Scientific Steering Committee

The Future Earth Coasts Project relies on a large dynamic network that reflects the interdisciplinary, international, and multi-scale challenge of developing transformation pathways for the sustainable development of the world’s coastal zones.
To facilitate its network and planning and implementation activities Future Earth Coasts operates under the guidance and direction of a Scientific Steering Committee that is endorsed by Future Earth. The current membership of this committee is provided below.


Bruce Glavovic (co-Chair)

School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, New Zealand

Bruce is the Earthquake Commission Chair in Resilience and Natural Hazards Planning. He has a multi-disciplinary education, with degrees in economics and agricultural economics, environmental science, and urban and environmental planning. Research centres on the role of governance in building resilient and sustainable communities, with a focus on coasts and the role of land-use planning, collaboration, conflict resolution with science, policy and practice in managing natural hazard risks.

Valerie Cummins (co-Chair)

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science, University College Cork, Ireland

Val’s research explores governance in building sustainable coastal communities. Recently, she has developed a particular interest in the opportunity to reconcile the sustainable development of marine and coastal resources with Blue Growth objectives. In doing so, she leverages her unique experience of disruptive innovation as a co-founder of Ireland’s Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC), and as co-founder of Europe’s first maritime and energy incubator.

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Donald Forbes (vice-Chair)

Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, NS, Canada

Don is based at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He is a retired Senior Research Scientist (Emeritus) at the Geological Survey of Canada, Adjunct Prof. of Geography (Memorial University of Newfoundland) and Earth Sciences (Dalhousie University), Project Leader in the ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence, and former manager of the Climate Change Geoscience Program at Natural Resources Canada. His research focuses on coastal geomorphology and the science-policy interface for climate-change adaptation, hazard mitigation and community resilience.

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Ramesh Ramachandran (past-Chair)

National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management Ministry of Environment and Forests, India

Ramesh is the Director of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, Ministry of Environment and Forests. His expertise includes coastal ecosystem biogeochemistry and coastal zone management, including capacity building. He received his MPhil and PhD in Environmental Sciences from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and a second PhD in Marine Sciences from the McGill University, Canada followed by research experience at Harvard University, Max-Planck-Institute für Chemie, Germany on measurement of trace gases and their production and emissions.

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Julius Ibukun Agboola 1972-2016

Department of Marine Sciences, University of. Lagos, Nigeria

The Future Earth Coasts project is saddened to announce the sudden and untimely death of our colleague Julius. Julius was a Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and an Environmental Management Consultant.

Obituary Dr. Julius Ibukun Agboola

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John W. Day, Jr

Dept. of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, USA

John is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, at Louisiana State University. He received his PhD in marine sciences and environmental sciences from the University of North Carolina. John’s research focuses on the ecology and management of the Mississippi Delta region and coastal ecosystems in Mexico, the Venice Lagoon and the Po, Rhone and Ebro deltas. He also has an interest in the impacts of climate change on wetlands and 21st century megatrends on sustainability of natural and human systems.

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Nhan Nguyen Huu

Institute of Coastal and offshore Engineering, Viet Nam Academy for Water Resources

Nhan is an oceanographer working in Institute of Coastal and Offshore Engineering of Vietnamese Academy for Water Resources as Vice Director and Head of Department of computer modelling and GIS. His activities focus on coastal and estuarine oceanography to explore the interaction between marine processes and river delta on development and the application of computational models for studying hydrological, marine and environmental processes in river deltas, estuaries and coastal zone, as well as the impacts of climate change.

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Claudia Kuenzer

Earth Observation Center, German Remote Sensing Data Center

Claudia received her PhD from Vienna University of Technology in 2005 and since January 2016 is head of the department “Land Surface” at the German Earth Observation Centre, EOC, of the German Aerospace Centre, DLR. Her research interests centre on Earth Observation time series analysis focussing on land cover and land-use change, especially for study sites of the coastal zone using applied remote sensing especially in the context of land use and integrated water resources management, as well as on the linkage of natural and social sciences.

