Engineering sustainable marine ecosystems for environmental and human health

01 May 2022 → 30 April 2026
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Marine ecology
  • Engineering and technology
    • Coastal and estuarine hydraulics
    • Environmental marine biotechnology
    • Sustainable development
saltwater wave-flume marine ecology biodiversity marine aerosols
Project description

The requested infrastructure, a high-tech saltwater waveflume, is integrated in the multidisciplinary marine andmaritime research facility of Ghent University at OstendScience Park (OSP). It will help to bridge the gap betweensmall-scale, artificial lab studies and complex,multidisciplinary, expensive field studies, bringing the oceaninto the laboratory and engineering sustainable marineecosystems for environmental and human health. Thiscontrasts the majority of the wave flumes, which are oftenonly focussed on maritime engineering disciplines andrarely bridge the gap to life science. This flume combines 3crucial aspects: (1) using seawater instead of freshwater,allowing to work with marine organisms, (2) a removablefalse bottom to facilitate installation of sediment beds,vegetation models and coastal structures and (3) able tosimulate the production of marine aerosols. Thecombination of producing high-quality waves and currentswith the ability to perfectly mimic oceanic conditions isunique in Europe. This flume will be a step forward,allowing to tackle key interdisciplinary research topics inthe field of 'Oceans and Human Health', such as combiningsustainable aquaculture with habitat restoration, 'nature-based solutions' for coastal protection (e.g. biogenic reefs,seagrass vegetation, coastal dune functioning), the impactof metal corrosion and anti-fouling agents onenvironmental health and of marine aerosols on humanhealth.