Understanding, shaping and sustainably exploiting the resources of the marine environment. This involves understanding how organisms function and interact with other organisms and with their environment. Research within the SOI covers the span of marine systems but also includes studies of near-shore terrestrial or freshwater systems that impact on the marine environment (nutrient run-off, pollutants etc). In addition, we support areas where theory developed in aquatic systems can be applied more broadly (e.g. biodiversity research in rivers, estuaries and coasts).
Governance of the oceans is changing rapidly. The SOI has been established in part to help underpin the knowledge and information needed to operate ocean governance, provide independent and objective advice for policy development and develop new and innovative approaches to the management of the oceans.