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The role of the ATRF 

The Arafura Timor region is rich in marine biodiversity. The ecosystems, however, remain largely undescribed, and the benefits unexplored.

By working together, natural and social scientists, and industry will deliver beneficial marine and coastal science innovations by linking ecological research with analysis of human response to changing environmental conditions, and identifying optimal approaches for delivering sustainable economic benefits to national and regional communities.

  • The full range of research fields envisaged for the facility will include the facilitation of strategic commercialisation, sustainable management and conservation of the marine and coastal resource and ecosystems of the Arafura and Timor seas;
  • improve national capacity to describe, benefit from and use the biota's genetic resources;
  • enhance regional cooperation and regional economic stability, through science and the commercialisation of research for Australia and nations adjoining our EEZ;
  • facilitate use of national and regional non-living sea bed resources, through an accessible, strategic northern research facility; conduct research into sustainable aquaculture; and
  • assess marine carbon budgets of the Arafura and Timor Seas.

Resources at ATRF

Our laboratories are equipped with a range of the latest state of the art equipment including genetic sequencing analyser (GSA) and a stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer (SIRMS). It also contains all the usual equipment such as centrifuges, freezers, incubators and a Leica compound microscope. 

All offices are airconditioned and carpeted. A fax/printer/colour photocopier is located in the middle of the building and toilets and shower facilities are located at each end of the building. The offices, Project Room and kitchen facility are fully equipped.

ATRF provides public liability and building insurance, daily cleaning, internet access, landscaping, and maintenance. Access is by proximity devices; the building has an extensive back-to-base alarm system, with regular out of hours patrols.

As the ATRF is located on the ANU-owned North Australia Research Unit (NARU) site, there is access to on-site accommodation, BBQ and pool facilities.


Please contact the administration staff for more details. 

Laboratory One MicroscopeFish room