6 Nov 2018 Exploration of the deep sea around New Zealand: progress and promise

Tuesday 6 November 2018 at 6.00pm

National Aquarium, Marine Parade, Napier

Dr Dave Pawson

Emeritus Senior Scientist
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA

Admission: Gold coin donation


The great ocean depths affect our day-to-day lives in many ways, and they are home to mysteries, monsters, and minerals that capture our imagination. New Zealand, with its immense Exclusive Economic Zone, has played a large part in the 150-year history of deep-sea exploration. How much do we know today about the deep sea, and what do we need to know?

Dave Pawson was born and raised in Napier, and he received M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Zoology from Victoria University, Wellington. He joined the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., USA, in 1964. Now retired, he was a Senior Research Scientist for many years. He has taught courses at several universities, published 300 scientific papers, presented more than 200 public lectures.


During a long career in research in the deep sea, making more than 200 dives in manned research submersibles to depths in excess of 4,000 metres, Dave has had many deep-sea adventures, involving new and amazing animals, sunken ships, unexploded ammunition from two World Wars, and piles of automobiles!



Dr. Pawson is a marine biologist, specialising in deep-sea biology and the marine biology of isolated oceanic islands, and his research specialty is the echinoderms – sea stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and their relatives and has had this starfish named after him.