FEC Academy – Assoc. Prof. Merle Sowman

Assoc. Prof. Merle Sowman

Current position:  

Head of Department

University of Cape Town | South Africa

Merle Sowman is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at University of Cape Town in South Africa. Her research focuses on questions of governance, rights, social justice and environmental sustainability in marginalized coastal communities in southern Africa. She is currently involved in a number of interdisciplinary projects in the BCLME region and BRICS countries concerned with understanding vulnerable coastal socio-ecological systems and exploring adaptation responses and novel governance approaches to address change, uncertainty and risk. She is also part of an interdisciplinary team working on a GCRF project – One Ocean Hub – led by Strathclyde University which is concerned with challenging “blue economy” narratives and transforming ocean governance in ways that lead to more equitable and sustainable outcomes.  

Links for more information:

Which of the three themes and four hotspots of Future Earth Coasts are you addressing with your work?


☐    Dynamic Coasts

X    Human Development and Coasts

X   Pathways to Coastal Sustainability

* Find out more about our themes


☐   Small islands

☐   Urbanization in coastal zones

☐   Arctic Coasts

X    River-Mouth Systems, Deltas and Estuaries