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Boost for research to protect Sydney Harbour

Research on the impact and management of climate change in the Sydney region has been boosted by a $1.2 million contribution to the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) by the NSW Government and philanthropic organisation the Ian Potter Foundation.

SIMS, founded in 2006 by four Sydney universities, will be able to expand both its Chowder Bay facilities and its research effort according to Chair of the institute's Scientific Advisory Committee Professor David Booth from the UTS Faculty of Science.

"The new funds will significantly boost SIMS capacity in marine science, and will help in our academic and community collaborations and graduate training," Professor Booth said.

"The aquarium will be renovated to allow expansion of research there, including the effects of elevated water temperatures on the biology of marine organisms, a key outcome of climate change."

Seadragon by Jaime Sanchez Camara

NSW Minister for Science and Medical Research, Jodi McKay, said the contribution would help the institute build a new marine molecular biology lab and lease a new building to expand its harbourside headquarters.
"The centre will explore the impact and management of climate change on our beaches and coastline and examine how marine bacteria and other microbes affect the ecology of our oceans," Ms McKay said.

"The aim is to achieve sustainability for Sydney Harbour, the surrounding estuaries and our coast through research that will produce a much better understanding of the impacts of large cities like Sydney on their marine surroundings."

The institute, involving Macquarie University, the University of NSW, the University of Sydney and UTS, is also helping to train a new generation of marine scientists and managers through its support of undergraduate courses. There are plans for a Masters in Marine Science course targeted for 2010.

Meanwhile, the public will have the chance to look over the SIMS facility on Sunday 15th March when the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, in conjunction with SIMS and other Chowder Bay tenants, will be holding an open day as part Sydney Harbour Week.


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