Research at WUCEL

WUCEL supports the research activities of more than 50 academic staff and students from the School of Biological Sciences. Some researchers are based at WUCEL and others make use of the lab's facilities and resources on a seasonal basis, or to support research activities at overseas locations including Antarctica, Australia, Indonesia, Chile and the Pacific Islands.VUCEL research

Research areas

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.

Research programmes

Many of the research programmes supported by WUCEL 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.


Staff and students maintain strong collaborative links with research groups at the National Institute for Water and Atmosphere (NIWA), Cawthron, the Department of Conservation and with researchers at other universities in New Zealand and overseas.

Research funding

Most of WUCEL’s research funding is from comes from external sources including:

  • Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund
  • Ministry of Fisheries
  • Ministry of Science and Technology
  • Contract research
  • Overseas research funding.

Research centres

WUCEL supports the activities of the Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology (CBRE) CBRE, an applied research centre within the School of Biological Sciences, conducts research in biodiversity and restoration ecology.

Researchers affiliated with both of these Centres make use of WUCEL’s facilities and resources regularly.