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Marine Studies Institute

More than 150 years of marine science teaching and research
The Marine Studies Institute is one of the largest marine research and education centres in Australia. Marine Science at the University of Sydney dates back to the 1880's.

Australia has a vast marine jurisdiction with unique ocean and coastal ecosystems, many of which are poorly understood.

The accelerating changes in the climate, combined with land use practices, marine litter, fishing, shoreline industries and new risks, such as increasing ocean noise and potential deep-sea mining are presenting Australia and the global community with unprecedented challenges.

We are working to understand these challenges and expand the scientific, technical and legal know how to solve problems like biodiversity loss and food insecurity through a combination of cutting-edge research, education and leadership training.  

Our aims

We develop, promote and share ideas and innovation that support the understanding, use and management of the marine environment. 

If you’re interested in a marine internship or volunteer position, contact the Marine Science Institute coordinator at

Our research

We host national and international research groups across 10 disciplines, with more than 45 academic staff and 100 postgraduate students. We also work with key industry and government entities to support innovative, applied research that responds to Australia’s needs.

Our annual showcase highlights our research and projects, and promotes discussion on innovative, cross-disciplinary, problem-solving research.

For more information please visit the Marine Science Institute website.

One Tree Island Research Station

Research into the history of the Great Barrier Reef at the University of Sydney research station at One Tree Island is helping us understand how it will cope with anthropogenic climate change. Researcher Associate Professor Jody Webster is leading a team of scientists in the School of Geosciences unlock the secrets of the reef by analyzing historic cores of corals drilled from the reef.

Research areas

  • Autonomous underwater vehicles
  • Coastal and marine law
  • Coastal ecology
  • Coastal geomorphology
  • Evolution of continental margins
  • Evolution of global ocean areas
  • Evolution and developmental marine biology
  • Marine acoustics and bioacoustics
  • Marine data management
  • Marine ecology
  • Marine engineering and mechatronics
  • Marine geographic information science
  • Ocean carbon storage
  • Ocean engineering and technology
  • Oceanography
  • Policy and sustainability
  • Seabed dynamics
  • Simulation and visualisation of marine processes

Our people

Professor Elaine Baker, Director MSI Mercury rising, Deep sea mining
Dr Joy Becker Production-limiting infectious diseases affecting global aquaculture
Professor Gavin Birch Human-induced change and biological risk posed by contaminants in estuarine/harbour sediments: Sydney Harbour/estuary (Australia)
Dr Michelle Blewitt Marine mammal research
Dr Elisa Bone Billion Oyster Project, Educational Designer University of Sydney
Dr Eleanor Bruce Integrated Geospatial Management System Sydney Harbor Area
Professor Maria Byrne Impacts of ocean acidification on the interaction between tropical sea cucumbers, sediment biota and lagoon carbonate dynamics - direct and indirect effects of high CO2
Professor Doug Cato The Behavioural Response of Australian Humpback Whales to Seismic Surveys (BRAHSS)
Dr Samantha Clark  Can submarine landslides trigger tsunamis?
Associate Professor Ross Coleman  The impacts of human activities (e.g. pollution, buildings, seawalls) on coastal environments and how best to measure them
Dr Navneet Dhand The use of epidemiological and statistical tools to improve public health and to solve intricate problems confronting animal industries
Dr Olivia Evans Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome – closing knowledge gaps to continue farming Crassostrea gigas in Australia.
Dr Renata Ferrari Legorreta 3D Reefs Project
Professor Will Figueira Spatial Ecology of Marine Ecosystems, Marine Resource Management & Conservation, Population Ecology of Marine Fish (Temperate-Tropical)
Dr Daniel Harrison Saving the Great Barrier Reef - Cloud Whitening droplet generator
Dr Paul Hick Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome
Dr Tom Hubble Can submarine landslides trigger tsunamis?
Dr Kate Johnson Sustaining More Than Fish: Tradition and transformation in environmental conflicts, analysed the discursive and material relationship between culture and sustainability through the case study of tuna and La Tonnara - a tuna trap fishery used for centuries in Southern Italy
Professor Ian Jones Saving the Great Barrier Reef and Fertilising the ocean to help food security
Professor Peter Lay Vibrational Spectroscopic Analysis of Microplastics and Microfibres in Fish
Professor Rosemary Lyster  Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law
Dr Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska Nutritional Ecology of Marine Predators: challenges and opportunities
Dr Bree Morgan The mobility, bioavailability and toxicity of trace metals in natural and disturbed coastal systems.
Dr Phil Mulhearn Changing water depths in Sydney Harbour and History of the charting/surveying of major NSW estuaries and the accuracy of early charts.
Professor Dietmar Müller Marine geophysics and geodynamics, plate tectonics. Machine Learning Approaches to Analysing Global Sea Surface and Seafloor Data
Dr Richard Murphy  
Professor Elspeth Probyn Eating the Ocean - communicating complexity
Dr Maria Seton Zealandia: Earth’s Hidden Continent
Dr Yehuda Shalem, MSI coordinator Surface-groundwater interaction in coastal water
Professor Tim Stephens, Deputy Director MSI Ocean Governance in the Anthropocene – The Carbonation Challenge
Dr Edwina Tanner, MSI coordinator Oceanography and global warming (CO2 emissions)
Dr Emma Thompson Future Proofing the Sydney Rock Oyster
Associate Professor Ana Vila-Concejo Geocoastal research at the University of Sydney
Dr Ashley Ward Behavioural ecology of fish
Associate Professor Jody Webster Spur and Groove Evolution, Formation and Paleoclimate: Great Barrier Reef and French Polynesia
Professor Richard Whittington Aquatic Animal Health and Environmental Immunology
Professor Stefan Williams Marine Systems at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (navigation and mapping, clustering and classification, novel sensing, survey designs and platform designs)


Elaine Baker
Professor Elaine Baker
Academic profile

University of Sydney Marine Studies Institute

  • Room 308, Eastern Ave Madsen F09

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