About Future Earth Coasts
Through Our Coastal Futures, Future Earth Coasts provides an independent forum for regional coastal stakeholders to transform the way they engage with their coasts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
Future Earth Coasts is a platform for translating sustainability knowledge into action, providing access to a growing network of coastal researchers, and their connections with a diversity of coastal champions and advocates worldwide.
The purpose of Future Earth Coast is to enable the transition towards respectful custodianship of our coasts, in particular to
- Connect researchers, practitioners, indigenous peoples, activists, businesses, youth, and decision-makers.
- Build and bridge scientific, local, and indigenous knowledges.
- Advocate for equitable and sustainable development.
- Translate sustainability values and knowledge into action.
- Enable community resilience and adaptive capacity.
Future Earth Coasts is a core project of Future Earth, connected to a number of United Nations agencies, intergovernmental bodies, and organisations such as the International Council for Science.
Find out more about the Future Earth Coasts Platform.
Scientific Steering Committee
Professor Alice Newton
Universidade do Algarve, Portugal (Co-chair)
Alice Newton is a tenured Professor in the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences (DCMTA), Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT) of the University of Algarve (UAlg, Portugal) and a member of the Marine and Environmental Research Center (CIMA). An internationally known chemical oceanographer and academic, Alice has made an important contribution to the assessment of eutrophication in coastal lagoons. She works on coastal social-ecological system assessment, management and policy. Alice was an active member and a past chairperson of the LOICZ project, the predecessor of Future Earth Coasts.
Professor Tim Smith
University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia (Co-chair)
Tim Smith is a human geographer focused on coastal management and climate change adaptation. His research aims to discover innovative coastal governance approaches that embrace vulnerability and change. He holds an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship based at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), and is also an Adjunct Professor with Brock University, Canada, an Adjunct Professor with Southern Cross University, and a Senior Research Associate with Uppsala University, Sweden. Prior to taking up the ARC Fellowship, Tim held several senior positions such as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law, and Director of the Sustainability Research Centre at USC
Prof Valerie Cummins
University College of Cork, Ireland
Valerie Cummins (co-Chair FEC) 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. Val works at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science at University College Cork, Ireland.
Dr Karen Evans
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Australia
Karen Evans is a Team Leader and principal research scientist with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. Her research is focused on improving scientific understanding and developing options for sustainable marine resource management, particularly in relation to national and international fisheries, oil and gas activities and biodiversity at national, regional and global scales. Karen is co-chair of the international programme ‘Climate Impacts on Top Predators’ (CLIOTOP), an associate editor of the Proceeding of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, a coordinating expert for the UN’s Second World Ocean Assessment and a member of the Executive Planning Group for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
Dr Sebastian Ferse
Sebastian Ferse is the Executive Director of Future Earth Coasts at the IPO located at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen, Germany. His work addresses the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in coral reefs as well as human usages of coral reef resources. Using an approach that combines assessments of both taxonomic and functional diversity in reef systems, he aims for a better understanding of the impacts of both natural and anthropogenic changes in coral reefs. In examining coastal livelihoods, institutions and mariculture techniques, he is trying to gather insights into options for sustainable resources uses and into strategies for the development, implementation and improvement of these uses.
Prof Don Forbes
Don Forbes (vice-Chair of FEC) 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.
Prof Shu Gao
East China Normal University, China
Professor Shu Gao is the Director of the State Key Laboratory for Estuarine and Coastal Research at East China Normal University. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Oceanography, University of Southampton, UK, with past work experiences at the Southampton Oceanography Centre, Institute of Oceanology (Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Nanjing University. His research interests include marine sediment dynamics, coastal geomorphology, land-ocean interaction in the coastal zone, the formation of Holocene sedimentary records, material cycling in shallow marine environments, and coastal wetland environment dynamics. He has more than 200 publications focusing on coastal sciences.
Prof Bruce Glavovic
Massey University, New Zealand
Bruce Glavovic (co-Chair FEC) 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. His research centers 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.
Sapta Putra Ginting
Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia
Sapta Putra Ginting is the Deputy Director for Coastal Restoration, within the Directorate General of Marine Spatial Management, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia. He was involved in many major coastal management projects in Indonesia since 1994. Sapta was the Project Director for the Coastal Community Development Project IFAD and the Developing Sustainable Alternative Livelihood ADB which are located within 189 coastal villages, 14 districts and 11 provinces dealing with small scale fisheries livelihoods, coastal ecosystem restoration and conservation, marine debris and oil spill. He currently chairs the marine debris and oil spill task forces throughout Indonesia, especially in the national fishing ports and coastal areas.
