FECoasts/MaREI representation at the recent ECSA56 conference

Future Earth Coasts session at ECSA


Future Earth Coasts Session at ECSA 56 

The 2016 annual conference of the Estuarine and Coastal Shelf Association (ECSA56) “Coastal systems in transition – From a ‘natural’ to an ‘anthropogenically-modified’ state” was held from the 4-7th of September 2016 in Bremen, Germany. Over 450 researchers and professionals from global multi-disciplinary communities convened to discuss current and emerging issues in the science and management of estuaries and coastal seas in a rapidly changing world.

Future Earth Coasts together with Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland and the International EMECS Centre had the privilege of running an interdisciplinary special session entitled “Future Earth Coasts – Exploring coastal futures in the Anthropocene”. The session was co-chaired by two of our FECoasts science officers,  Marcus Lange (Research Fellow, Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland [MaREI], University College Cork, Ireland) and Dr. Maike Paul (Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany and attracted with over 100 attendees. Our seven presenters discussed a broad range of topics including earth observation, biogeochemical cycle assessments, climate change research, estuarine and marine biogeochemical cycle analysis, and maritime governance and coastal zone management.

Session presenters
Marco Ottinger, University of Wuerzburg, Germany
Earth observation based mapping of coastal aquaculture ponds in Asian hotspots – An object-based analysis of high spatial resolution Sentinel-1A SAR data
Fay Couceiro, University of Portsmouth, UK
Threats from anthropogenic inputs and climate change
Yong Min Luo, Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, CAS, China
Accumulation and distribution of organic carbon and nitrogen in sediments of the Yellow River estuary and surrounding bays: Influenced by river plume and farmland soils
Anna Fricke, University of Bremen, Germany
Response of phytobenthic communities towards top-down and bottom-up controls in an eutrophied coastal system
S. Bhavya, Physical Research Laboratory Gujarat University, India
The coastal Arabian Sea as a source of CO2 – A carbon isotopic study of dissolved inorganic carbon
Marcus Lange, Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland, UCC, Ireland
Managing a future with energy farms at sea – exploring governance responses to support marine energy developments

The session really highlighted that, in light of changing and intensified use patterns of non-commercial, self-sustaining ecosystem services often with large social and ecological impacts, societies are constantly being challenged to find sustainable solutions. Science needs to respond to this challenge by providing a profound understanding of the dynamics within social-ecological systems in order to support decision makers with approaches and tools to address the issues. Inter- and transdisciplinary research provides promising approaches from various fields around the world to meet this and other emerging challenges of societal concern. As session co-chair Dr. Maike Paul concluded after a fruitful discussion:

“Contributions within the session highlighted that we face challenges at all levels from molecular to landscape scale and across all disciplines ranging from natural sciences to governance”

A key highlight from our FECoasts perspective was the fact that so many of our former and current Future Earth Coasts scientists and collaborators were able to attend the conference, representing a variety of different scientific communities including China, Brazil, Australia, Ireland and Germany. In combination with collaborators and partners, our session was able to offer a truly global perspective on solution-driven coastal research and possible pathways to solutions at different scales.

ECSA57 conference will be held in Perth, Australia and we look forward to continuing to contribute to this important conference series as well as to the on-going conversation surrounding estuarine and coastal research.