Research Facilities available to SEACAMS

RV Noctiluca

The Biological Sciences research vessel, the RV Noctiluca, is used for marine research and training in connection with the University's teaching and research programme. It is a unique, twin-hulled, shallow-draft, aluminium vessel that combines speed, maneuverability and efficiency with a flexible work platform. The Noctiluca is suitable for a wide range of scientific tasks, ranging from hydrographic assessment to trawling and other forms of benthic and pelagic survey work.

The Noctiluca is a 12.5 m, diesel powered catamaran capable of 20 knots. It can cruise at 16 knots with a range of 500 nautical miles. The vessel is also equipped with the latest navigation aids enabling offshore operation for several days.

Field Equipment

Field equipment available at Swansea University includes:

  • Leica GNSS NetRover for highly accurate topographic surveys in real-time,
  • YSI 6600-M Sonde, a self logging in situ probe to measure profiles of conductivity (salinity), temperature, oxygen saturation, turbidity, and chlorophyll fluorescence,
  • Sea Spy underwater camera for underwater seabed surveys, as well as
  • Various beam trawls, grabs and plankton nets.


SEACAMS manages a laboratory at Swansea University to analyse and process water, sediment and specimen samples.

The laboratory comprises a unique benthic specimen reference collection as well as specialist compact and stereo-microscopes.

For catchment studies and sediment samples, the team has access to muffle furnaces for determining organic content, a Coulter particle-size analyser, Bartington magnetic susceptibility equipment and a Niton XRF analyser for determining heavy metal concentrations.




Software frequently used at SEACAMS includes:

  • Python, a high level programming language for rapid development of bespoke software,
  • ArcView GIS for geomorphic mapping and remote sensing analysis,
  • Primer-E, an environmental multivariate statistical analysis package, and
  • HYPACK, a multi-input hydrographic survey package.