Victoria University Coastal Ecology Lab

The Victoria University Coastal Ecology Laboratory in Wellington’s Island Bay supports the School of Biological Sciences’ coastal ecology research.


The Wellington University Coastal Ecology Laboratory, Victoria University of Wellington (WUCEL) is an active research facility, supporting research excellence in coastal ecology in the School of Biological Sciences. The laboratory is in Island Bay, only 8km from the University's main campus.

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.

Visit us—WUCEL Open Day

Join us for our annual WUCEL Open Day on Saturday 7 March between 10am and 3pm, for:

  • Interactive displays showcasing the diversity of marine biology research that happens on your doorstep
  • Touch tanks of marine creatures, see examples of research equipment in action, talk to knowledgeable researchers.
  • A behind the scenes look at marine biology at Victoria University of Wellington.
  • A fun and educational day for all ages!

Living laboratories

Activate our live webcam for a close-up view of one of our living laboratories.

Virtual tour

Take a virtual tour of our facilities. WUCELmaintains sea water laboratory facilities, a small fleet of research vessels and vehicles, and office space for up to 30 researchers and supporting staff.

Research in coastal ecology

WUCEL provides logistic support to research programmes in coastal ecology that are conducted in the Wellington region, throughout New Zealand, and at research sites elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific and Southern Oceans.

Watch the 2-minute introductory video below or read more about us.