Wellington University Coastal Ecology Lab Open Day

Researchers share their discoveries, answer questions, and give visitors a chance to interact with marine creatures.

Someone holding a crab at WUCEL open day

Wellingtonians can take an up-close look at the exciting marine biology discoveries happening right on their doorstep at the annual Open Day of the Wellington University Coastal Ecology Lab (WUCEL) on Sunday 14 March.

Between 10 am and 3 pm, visitors of all ages can interact with marine creatures, see research equipment in action, ask WUCEL researchers anything they want to know about marine life, and learn about marine biology research from interactive displays.

“We really enjoy the opportunity to engage with folks in the local community about our coastal research. It’s basically in their backyard so people are very curious and often passionate about the marine environment. And so are we!” says WUCEL director Associate Professor Nicole Phillips.

“This event gives our researchers and visitors the chance to share our discoveries and how we go about trying to answer some challenging questions. Of course, the touch tank is always immensely popular as well, because it’s a chance to not only see and touch these fascinating marine creatures but learn about them as well.”

The WUCEL Open Day is the only time the laboratory is open to the public.

The Open Day is part of Seaweek, an annual event run by the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education, which aims to inspire New Zealanders to care for and connect with the sea. Seaweek runs from 6–14 March and involves a variety of events for all ages across New Zealand.

“Events like the Open Day and Seaweek are a great way to get people thinking about the serious issues that affect our marine environment,” says Associate Professor Phillips.

What: WUCEL Open Day
When: 10 am to 3 pm, Sunday 14 March
396 The Esplanade, Island Bay
Free (optional gold coin donation), no booking required