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Centre of Excellence in Aquaculture and Marine Ecology (CEAME)

16 October 2023

UC's Centre of Excellence in Aquaculture and Marine Ecology (CEAME) is a partnership approach for training students by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and UC's School of Biological Sciences. Learn more about the Centre of Excellence in Aquaculture and Marine Ecology. 


The objectives of CEAME
  • Promote and enhance excellence in aquaculture and marine ecological research
  • Attract the best students nationally and internationally
  • Train students at the postgraduate level by sharing and using the joint expertise of university and NIWA personnel
  • Attract funding to support student training and research
  • Provide opportunities for students to do research with NIWA scientists in established and new programmes
  • Increase collaborative linkages between NIWA and the university.

Previous student projects

MSc projects have included:

  • The energetics of mussel feeding
  • Flatfish aquaculture
  • Moulting and growth in rock lobsters

PhD projects have included:

  • Growing sponges in aquaculture for the production of pharmaceuticals
  • Increasing production of mussels in aquaculture through the control of mussel stocks
  • Effects of grazing by micro-zooplankton on the production of phytoplankton around mussel farms
  • The effects of mussel farms on nutrients and plankton production
  • Dynamic modelling of oyster production in aquaculture
  • Intertidal, rocky shore ecology, with an emphasis on human-induced impacts.

A broad range of disciplines are covered by CEAME, including mathematics and engineering.

Funding is available for both personal support through scholarships and operational support for field-based work. Students are situated in offices on the NIWA campuses in Wellington and Christchurch and given full access to NIWA facilities.

Solving environmental problems, usually with links to industry, is a hallmark of the student projects, with emphasis on attacking these problems within the larger conceptual and theoretical issues of marine science.

Student research being done in CEAME is being fed into the ecological modelling done by others, a significant advantage of the “centre” approach. As the projects expand there has been an expansion of supervisory affiliates from NIWA and the university.

CEAME provides a useful middle ground in curiosity-driven science between the smaller projects that characterise marine science in the university and the often highly applied science of NIWA.

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