Marine Invertebrates

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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.
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

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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