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Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

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About IMAS

Aurora Australis in big seas

The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, IMAS, was established by the approval of Ordinance 17 by the University Council on December 11, 2009. The Ordinance came into effect on 1 January 2010. IMAS is led by an Executive Director who reports to the IMAS Board. The Board is accountable to the Council through the Vice-Chancellor.


Formation of IMAS

The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) was created by the University of Tasmania Council to bring together the many strands of marine and Antarctic research currently being pursued in and around Hobart, to encourage the development of strengthened research links and exploit new research opportunities. The Institute is independent of the University’s Faculty Structure and is run by an independent Board under the leadership of an independent Chair.

IMAS brings together 200 staff and 140 graduate students from:

  • The Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute (TAFI)
  • The Institute for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies (IASOS), and
  • Some marine and Antarctic scientists from the academic Schools of UTAS

IMAS staff work in close partnership with staff and are involved in co-supervision of RHD students from:

  • The Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Co-operative Research Centre (ACE CRC)
  • the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS)
  • The Tasmanian Partnership in Advanced Computing (TPAC) and
  • The National Centre for Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability at the AMC (NCMCRS)

Work is currently underway on plans for IMAS to occupy wharf shed number 2 on Princes Wharf on Hobart’s waterfront, adjacent to CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (CMAR) laboratories; a signature development for the University which should be completed by 2013.


Role of IMAS

IMAS will provide a critical mass to position the University of Tasmania as the leading institution for marine and Antarctic studies.

IMAS works in close partnership with a wide group of Tasmanian research and teaching organisations including:


Activities of IMAS

IMAS is both a teaching and research organisation. IMAS teaches into:

  • Bachelor of Marine Science and Bachelor of Antarctic Science degrees coordinated by the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology,
  • Honours, Masters by coursework and research, and PhDs
  • In partnership with CSIRO CMAR it runs a highly successful PhD course in Quantitative Marine Science.

Currently IMAS supports 107 Research Higher Degree students. It offers specialised short-duration courses in topics such as:

  • scientific diving, suitable for graduate students as well as professional marine science workers

Research covers a wide spectrum of topics including, but not limited to,

  • sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
  • coastal and estuarine ecology
  • ecosystem and marine systems modelling
  • change in the marine environment
  • marine biodiversity
  • Southern Ocean marine habitats
  • sea ice biota ecology and productivity
  • the Antarctic environment
  • oceans governance and policy and
  • bio-security and seafood product supply chain

Research grants in excess of $7 million support this activity, including a substantial research partnership agreement with the Government of Tasmania for research and training in Sustainable Marine Resources.