Marine and Freshwater Research Laboratory

Located at the Perth Campus, the Marine and Freshwater Research Laboratory (MAFRL) offer a fully integrated service for the sampling and analysis of fresh, estuarine and marine water environments. This includes comprehensive project management from tailored project design to data analysis and report writing.

Marine and Freshwater Research Laboratory and National Association of Testing Authorities logos

Our team of expert scientists complete testing in our specialised laboratory, which is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (Accreditation Number: 10603) to ISO/IEC 17025:2017, which means you can have full confidence in our analysis and reporting.


Services we offer

Laboratory services

Scientist in Laboratory with equipment

Our laboratory is a fully equipped, NATA-accredited facility for the analysis of fresh, estuarine and marine samples. Our laboratory analysis services include:

  • Water Analyisis for nutrients, chlorophyll, organic carbon, ultra trace elements, heavy metals, major cations and anions
  • Sediment Analysis for nitrogen and phosphorus, pore water, chlorophyll, heavy metals, lead isotope ratios
  • Biota Analysis for plant nutrients and trace elements, heavy metal accumulation, lead isotope ratios, sorting and identification of marine pests.

Below is the Chain of Custody form, tables for measurement uncertainties and a guide for sample handling, holding times and storage procedures.

Field sampling

Diver taking field samples

Led by our team of experienced scientists and ADAS qualified divers, we can complete a range of field sampling work for clients in Western Australia. Our field sampling services include:

  • Water quality profiling and sampling
  • Outfall and dredge plume monitoring
  • Dilution and dye tracer studies
  • Offshore baseline water quality surveys
  • Sediment quality surveys
  • Diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) devices, deployment and analysis
  • Aquatic macrophyte monitoring of vegetation
  • Seagrass and macroalgal mapping
  • Benthic sampling and invertebrate surveys
  • Port surveys of introduced marine pests.

Equipment hire and calibration services

Two scientists on commercial boat

MAFRL has a range of water quality and sediment quality sampling equipment available for hire for the monitoring of coastal marine and freshwater environments.

Sampling equipment includes:

  • Commercial research vessels
  • Water quality sampling equipment including Niskin bottles, sampling pumps and filtration equipment
  • CTD SeaBird SBE19plusV2 water quality profiling instruments
  • CTD SeaBird SBE16plus moored instruments
  • PAR loggers and instantaneous light attenuation loggers
  • A range of sediment grabs (Van Veen, Petite Ponar, Ekman)
  • Drop down video with GPS overlay.

MAFRL also provides calibration services for field instrumentation including:

  • Turbidity calibrations and checks of various loggers using primary standards
  • PAR logger calibrations against calibrated standard light source
  • Salinity and temperature checks for CTD equipment against IAPSO seawater.

Project management

Project management – Man on boat taking sample

We can provide clients with a complete end-to-end service including tailored project design incorporating your individual needs, field sampling, data analysis and report writing.

Examples of projects we’ve delivered for clients include:

  • Annual Water Quality of Cockburn and Warnbro Sounds
  • Benthic health monitoring of seagrass at Southern Seawater Desalination Plant
  • Introduced marine pest surveys of Bunbury Harbour
  • Ecological health of Wellard wetlands
  • Macroalgal surveys in the Peel Harvey Estuary.

Service terms, fees and charges

For a list of our fees and charges and service terms, see below:


Get in touch

Call us

+61 8 9360 6907
Monday - Friday
8:30am - 5:00pm

For deliveries

Room 3.026, Level 3
Physical Science Building (340)
Top of Car Park 3, Loading Zone 1
Murdoch University 90 South St, Murdoch 6150

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