One of the best research facilities

We are proud to support one of the world’s best facilities for coral reef research

The Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station (LIRS) is one of the world’s best facilities for field research on tropical coral reefs.

It is well-located for research on all types of reef habitats across the continental shelf and away from heavier tourist and shipping movements.

Thanks to the presence of the eco-friendly Lizard Island Resort, there is a daily air service and a regular barge service for supplies. Phone and internet communications are also unusually good for such an isolated area.

The Station is well equipped to support field research, with boats, diving gear, laboratories, microscopes, a salt-water aquarium and accommodation. All facilities are well maintained and comply with rigorous operational health and safety standards.

Visiting scientists who use the station’s facilities come from leading universities and research institutions in Australia and around the world. In a typical year, around 140 scientists (plus assistants) from 40 institutions in 10 countries conduct approximately 100 field research projects at the Station. Utilisation by visiting scientists is approximately 7,000 user-days per year.

The Station is led by two highly experienced marine scientist Directors (Dr. Anne Hoggett AM and Dr. Lyle Vail AM) who are supported by two maintenance staff. Visiting scientists appreciate the efficient support they receive for their research projects and the wealth of local knowledge available. Anne and Lyle have been in their current roles for more than 30 years. Their competence and dedication is a large part of the reason why LIRS is a preferred base for field research on the Great Barrier Reef.

Each year, about 100 new scientific publications based on Lizard Island research are added to the Station’s library. The volume and quality of this research is outstanding.

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I firmly believe that Lizard Island is, by far, the best [coral reef research station] in the world. It is not the largest or most famous but it has a single focus: quality research.
Professor David Bellwood

James Cook University

I’ve been to Lizard Island many times, and without a doubt it is the best facility of its kind in Australia, if not the world. 

Professor Terry Hughes

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Research

More reasons to donate


Research needs support

Lizard Island Research Station would not exist and could not continue without LIRRF donor support. Find out why >

Joe Pollock researching off Lizard Island

Advancing science careers

Our fellowships program kickstarts the careers of promising researchers. Learn more >

Joe Pollock researching off Lizard Island

Efficient funding channel

Our Foundation is a hyper-efficient funding channel where you will see all of your donations being put to good use. Learn more >

Coral reefs need our help

The Great Barrier Reef is a vital part of our ecosystem and a natural wonder beloved by Australians. It is a World Heritage Area that is at risk of being listed as 'in danger' in recognition of the many challenges it faces.

Science and the will for change are the only possible solutions. Our work is helping.

Will you help us?


Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation
c/- Australian Museum
1 William Street, Sydney NSW 2010

Lizard Island Research Station
+61 (0)7 4060 3977

Weather & Ocean Observations

Latest Lizard Island Weather & Oceanic Observations from the AIMS Data Centre

We acknowledge Dingaal and Ngurrumungu Traditional Owners of the lands, seas and skies of the Lizard Island region.