tanks' before the conference, these worksops are:

Implications of environmental change to Antarctic ecosystems 2, 3, 4 December, for more information contact [email protected] 

Deep-sea coral research to enhance conservation 2, 3 December, for more information contact [email protected]

Welcome to the latest edition of Coasts Update. Here we bring you news of some of NIWA's latest research on aspects of coastal ecology, and the possible impacts of climate change on one of our coastal communities.

It looks like a slimy worm –- but it lives in the sea! The common sea cucumber is a sluggish creature, brown and blotchy, designed to blend in with its habitat: rocky reefs and sandy bottoms.

It is sub tidal and can be found at depths up to 100 metres, all around the coast of New Zealand.

"They look like a worm crossed with a sausage, and the adults can grow to 20 cm and live for five years," says NIWA aquaculture scientist Jeanie Stenton-Dozey.

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.

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All staff working on this subject

Manager - Coasts and Oceans
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Strategy Manager - Coasts & Estuaries
Senior Regional Manager - Wellington
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Marine Invertebrate Systematist
Principal Scientist - Marine Ecology
Regional Manager - Wellington
Fisheries Scientist
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Marine Biology Technician
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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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