National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST)

The National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST) was established in 2002 by the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Mississippi in partnership with NOAA's Undersea Research Program (NURP) to develop and apply new technologies that enhance undersea research. NIUST is made up of three divisions: the Ocean Biotechnology Center & Repository (OBCR), the Seabed Technology Research Center (STRC), and the Undersea Vehicles Technology Center (UVTC) which broadly encompass the fields of biotechnology (e.g., biomedical and agrochemical products) and engineered technologies (e.g., instrumentation development) in the marine environment. NIUST is providing cutting edge technologies to NURP and their constituencies to further the nation's research capabilities in nearshore, deep water, and extreme marine environments. Program objectives are focused on exploration, research, and advanced technology development.

NIUST Divisions

  • development of marine natural products and new bioassays
  • development of new biosensors
  • ecotoxicolological investigations in coastal waters
  • ecology and exploration of coral reefs including the twilight zone
  • installation of a geochemical deep seafloor observatory at a gas hydrate site in the Gulf of Mexico
  • cutting-edge microbial research at the hydrate observatory
  • advances in AUV and ROV design and capabilities
  • development of advanced AUV sensors including seismic and sub-bottom profiling applications
  • high-resolution seafloor mapping with an AUV


The overall goal of the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology is to bring together academic or other research organizations to promote, conduct, and lead integrated, multidisciplinary undersea research commensurate with the directives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Undersea Research Program (NURP).

NIUST is based at The University of Mississippi (Oxford MS) and at The University of Southern Mississippi (Stennis Space Center MS). NIUST provides support and instrumentation to the NURP regional centers, as well as extramural grant support to the federal and non-federal communities. In addition, NIUST scientists are funded to develop new technologies and problem solve techniques/technologies into various marine habitats.

  • Explore and study marine ecosystems
  • Investigate new, living and non-living resources from the sea
  • Promote coastal and ocean environmental health
  • Advance understanding of oceans and human health
  • Enhance seafloor surveying and observing systems
  • Develop new and more capable undersea vehicles
    • Geoff Wheat, PhD
    • Director
    • 662-915-7583
    • [javascript protected email address]
    • Dr. Marc Slattery
    • Director OBCR
    • 662-915-1053
    • [javascript protected email address]
    • Dr. Vernon Asper
    • Director UVTC
    • 228-688-3178
    • [javascript protected email address]
    • Dr Greg Easson
    • Director STRC
    • 662-915-5995
    • [javascript protected email address]