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Jiun-Chuan Lin

Department of Geography, National Taiwan University, Taipei

Jiun-Chuan Lin is Professor of Geomorphology at National Taiwan University, TAIWAN. He obtained his PhD degree in Geomorphology from Kings College London in 1991. His research focuses on geomorphology, tectonic movement and natural hazards, and promotes landscape conservation and monitoring environmental changes of the tectonically fragile Taiwan. He has been currently serving on a national research team for setting up a national adaption policy against sea level change.

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Michelle Mycoo

Department of Geomatics Engineering & Land Management, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago

Michelle is a Senior Lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning. Michelle holds a BA in Geography and Social Sciences from the UWI, MSc in Urban Planning from the University of Hong Kong, and a PhD from McGill University, Canada. Her research focuses on environmental degradation caused by unsustainable practices and the challenges of climate change facing tropical SIDS for policy formulation and coastal zone management.

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Joan Nymand Larsen

Stefansson Arctic Institute and University of Akureyri, Iceland

Joan is senior scientist with the Stefansson Arctic Institute, and lecturer with the Social and Economic Development and Polar Law Programmes, University of Akureyri, Iceland. Her research focuses on the study and assessment of living conditions and quality-of-life across the circumpolar region, as well as the construction, measurement and testing of Arctic specific social indicators, as well as the study of northern economies and renewable and non-renewable resource extraction impacts on industrial development and global change processes for Northern regions and local and coastal communities.

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Mark Pelling

Department of Geography, King‘s College London, UK

Mark is Professor of Geography, King‘s College London. His research interests are in the institutions and social relationships that shape vulnerability and adaptation to natural disasters, including those associated with climate change, and in the ways in which conflicting values and practices of development inform resilience and transformation in the face of environmental change. Mark has served as a coordinating author for the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX) and its Fifth Assessment Report.

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Roxane Maranger

Dept Biological Sciences, University of Montreal, Canada

Roxane is a professor in the Département des sciences biologiques and the scientific director of the Station Biologiques des Laurentides at the Université de Montréal. She is an aquatic ecosystem ecologist, whose research focuses on characterizing the impacts of climate change and human activities on the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen and carbon in both marine and freshwaters. Maranger is interested in issues related to water security including assessing the biophysical causes and societal consequences of harmful algal blooms, eutrophication and coastal hypoxia.

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J. Allister McGregor

The Dept of Politics, the University of Sheffield, UK

Allister is Professor in Political Economy at the University of Sheffield, UK. His research is focused on issues of poverty, vulnerability and human wellbeing in coastal communities. Allister’s work on human wellbeing provides conceptual and methodological developments that enable a sophisticated and policy relevant understanding of human wellbeing outcomes and processes. His research indicates what contribution the social sciences can make to the improvement policy-making and implementation for sustainable development in the coast.


Merle Sowman

Dept of Environmental and Geographical Science, Univesitry of Cape Town, South Africa

Merle is an Associate Professor in the Dept of Environmental and Geographical Sciences at UCT, South Africa. Her work focuses on integrated coastal and fisheries governance. Her key areas of interest are integrated coastal management, governance of small-scale fisheries, human dimensions of EAF and Marine Protected Area (MPA) management, integrating sustainability principles into planning and decision-making, local adaptation responses to climate change in vulnerable coastal communities and transformation processes that shift values, attitudes and behaviour.

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Tim Smith

Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia

Tim is the Director of the Sustainability Research Centre (SRC) at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), Australia and Adjunct Professor with the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre at Brock University, Canada. His research interests focus on the relationships between people, place and change and particularly in relation to coastal, water and climate change issues. He has also led the social science research and education portfolios of the Coastal Cooperative Research Centre and the Catchment Hydrology Cooperative Research Centre.

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Weiguo Zhang

State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University

Weiguo is Professor of Physical Geographer at East China Normal University, Shanghai, and Deputy Director of the State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research. His research focuses on delta evolution, sediment tracing, sedimentary metal pollution and ecosystem services using combined sedimentological, environmental magnetic, geochemical and radionuclide methods. He has been conducting studies of estuarine environmental changes over different timescales, and is currently leading an integrated survey of large river deltas in China.