Prof Elisabeth Holland
University of Bergen, Norway
Professor Elisabeth Holland is the Norway Pacific Chair in Oceans and Climate Change a joint appointment of the University of the South Pacific and the University of Bergen based at the University of the South Pacific. Professor Holland brings 30 years of climate change and earth system research experience to support the development of Pacific research capacity to ensure that her legacy becomes empowerment of Pacific students and communities to build resilient futures. Professor Holland has authored 5 of the 6 IPCC reports including the Special Report on Ocean and the Cryosphere serving as a US, German and now Fiji representative.
Dr Heath Kelsey
University of Maryland, United States
Heath Kelsey is Director of the Integration and Application Network at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Dr. Kelsey has developed more than 20 ecosystem health report cards for coastal and riverine ecosystems worldwide. Dr. Kelsey has expertise in meaningful stakeholder engagement for ecosystem research, restoration, and planning to help communities identify a shared vision for their ecosystem. His specialties include science communication, environmental and public health assessment, ecosystem health indicators, and stakeholder engagement. Dr. Kelsey received his MSPH and PhD from The University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health in 2000 and 2006. Dr. Kelsey was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Papua New Guinea from 1995-1998.
Dr Martin LeTissier
University College Cork, Ireland
Martin LeTissier has world-wide experience in coastal management, marine spatial planning, adaptation to climate change, training and capacity-building and coral reef assessment, monitoring and restoration. His work has a strong focus on education and professional training with institutional development. His work has developed capacity building and institutional strategic responses to adaptation to climate change, coastal development and management, as well as developing and implementing participatory approaches to developing coastal resources and livelihoods. He is currently working on a project that addresses policy coherence for SDG implementation in Ireland for MaREI, UCC.
Prof Yongming Luo
Yongming Luo is the Co-Director of the International Project Office (China) at Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (YICCAS) and the Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Professor Luo is also an Executive Committee Member of Future Earth Coasts (FEC) and the Director of the East Asia Regional Engagement Partner of FEC. He is the former General Director of YICCAS and now the director of the Key Laboratory of Coastal Environmental Processes and Ecological Remediation, CAS. His research interests focus on coastal and mega-delta environmental processes under human activity and climate change, coastal biogeochemistry and remediation, as well as coastal sustainable management. He also serves among others as a Chairman of Coastal Science and Engineering Branch, Chinese Association of Ocean Engineering, a China Committee Member of North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES), and the Vice Chairman and Secretariat of the China Future Ocean Alliance.
Prof Roxane Maranger
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
Dr Tayanah O’Donnell
Future Earth Australia, Australia
Tayanah O’Donnell has over 10 years’ experience focused on coastal governance, including the law and the legal geographies of climate change adaptation. Her papers and research covers themes such as property rights, land use planning, climate law, coastal policy and management, and the legal, political and cultural impacts of climate change regulation. She is the Director of Future Earth Australia and a Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Fenner School of the Environment at the Australia National University.
Prof Norm Sheehan
Southern Cross University, Australia
Professor Norm Sheehan is a Wiradjuri man, born in Mudgee NSW. He is a collaborative leader in Aboriginal Community Development and Aboriginal Higher Education. As a Professor of Indigenous Knowledge and a leading Design Thinking practitioner, Professor Sheehan developed the concept of Respectful Design as a way for identifying and activating existing strengths within Indigenous communities as a basis for non-intrusive relevant education, research and development initiatives1. This work has attracted continued support from government and philanthropic funding agencies.
Prof Dr Makoto Taniguchi
Prof. Dr. Makoto Taniguchi is a hydrogeologist and a deputy director-general at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Japan. He is currently a Vice president of International Association of Hydrogeologists. He served the Associate Editors of Ground Water and Hydrological Processes, and a Steering Committee Member of Future Earth Nexus Knowledge Action Network. He has worked on groundwater projects around world, authoring or co-authoring over 130 articles and 8 books including “Land and Marine Hydrogeology (2003)”, “Groundwater and subsurface environment (2011)”, and “Groundwater as a key for adaptation to the changing climate and society (2014)”.
Prof Robert Weiss
Virginia Tech, United States
Robert Weiss is an Earth scientist whose research is in the intersect of Geoscience, Engineering, and Applied Mathematics to study the impact of coastal hazards. He has more than 15 years of experience developing and coupling numerical tools to quantitatively study the tsunami-wave propagation and impact, tsunami sediment transport, and how sea-level rise alters the future tsunami hazards. Robert is a Professor of Natural Hazard in the Department of Geoscience at Virginia Tech, the director of a graduate education program in disaster resilience and risk management (DRRMVT), the lead of the Virginia Tech's International Program Office of the Future Earth Coasts program, and the co-lead of Coastal@VT a faculty-led, university-wide initiative to build research and education capacities in coastal-zone research.
