Coastal Forum

Coastal and estuarine waters are parts of the sea that dominate our everyday affairs. Our rapidly expanding use of and entry into the sea are mostly concerned with processes that take place in shallow water, and it is mostly within coastal waters that human acts, such as waste discharge, fishing/aquaculture, dredging, mining, drilling, and structures, have their greatest impact. The coastal zone is so important that it can often become embroiled in jurisdictional controversy. The coastal ecosystem also provides many important services including nursey grounds, coastal protection, biodiversity, carbon storage, tourism, and recreational benefits. The adaptation and resilience of the coastline is vitally important, and not just in Scotland. 

The MASTS Coastal Forum brings together experts in areas such as coastal processes and dynamics, management, policy, social science, and biodiversity, ecology and conservation, thus providing a network for successful multidisciplinary marine and social science to address the management of the coastal zone and the ecosystem services it provides. Cooperative research, together with interactions with key decision makers, local communities and experts can assist scientists to help solve often-complex issues and help generate leads for new projects, insights and potential contracts.

Forum Co-Convenors: William Austin (USTAN) & Thorsten Balke (GLAS)

Steering Group: TBC


If you would like advice, please complete the enquiry form and email to

If you would like to find an expert on coastal issues, check out the coastal expertise database

If you want to be included in this database, please contact


And if you’re interested in what some members (past and present) are up to, please see the links below

Ben Taylor was a postgraduate representative, studying blue carbon benefits for a PhD study. See

Clare Maynard bangs the drum for coastal habitat restoration; see this site if this is your thing

Janet Khan is a Senior Specialist Scientist in the Marine Ecology Unit for SEPA and part of their internal coastal group looking at issues in coastal resilience, flooding and ecology.

Jim Hansom is a physical geographer and involved with Dynamic Coast, a national project assessing Scotland’s coastal changes, see

John Black is an ecologist and manages some of Scotland’s best coastal areas for the MoD. For a bit of fun, take a wander around this site

Nicholas Williamson is a consultant engineer in Harbours, Flood, & Coast in Fife Council and a champion of investigating new approaches to dealing with coastal issues.

Sue Dawson is a reader in physical geography with expertise in sea-level change and tsunamis, see

Tim Stovanovic is a lecturer in sustainable development and on the steering group of the MASTS Marine Planning & Governance Forum




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