It generates 50% of the world’s oxygen, and it is the basis of the entire oceanic food chain


Motivated individuals from the international sailing community, Planktonauts, work together with top scientists


Expanding scientific knowledge and sharing the beauty of the plankton world



Plankton is the basis of the food chain for entire ocean and beyond. It produces more than 50% of oxygen that we breath. It is also a major climate regulator, absorbing manmade CO2 emissions. Ranging from viruses to animals, the biodiversity of plankton is vast, largely unexplored, and little understood.  The planet’s changing climate and ocean acidification are already impacting plankton populations.

Plankton Planet’s mission is to provide the data necessary to enhance our understanding of our evolving planet at this critical juncture. By combining this dynamic biological information about plankton populations with new models of our ocean’s systems, we will be able to better predict changes to our blue planet…..Read more



Plankton Planet at the Maritime Museum in Auckland !

“An Epic Voyage through Our Changing Seas” Outreach – Thursday, 6 July at 6:30 pm

Plankton Planet is bringing together experts in Māori waka and sailing tradition with international scientists for a series of presentations and discussion with the audience. Join us for an evening of discovery combining Maori heritage, the latest oceanic plankton research developments, and never-before-seen images of plankton. The audience will be transported through an epic intellectual and visual voyage across our changing oceans with captivating stories from traditional waka to the latest innovations in modern oceanographic research, and into plankton ecosystems and the critical challenges facing our blue planet.

See the Full Program        Preregister for the Event

Maritime Museum of Auckland

Plankton Planet Arts Display – 6 – 30 July on Weekends

Fascinating, never-before-seen images of plankton will be on display in the Centre of Learning of the Maritime Museum. Giant prints of plankton, 3-D models, lenticular prints, and videos are guaranteed to surprise you. Get ready for an immersion into the beauty, functionality, and wide range of microscopic life forms.  Discover for yourself the basis of the ocean’s entire food chain.

Student Outreach – Friday, 7 July

Our scientists will be inspiring the next generation with examples of their on-going work in plankton and oceanic research.  Forty students and their teachers will interact with top scientists to learn more about solving scientific questions with new technologies and methods used in oceanic research.

These events are made possible through the generous cooperation with the Sir Peter Blake Trust, the New Zealand Maritime Museum, and Cawthron Institute and the support of the Total Foundation. A grant from the Seeding Fund of the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment and the Royal Society of New Zealand makes it possible for the researchers to come together for a weeklong workshop to share the latest knowledge and ideas for innovative collaboration in plankton-related research and the Plankton Planet Program.

Meet the Team

Making it all work from the boats to the laboratory

Meet the Planktonauts

Our Planktonauts travel the oceans collecting plankton

Sponsors & Collaborations

Meet our sponsors and collaborative partners


Learn more about plankton and find education resources for students


Discover our collection of videos about the Planktonauts and the project

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