The Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory

The Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory

Description

The Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory (VUCEL) is an active research facility, supporting research excellence in coastal ecology in the School of Biological Sciences

Our award-winning facility overlooks the spectacular exposed rocky reef systems of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve, and has extensive views across Cook Strait to the South Island. VUCEL is in Island Bay, only 8km from the University's main campus

VUCEL provides logistic support to research programmes in coastal ecology that are conducted in the Wellington region, throughout New Zealand, and at research sites elsewhere including Antarctica, Australia, Indonesia, Chile and the Pacific Islands.

Expertise

The Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory (VUCEL) is an active research facility, supporting research excellence in coastal ecology in the School of Biological Sciences

Our award–winning facility overlooks the spectacular exposed rocky reef systems of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve, and has extensive views across Cook Strait to the South Island. VUCEL is in Island Bay, only 8km from the University's main campus

VUCEL provides logistic support to research programmes in coastal ecology that are conducted in the Wellington region, throughout New Zealand, and at research sites elsewhere including Antarctica, Australia, Indonesia, Chile and the Pacific Islands.

Objective

The aim of many coastal ecology research programmes is to determine the factors that shape the distribution and abundance of coastal organisms. Key questions are: where species occur, where they don't, and why; and how many occur there and why aren't there more? These aims often have direct implications for effective management and conservation of threatened or harvested species.

Research Focus

Most of the ongoing work conducted at the lab focuses on rocky intertidal habitats, shallow sub–tidal ecosystems, and coastal plant and animal communities, but the lab also has a long and distinguished history in studies of pelagic and soft–sediment ecosystems.

Many of the research programmes supported by VUCEL have important implications for coastal resource management and conservation biology.

Several active research programmes address the effects of marine reserves and other coastal restoration efforts, while others explore the effects of terrestrial run–off and sewage on coastal marine ecosystems.

Unique Capability Proposition

Much of the active research and teaching conducted from the lab focuses on population and community ecology of coastal ecosystems, including coastal forests and watersheds, sand dune plant communities, and intertidal and shallow sub-tidal rocky reef ecosystems. Further areas of research focus include larval biology, conservation biology, physiological ecology, behavioural ecology, marine reserves, metapopulation dynamics, population genetics and evolution, disturbance ecology, and marine symbiosis.