Strengthening connections: The human side of global environmental change research

Strengthening connections: The human side of global environmental change research


The Future Earth Coasts community is global by both necessity and choice. To achieve our vision of supporting transformation to a sustainable and resilient future for society and nature on the coast, we are committed to engaging a broad range of academics, practitioners, decision makers, policy makers, and key sector representatives worldwide. An important part of maintaining our global community is making sure that the connections between countries, institutes, and individuals are strong and active providing a foundation for impactful knowledge mobilization at a range of scales.

Chen Tu 1Chen Tu 3

Dr Chen Tu from the Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research (YIC-CAS) in China has been visiting our IPO in Cork, Ireland in order to do just this. YIC focuses on the study of land-ocean interactions, the evolution and sustainable development of resources, and the nature of coastal zone environments, with particular attention to the influence of global climate change and human activities. YIC-CAS attaches great importance to international cooperation and exchange and having Dr Tu here at the MaREI Centre has allowed him to interact with research colleagues and students alike in order to discuss his research as well as understand all that is going on here in Ringaskiddy.

But this story does not end here. Our recently established links will be further enhanced in October this year when the IPO and YIC-CAS run a joint session at the 3rd Open Science Meeting in Beijing ( and our Science Officer Dr Shona Paterson visits Yantai after the meeting. Dr Tu’s visit has also allowed us to identify further opportunities both in China and more broadly within the Asia Pacific to work on together including organising a session at the 3rd Xiamen Symposium of Marine Sciences ( early next year. This collaboration, although steeped in history, has only just begun.

Another exciting development is the fact that we are now discussing the possibility of setting up knowledge exchanges that will allow two or three scientists from YIC-CAS to spend an extended period of time working here at the IPO next year. This would help to maintain and operationalise our support for early career scientists, a function of the Future Earth Coasts Project that we are very passionate about.