Breadcrumbs

Tauranga hosts largest international coastal marine research group

15 August 2018

coastal shelf
The University is hosting the final INTERCOAST (Integrated Coastal Zone and Shelf-Sea Research) forum in Tauranga.

Next week, Tauranga is playing host to the final INTERCOAST forum, a major international coastal marine research collaboration and exchange programme between the University of Waikato and Bremen University in Germany.

INTERCOAST (Integrated Coastal Zone and Shelf-Sea Research) was first launched in 2010 and has since produced more than 50 doctoral graduates in both Germany and New Zealand. Research examined the consequences of coastal zone development in a changing climate in the Bay of Plenty and the North Sea, which borders Germany.

Professor Chris Battershill, Chair in Coastal Science at the University of Waikato in Tauranga, oversees the New Zealand operation of the research partnership, and says INTERCOAST is a successful example of international science collaboration. “INTERCOAST is arguably the first integrated, cross-disciplinary research programme internationally that embraces cultural elements of change in our coastal estate.

“Collaborating with Bremen University has allowed us to quickly harness the most sophisticated coastal and seabed expertise and technology from the world’s stage. This was especially beneficial during the long-term environmental monitoring in the wake of the Rena grounding."

The collaboration has benefited the Bay of Plenty region from an environmental, social and economic perspective, helping to provide data modelling and impact analysis to aid decision making by regional and environmental planners for coastal development.

Waikato and Bremen universities first joined forces in 2008 with the establishment of a joint masters programme. The scope of the collaboration between the universities widened with the development of INTERCOAST. Driven by the late Professor Terry Healy from Waikato and Professor Dr Gerold Wefer from Bremen, INTERCOAST was the first project to come out of the New Zealand-Germany Science and Technological Agreement and the first Australasian science collaboration for the University of Bremen, which is home to one of the world’s top oceanographic research institutes. It is the largest international collaboration of its kind for New Zealand and Germany.

Research from the INTERCOAST partnership has looked at a number of areas, including the impacts of harbour development on ecosystems, protection and utilisation of the harbour and coastline, sediment studies, invasive species' threats in coastal waters and legal issues surrounding coastal and marine resources.

“Marine systems in both hemispheres face similar pressures from rapid population increase, commercial development and recreational usage, which means that careful long-term planning is critical to ensuring future coastal development is sustainable,” says Professor Battershill.

The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Port of Tauranga and Priority One have all been instrumental in supporting INTERCOAST.

The week long INTERCOAST forum kicks off on Monday 20 August, 8.30am, with a powhiri and opening address at the Tauranga Yacht Club, and will celebrate nine years of collaboration.

Related stories

Waikato Volcanologist confirms volcano and secures international conference in 2019

University of Waikato volcanologist, Dr Adrian Pittari, led a team that recently found evidence confirming…

Uni students can get a Jump Start on study

Jump Start gives students the opportunity to knock off their first 100-level paper of their…

Free joint regional bus service announced for tertiary students

A free regional bus service for tertiary students will be launched in 2020 across the…

Tertiary providers collaborate on study options expo for tangata whenua of Tauranga Moana

Nga Kete o Te Wānanga is a free event for tangata whenua to connect Māori…

 Dr Alison Campbell

Science educator named Honorary Fellow by the University of Waikato

A long-standing University of Waikato academic and science communicator has been named an Honorary Fellow…

Leading Plant Physiologist Professor Margaret Barbour welcomed as Dean of Science at University of Waikato

Professor Margaret Barbour has been welcomed as the new Dean of Science at a whakatau…

Michèle Prinsep

Waikato academic ranked in top one per cent in the world for research citations

A University of Waikato researcher who identifies compounds in marine species which could be used…

Professor Troy Baisden

Professor named new president of the New Zealand Association of Scientists (NZAS)

Professor Troy Baisden, who is based in School of Science at the University of Waikato,…

Sharna McCleary

Science student uses mushrooms to help clean up Whakatāne canal

Oyster mushrooms are helping to clean up an historically contaminated timber processing site in Whakatāne,…

Project to investigate earthquake frequency and activity on Hamilton’s faults

Newly discovered hidden faults in Hamilton, an area once thought devoid of any active faults,…

Maui Hudson & Tahu Kukutai

Fighting for Māori data rights

Two researchers are helping to pioneer a global initiative that seeks to restore control of…

Award-winning Waikato student researching wave power for sustainable energy

A University of Waikato PhD student plans to harness the power of New Zealand’s coastlines…