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The Unit’s brief is to:

  • Provide scientifically-informed input for the better management of shorelines and their associated ecosystems.
  • Facilitate and promote multi-diciplinary research into all aspects of shallow water marine science by bringing together natural and social scientists in Cambridge University and other governmental and non-governmental research institutions.
  • Inform coastal management and decision-making within governmental and non-governmental institutions and organisations in the UK and overseas.

Research interests

The CCRU carries out fundamental research on coastal, estuarine and nearshore processes, landforms and ecosystems; environmental monitoring in the coastal zone; and research consultancies for both governmental and non-governmental agencies. In addition, it offers scientifically-informed advice on the sustainable management of coasts and coastal ecosystems. Current and future research projects include:

Temperate Environments

  • Large scale (>1Km), long-term (>1yr) coastal evolution
  • Waves and tides in UK East Coast Estuaries
  • Numerical and physical scale modelling of coastal hydrodynamic processes
  • Application of remote sensing to the study of sedimentation and vegetation in the coastal zone
  • Wave/tide – sediment – vegetation interrelationships in the intertidal zone
  • Wave energy dissipation over intertidal surfaces
  • Monitoring of foreshore recharge and salt marsh creation schemes
  • Nutrient fluxes in tidal ecosystems
  • Coastal settlements and flooding risk, UK East Coast

Tropical Environments

  • Global biodiversity in coral reefs, mangrove and seagrass ecosystems
  • Large-scale space-time dynamics of coral bleaching in the western Indian Ocean
  • Records of sea level change from Central Pacific and Indian Ocean corals
  • Coral reef dynamics and environmental change on Cuban coral reefs
  • Biogeomorphology of tropical coasts
  • Fish population dynamics on coral reefs in the Seychelles

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