Marine urban ecology, restoration of ecosystem services and nature based solutions

We apply ecological knowledge to design conservation and restoration strategies in increasingly urbanized marine systems and provide guidance regarding priority issues and focal areas for action. We collaborate with engineers, economists and social scientists work to:

  • study the environmental effects of coastal urbanization, what levels of diversity and what types of communities are compatible with novel anthropogenic marine ecosystems, and what mitigation can be attempted;
  • develop ecological knowledge and tools for the planning, design and operation of marine infrastructures (including coastal defence structures, harbor infrastructures, and innovative multi-purpose off-shore platforms) to enhance their contribution to the maintenance of critical ecosystem services along urban waterfronts;
  • develop innovative and cost-effective nature-based solutions to protect the coastlines from increasing risks from climatic changes, and complement traditional actions such as infrastructure development;
  • identify the conditions under which restoration of natural habitats is most effective for coastal protection and what factors facilitate the long-term persistence of restored ecosystems under climate change and multiple stressors.



World Harbour Project

Marine urban sprawl: Using ecology to design multifunctional artificial structures. Australian Research Council, Linkage Projects (LP140100753)

“MERMAID - Innovative multi-purpose off-shore platforms: planning, design and operation” (EU FP7 – Ocean – 2011, grant 288710)

“THESEUS -Innovative technologies for safer European coasts in a changing climate” (EU - FP7 - ENV2009-1, grant 244104)


Major International Collaborations

Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Department of Estuarine and Delta systems, Korringaweg 7, 4401 NT Yerseke, Netherlands

The Nature Conservancy, 100 Shaffer Road, Center for Ocean Health, University of California Santa Cruz, CA 95060

 School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science & Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation

UNSW Australia | Sydney NSW 2052, Australia

Marine Biology and Ecology Research Centre,  School of Marine Science and Engineering , Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth, PL4 8AA

ECOncrete Tech LTD


External collaborators

Dr. Paolo Comandini