The Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS), established in 1990 and originally named the Swire Marine Laboratory, is located at Cape d’Aguilar as an off-campus research facility of the Faculty of Science. With its research focus set on coastal marine systems, SWIMS facilitates and enhances interdisciplinary research about their biodiversity and ecology, particularly about habitat destruction and restoration; global change and adaptation; and overexploitation and sustainability. SWIMS also aspires to foster research collaborations and education links with other marine facilities in Southeast Asia and across the globe, introducing the wonderful world under the sea to the general public.
Expansion and renovation of research facilities in 2020
Thanks to the generous support from the Swire Trust, the expansion and renovation of the existing main building was completed in 2021, providing state-of-the-art facilities to cater for its growing body of new staff and research students. It also introduces local citizens and students to the diversity of amazing sea life through its proposed outreach and knowledge transfer programmes.
The new facilities comprise a brand new laboratory for modern molecular and physiology research, a multipurpose biodiversity centre for public outreach and community engagement on marine conservation, and indoor and outdoor seawater aquaria in different dimensions to accommodate species of various sizes.
The Wet Lab - Associated with the Aquarium, it is designed to perform physiological measurement and dissection of specimens.
Aquarium - Expanded from the existing structure, containing approximately 50 - 60 individual tanks in different dimensions to accommodate species of various sizes. The aquarium is designed specifically in a controlled environment where lighting and temperature are adjustable for manipulating a day cycle that simulates an environment according to the needs of different species.
Molecular Laboratory - What used to be staff offices and storage space has been converted into a brand new, state of the art molecular lab. It provides a highly sterilised and dry environment for extracting DNA of specimens and performing downstream molecular analysis using advanced equipment.
Biodiversity Centre - As part of the new structure, the centre will be a multipurpose space for public outreach and community engagement, a classroom for visiting school groups, and a library which houses the SWIMS museum specimen collection. The specimen collection mostly collected from Hong Kong, which will continue to be used for research purposes.
Conservation and community outreach
Different research projects have been conducted by SWIMS which inform local conservation and sustainable management as well as engaging with members of the local community to promote the importance of conserving Hong Kong's rich marine biodiversity. To learn more about their mission and current research activities, please visit the official website of SWIMS.