Biology

This voyage is the first of a series of expeditions exploring selected trenches of the Pacific Ocean, starting with the Kermadec trench. It will investigate carbon and nutrient cycling by microbial communities in trenches exposed to different rates of organic carbon supply.
NIWA is looking for people who have had a long association with the Hauraki Gulf or Marlborough Sounds to help them with a research project on juvenile fish habitats.
Identifying creepy crawlies in your local stream just got a whole lot easier and faster, thanks to a new 3D identification system developed by a NIWA researcher.
The Microbial Loop

The microbial loop refers to the small microscopic organisms in the ocean – viruses, bacteria, the small phytoplankton and microzooplankton – and the relationships between them.

NIWA biological oceanographer Dr Julie Hall explains how the microbial loop forms the bottom of marine food webs and involves rapid cycling of both nutrients and carbon. Dominance of the microbial loop in the upper waters of the ocean leads to less carbon sequestration (sinking of carbon to the deep ocean). 

Antarctic Marine Food Webs

NIWA biological oceanographer Dr Matt Pinkerton discusses the complexities of Antarctic marine food webs, the uniqueness of many of Antarctica's marine animals and the extreme adaptations they display.

He talks about key predator and prey species in food webs of the Antarctic continental shelf areas, most notably the Antarctic toothfish and Antarctic silverfish, and possible effects of the toothfish fishery.  

Welcome to NIWA's third Alumni Update – an e-newsletter for past NIWA employees.

New Zealand's Kaikoura Canyon is a 'biodiversity hotspot', containing far more life than seen before at such depths.

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.

Welcome to NIWA's second Alumni Update – an e-newsletter for past NIWA employees.

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

They are tiny, burrow under the boards of your seaside bach, and make a heck of a lot of noise in the dead of night. They think night-time is the right time for … calling loudly in a raspy voice!

Snapper are New Zealand’s most prized fish; they are the fish fishermen love-to-love. They live in a wide range of habitats in New Zealand’s warmer coastal waters, around the North Island and the top of the South, and prefer depths of 5–60 metres. They grow to a decent size: up to 105 cm in length.

Think you’ve got your favourite surf beach to yourself? Think again! There’s life hidden beneath those waves.

“It may look barren, but the high-energy surf zone of exposed beaches is a very productive place, second only to coastal upwellings,” says Keith Michael, a fisheries scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). “It’s rich in phytoplankton [microscopic plants], such as diatoms, that provide a constant ‘soup’ for animals tough enough to survive the waves.”

If you’re surfing the North Island beaches this summer don’t be surprised if the sleek bronze body next to you riding the waves is that of a bronze whaler shark.

The scientific name for New Zealand’s iconic black-footed pāua captures its shape and iridescent hues perfectly: Haliotis iris means ‘ear-shell rainbow’.

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.

This summer, watch out when snorkelling around the New Zealand coastline, for our very own sea monster: Hippocampus abdominalis, the pot-bellied sea horse.

Presented papers, arranged by workshop programme.

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.

First we must be able to recognise if a species is new to science. There are several steps to the process.

Our oceans are expected to become more acidic as carbon dioxide concentrations rise. This will likely have impacts on the plankton, which play a major role in ocean ecosystems and processes.
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.
 
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