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Benthic biodiversity


Distribution, species and environmental drivers of benthic biodiversity

Other Details: 

Kimberly Marine Research Program: Project 1.1.1
Location: Camden Sound, Cape Leveque, northern Kimberley
Project Leader: Andrew Heyward, AIMS
Telephone: 6369 4038




  • To provide a better understanding of the regional biodiversity found throughout the Kimberley
  • To identify and characterise in finer detail the major habitat types in selected coastal areas such as Lalang Garam/Camden Sound Marine Park.
  • To identify physical and ecological features that have resulted in the patterns of habitats and biodiversity described above.

Proposed Methods

  • Plan a sampling regime based on representative sites in the Kimberley.
  • Sample seabed biodiversity during vessel based cruises that will use a combination of towed camera, sediment grabs and towed sled to collect and identify seabed plants and animals.
  • Sample nearshore areas at a finer scale using towed cameras, low tide reef walks and sediment grabs to identify seabed plants and animals.


  • A habitat map identifying the major seabed habitat types throughout the Kimberley.
  • A better understanding and appreciation of the importance of marine biodiversity in the Kimberley (including number of species and identification of species new to science and/or new to the region)
  • An improved ability to plan and manage marine protected areas in the Kimberley.


Octocoral Field Guide, Kimberley, Western Australia:

Research Articles

Hosie, AM, Hara, A. (2016). Description of a new species of brooding spider crab in the genus Paranaxia Rathbun, 1924 (Brachyura: Majoidea), from northern Australia and Indonesia. Zootaxa DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4127.1.6


Rare soft corals feature in Kimberley photographic field guide (WAMSI BUlletin July 2017)

What do flatback turtles in NW Australia eat? (Northwest Atlas Blog October 2016)

What’s on the menu for NW Australia’s flatback sea turtles? (AIMS Blog August 2016)

Kimberley seabed survey expected to reveal new species (WAMSI Bulletin May 2016)

Marine mapping for a North Kimberley Marine Park (WAMSI February Bulletin 2016)

The Kimberley coastline: what lies beneath? (WAMSI Bulletin February 2015)

Field report from research vessels in Camden Sound, Kimberley region (WAMSI Bulletin November 2014)



Miller K et al. Kimberley seabed biodiversity. 2017 WAMSI Research Conference (audio) Presentation slides Video: Camden Sound Solander Tow 060 hard bottom diverse ff

WAMSI Research Conference 2015 Session 3: Kimberley Node - Understanding the history and the habitats of the Kimberley Andrew Heyward, AIMS - Benthic Biodiversity (audio)  (presentation slides)  (video 1)  (Video 2)