Over its 40-year history, AIMS has earned its reputation as an impartial and trusted advisor on tropical water quality issues. AIMS have the commitment and capacity to undertake multidisciplinary, long-term and large-scale scientific research that addresses the NESP TWQ Hub priorities.

AIMS research has made significant contributions to the development and implementation of policies and guidelines, especially as part of the Reef Water Quality Protection Plan (Reef Plan). AIMS research has focused on documenting and understanding the condition, dynamics and trends of water quality and coral reef communities in the GBR region, and linking these to changes in catchment and coastal use. AIMS has a strong track record of targeted research on current issues, such as the impacts of sediments, nutrients and agrichemicals on key organisms and communities, the impact and ecology of Crown-of-Thorns seastars on coral reefs, and the ecological responses and adaption of marine species to future temperature increases and ocean acidification.

AIMS is well positioned to contribute to TWQ Hub priority outcomes through its niche capabilities in:

  • Water quality analysis and monitoring to assess the fate and effects of pollutants and to provide sound baselines and trends to evaluate the success of long-term management activities.
  • Ecosystem monitoring and understanding to provide long-term data series on ecosystem health. This data underpins ecosystem assessments and attribution of changes and impacts, including the development of novel health indicators on a molecular or microbial level.
  • Development and application of integrated hydrodynamic, water quality sediment transport and ecosystem response models for long-term scenario testing.
  • Quantification of ecological responses to cumulative pressures using world-class controlled environment experimental facilities (Seasim).
  • Ecotoxicology using relevant tropical and sub-tropical species to test the effects of pollutants, such as herbicides, metals and hydrocarbons.

Australian Institute of Marine Science