Nørrefjord. Photo: Line Reeh

Coastal Ecology

DTU Aqua’s research in coastal ecology deals with the structure and function of coastal ecosystems and habitats ranging from nutrients dynamics to the coastal zone as a production area of both fish, mussels and seaweed.

Main themes within Coastal Ecology research

The research into coastal ecology comprises several major themes:

  • Lower trophic species aquaculture
    We perform research in the development of sustainable aquaculture of lower trophic species (LTA) comprising primarily shellfish and seaweed.

  • Blue biomass
    A research area of particular concern is the development of new sources of blue biomass and marine sources of protein.

  • Anthropogenic pressures in the coastal zone
    Anthropogenic pressures in the coastal zone include nutrient loading, climate change, fisheries, excavating and dredging and invasive species. We study effects on the scale of ecosystem, coastal habitats and key organisms.

  • Marine habitats in the coastal zone
    We study habitats in the coastal zone with focus on their importance as biodiversity hotspots and fish habitats. Nature and habitat restoration is a key element in our research.

  • Invasive species
    This research area comprises studies of methods of how to combat invasive species and how they spread.

Why do we do research into Coastal Ecology?

Denmark has 8,750 km of coastline, and coastal areas are of great importance as nature areas, commercially and recreationally. It is thus important to study how we can utilize the highly productive coastal zone sustainably and what human impacts and climate change mean for the coastal ecosystems.

What is the research used for?

The results of DTU Aqua's research into coastal ecology are mainly used to advise authorities such as municipalities, ministries and the EU that are involved in the management of coastal areas or fisheries. Further, the results are used by local actors such as industry, recreational fishermen and others with an interest in the coastal zone.

How do we carry out our research?

The coastal ecology research is conducted in many different ways, e.g. using our hatchery, field studies and dynamic and statistical modeling. The research generally has an applied perspective. The research area consists of two research groups: “Sustainable resource utilization” and “Environmental impact and habitats”.

Learn more

Learn more about the research themes within coastal ecology




Research Leader
Jens Kjerulf Petersen
Ph. +45 61 22 24 29

Sustainable Development Goals

DTU Aqua's research into coastal ecology supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

SDG #14   SDG #13

UN Sustainable Development Goal #3   UN Sustainable Development Goal #8

UN Sustainable Development Goal #9   UN Sustainable Development Goal #12