About Section for Coastal Ecology

Research and advice

The research covered by the Section for Coastal Ecology includes the ecology of the coastal zone from nutrient dynamics to fish as well as the coastal zone as a fishing ground and production area for low-trophic aquaculture, i.e. farming of shellfish, seaweed etc. 

The research topics include some general themes: 

  • Aquaculture of low-trophic species (mussels, oysters, lobsters, seaweed etc.).
  • Fisheries and effects of fishery and seaweed collection in the coastal zone.
  • Invasive species and their importance.
  • Marine habitats and their importance in the coastal zone for biodiversity and fish stocks.
  • Effects of anthropogenic pressure factors.
  • Studies of the conditions that regulate fish stocks in the coastal waters. 

The research is primarily conducted in the water areas as defined in the EU Water Framework Directive, i.e. estuaries and coastal waters.

Research in the aquaculture of low-trophic species is based on hatchery facilities and grow out units for mussels, oysters, lobsters and seaweed and covers all aspects from production of seeding material to market or restoration size products. The area also includes the use of low-trophic species as a marine mitigation measure for eutrophication.

The research on exploitation of wild stocks includes both bivalve dredging and collection or fishing of new species such as seaweed, starfish, invasive species etc. for marine protein and innovation for new blue biomass. It focuses on the environmental effects of the resource utilization with special emphasis on fisheries impact assessment.

In relation to the coastal zone environment, we focus on the effects of various pressures, both diffuse such as eutrophication and invasive species, and site-specific such as fishing. We also study the coastal zone ecosystems and habitats and their importance to fish stocks, including restoration of lost habitats or creation of new habitats e.g. reefs. 

The results of the research are largely translated into practice through advice to public management and the industry.

Research groups

The section is divided into two research groups: "Sustainable Resource Utilization" and "Environmental Impact and Habitats". The section is located in two locations, in Nykøbing Mors at the Danish Shellfish Centre, where there are also outreach activities. In Lyngby, the section is located on campus.


The Section for Coastal Ecology has at its disposal laboratory and experimental facilities equipped with running seawater, facilities targeted at aquaculture production of shellfish and seaweed as well as a number of boats of varying size but all suited for sampling in coastal waters. In addition, we run an outreach facility where students and the general public can learn about estuarine biology and ecology and experience seafood production.