Better Science, Better Decisions

The Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) is an independent, leading Australian marine research organisation. We are a collaboration of state, federal and academic entities that deliver large-scale, long-term and world-class research. Our projects, publications and consultations help governments, industry and the wider community to make informed decisions about the management of Western Australia’s marine estate.

Our range of activities include:

  • Delivery of marine science projects
  • Scoping and initiating new programs of research
  • Establishing well-qualified scientific teams
  • Developing science plans, business cases and project plans
  • Full project management
  • End to end project communications
  • Data and information management
  • Building new project proposals around new investment

WAMSI has carried out research into climate change, dredging thresholds, biodiversity, the iconic Ningaloo and Kimberley Marine Parks, sustainable fisheries, biotechnology and oceanography, and has overseen the development of tools for working on Country with Traditional Owners and for incorporating Indigenous knowledge into research. We have also facilitated the development of a marine bioresources library that will store thousands of marine samples collected by researchers.

WAMSI’s world-class research has made unique new discoveries, strengthened previous knowledge and developed new tools as well as applied existing national and global models to the Western Australian context. We have enhanced knowledge of the WA marine estate and its biological resources, and have improved our understanding of natural climate variability and predictions of longer-term climate change for the WA marine environment.

Improved research capacity and coordination has been the hallmark of WAMSI research. We have achieved our strategic objective to a high degree through the following target outcomes:

  • Improved coordination of marine science activities in Western Australia
  • Improved understanding of the marine and estuarine ecosystems of Western Australia
  • Enhanced predictive capacity to model both natural and anthropogenic effects
  • Improved confidence for management decisions based on the outputs of the WAMSI research


Based at the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre, WAMSI oversees financial and science planning and provides full administration support for the WAMSI Board, committees and sub-committees. It coordinates collaboration and research activities, legal and financial management, data management and storage, research assessments, communication, conferences and symposia.

Dr Paul Vogel Chair as of 30 January 2020.

Dr Luke Twomey (CEO) Luke commenced in June 2017 to oversee the completion of WAMSI science programs,  as well as drive planning for the long-term future of WAMSI and the Blueprint for Marine Science. Currently, he is delivering a major collaborative science program on the marine environment at Cockburn Sound in partnership with Westport and a comprehensive science plan for Shark Bay.

Trish Wells (Executive Assistant) Trish is the Executive Assistant to Dr Luke Twomey and supports the administration of WAMSI. Trish commenced with WAMSI in June 2013.

Dr Jenny Shaw (Research Director) Commenced in October 2018 to work on continuing to deliver Western Australia’s Blueprint for Marine Science 2050 science priorities.

Dr Alan Kendrick (Project Manager) Commenced in June 2021 to work on delivering the Metropolitan West Coast science priorities.

Luke Edwards (Data Manager) Luke is a Data Specialist at Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.

Chris Gentle (Director Information Management) Chris is an information management specialist applying his expertise to enable shared and sustainable environmental analytics and forecasting to streamline environmental assessment in WA.

Cecile O’Connor (Acting Communications Manager) Cecile joined WAMSI in January 2023 to support strategic communication across the marine research programs. She has an extensive background in media and media advising.

Anna-lee Harry (Communications Manager) Anna-lee commenced in October 2021 to support the communication of WAMSI’s marine research programs and activities.

Josh Bonesso (Communications Officer) Josh is a PhD Candidate in Marine Science and works in communication and design on WAMSI’s marine research programs.


WAMSI brings together the diverse expertise and combined resources of its member organisations providing independent and collaborative scientific partnerships to leverage investment in strategic marine research that will contribute to regional understanding and multiple-use marine planning.

The institution adopts an unbiased collaborative science-based position, conducting independent, peer-reviewed research that will help inform the process of balancing development goals with conservation imperatives and management objectives. This enables the proponents, regulators and decision makers to arrive at the best outcome with the optimum balance of economic, environmental and social benefits.

The administrative functions of WAMSI are funded through a Financial Assistance Agreement with the Western Australian Government, Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.