Prof Hildegard Westphal
Hildegard Westphal has been the Scientific Director of the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen since 2010 and also heads the Department of Biogeochemistry and Geology and the working group Geoecology and Carbonate Sedimentology. In her research she focuses on biologically formed sediments in tropical shallow seas and investigates, among other things, the influence of changing environmental conditions such as ocean acidification, sea level and water temperature rise, and eutrophication on such biogenic systems. After research stays at the University of Miami and teaching positions at the Universities of Hannover and Erlangen she joined the University of Bremen as Professor of Geology of the Tropics in 2005 on a Heisenberg Fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG). From 2011 to 2017, she was Scientific Vice President of the Leibniz Association.
Professor Anja Scheffers
Southern Cross University, Australia (Chair)
During her studies of Physical Geography and by a series of accidental turns Anja became fascinated to investigate how coastal environments have changed in the past. She is particularly interested in processes that shape and modify coastal landscapes over a variety of length and time scales and the coupling and feedback between such processes, their rates, and their relative roles, especially in the contexts of variation in climatic and tectonic influences and in light of changes due to human impact. Since 2015, Anja is a professor in the School of Environment, Science & Engineering at Southern Cross University, Australia and since 2015 Director of Southern Cross GeoScience, a multidisciplinary research centre that broadens our knowledge and understanding of ancient and contemporary geoenvironmental systems. Anja is an Executive member of the international program “Future Earth Coasts (FEC).
Hannah Jansen works as a project coordinator in the International Project Office lead hub of Future Earth Coasts at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen, Germany. She has a background in international management and sustainability management and worked as a consultant and project manager in the local climate protection agency. In the IPO at ZMT, she is responsible for outreach, community management, content management and administration.
Dr Taryn Laubenstein
Future Earth Australia, Australia
Taryn Laubenstein works on sustainability and climate-related projects at Future Earth Australia’s office in Canberra where she is the Research and Policy Officer. She received her PhD in Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, where she studied the effects of climate change on fish behavior, physiology, and adaptive potential. Taryn has experience in governmental and non-governmental organizations working towards marine conservation.
Dr Alessandro Pelizzon
Southern Cross University, Australia
Alessandro Pelizzon is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law and Justice. Alessandro completed his LLB/LLM in Italy, specializing in comparative law and legal anthropology with a field research project conducted in the Andes. Alessandro has been exploring the emerging discourse on rights of nature, Wild Law and Earth Jurisprudence since its inception, with a particular focus on the intersection between this emerging discourse and different legal ontologies. He is one of the founding members of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance. Alessandro’s main areas of research are legal anthropology, legal theory, comparative law, ecological jurisprudence, sovereignty, and Indigenous rights
Prof Andrew Rose
Southern Cross University, Australia
Andrew Rose is Professor of Environmental Engineering and Chair of the Academic Board at Southern Cross University. His research interests lie in the field of aquatic chemistry, primarily in relation to water quality in coastal aquatic systems. Andrew has published widely on the biogeochemistry of iron in coastal waters and been Principal Investigator on a range of related grants. Andrew currently coordinates the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Coastal Systems Engineering degree at Southern Cross University, which he designed with colleagues to address a growing need for engineers with a systems-based, contextual understanding of the wide-ranging issues facing our coasts.
Assoc Prof Kai Schulz
Southern Cross University, Australia
Kai Schulz scientific research interests covers a broad spectrum ranging from marine phytoplankton physiology (photosynthesis, calcification and nitrogen fixation) and ecosystem functioning to global element cycling. More specifically Kai works on the impacts of ocean change, such as increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (ocean acidification), on phytoplankton physiology and how this scales up to the ecosystem level. Furthermore, Kai is interested in potential impacts of ocean change on biogeochemical element cycling and feedbacks to Earth's climate system.
Prof Rodger Tomlinson
Griffith University, Australia
Professor Rodger Tomlinson is the Gold Coast City Council Professor of Coastal Management and Foundation Director of the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management at the Gold Coast Campus of Griffith University. He leads the Coastal Resilience theme of the Cities Research Institute and until recently convened the Coastal Node of the Australian Climate Change Adaptation Research Network for Settlements and Infrastructure, and was a Director of the Board of the Gold Coast Waterways Authority. He has over 35 of experience in applied research and specialist consultancy in the fields of coastal and water engineering. His research interests are in the areas of tidal inlet dynamics; effluent dispersion and disposal strategies; the implications for open coastline and coastal waterway dynamics of extreme events, climate variability and climate change, and disaster emergency management. The emphasis of this research is on providing advice to local municipalities on the sustainable management and planning of coastal settlements.