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Published: December 19, 2014

International coastal research project to open in Cork, Ireland

News |

The city of Cork in southwest Ireland has been selected to host the Land Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone project (LOICZ) - a major international research programme focusing on the world’s coasts.

The LOICZ international project office will be based at the Marei Centre of Excellence in University College Cork from January 2015. 

LOICZ, sponsored by IGBP, coordinates international research to help understand coastal vulnerability and improve coastal management.

Dr Valerie Cummins Director of the Irish Maritime and Energy Cluster (IMERC) at UCC said, “We see the opportunity to host the International Project Office for this global project as an important role that builds on UCC’s track record in the field of coastal science, whilst further strengthening the profile of Ireland as a hub for coastal research.”

“We are committed to supporting the international agenda of LOICZ, which seeks to deliver innovative and impactful science to underpin the sustainable development of critical coastal resources,” added Dr Cummins who serves on the LOICZ Scientific Steering Committee.

From urbanisation, industrialisation and agriculture, the world’s coasts are changing rapidly. Many major cities are on the coast and the world’s deltas are home to 500 million people. These regions need research to answer questions relating to how to develop sustainably, how to adapt to climate change, for example sea-level rise, and what opportunities exist for renewable energy in coastal regions.

LOICZwill focus on three inter-related key themes: dynamic coasts, human development and the coast, and pathways to global coastal sustainability. 

For the last nine years LOICZ has been hosted at the German research institute Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht Zentrum (HZG) für Material- und Küstenforschung GmbH. HZG’s support has provided stability and support including funding to staff the international office. This has catalysed engagement between natural and social sciences leading to a stream of major research initiatives, networking and outreach projects and international conferences.

LOICZ Chair Prof Ramachandran Ramesh said, “We are proud of our association with HZG. The financial and academic support has been essential to see LOICZ develop. On behalf of the LOICZ Scientific Steering Committee and Executive Board I want to say how excited we are by the establishment of LOICZ in Cork. This is the beginning of what I hope is a dynamic and stimulating partnership with UCC.”

“LOICZ has been a cornerstone of our international engagement in coastal research, and HZG has tremendously benefitted from the international network of scientists and practitioners that constitutes the LOICZ community. The transition to Future Earth marks an important step in the development of LOICZ. We will continue to be involved, and wish the new host at UCC fruitful years!” says Prof Kay Emeis of HZG.

LOICZ is sponsored by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). In 2015 IGBP and other major international research programmes will transition into the new Future Earth programme, a larger initiative coordinating up to 30 international projects relating to coasts, food security, energy, water, ocean research, the atmosphere and governance.

Both LOICZ and IGBP express thanks to the staff and director of HZG for their generous support for many years. In that time LOICZ has developed into a world-class research network.

Cork is a prime location for coastal research coordination and is investing significantly in research capacity relating to marine and climate science. UCC has a growing international profile for excellence in coastal and climate research.

UCC will shortly announce its new Executive Officer to run the international office.

More information

LOICZ contact

Dr Ramesh Ramachandran


National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management

Ministry of Environment and Forests

Anna University Campus

Chennai, INDIA

Tel: + 91 44 2230 0108

IMERC contact

Dr Valerie Cummins

IMERC Director

University College Cork


Tel: +353 21 4335717


Owen Gaffney

Director of Communications


Tel: +46 730208418

Wendy Broadgate

IGBP Deputy Director Natural Sciences

Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences,


Tel +46 8 6739 559

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