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# CCRU down under

CCRU down under

Researchers from the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit have contributed to a successful Australian Research Council Discovery Project award led by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

This prestigious award (A$ 324k) will enable knowledge transfer and exchange between the two island nations to reduce vulnerability to sea level rise. The low elevation coastal zone contains 13% of the Australian population and is subject to intensive agriculture and urbanisation. Accelerating sea level rise is thus a major societal concern and its impacts on shorelines must be accurately determined. This Australian-UK collaboration aims to improve Australia's capacity to predict changing shoreline position with sea level rise, better understand the role of vegetation in foreshore stabilisation and identify under what conditions the shoreline might suddenly shift landwards.

Picture caption: Beach on Hinchinbrook Island, Northern Queensland, as seen from a drone, backed by an intertidal mangrove swamp (fore) and granite cliffs (back). Mangrove swamps can contribute to land elevation gain by trapping external sediments and creating organic matter, while cliffs provide little opportunity for shoreline retreat.

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# Physical Geography / Environmental Science PhD opportunities

Physical Geography / Environmental Science PhD opportunities

The list of PhD topics we would like to pursue with interested students has just been launched. The link gives further details. The funding deadline is 4th January 2018, for an October 2018 start. Do get in touch with a prospective supervisor who will help with your application as soon as possible.

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# Webinar: Resources to implement nature based flood defence

On Thursday 20 July, Department Lecturer Iris Moeller will be appearing as part of a webinar on The MI-SAFE package: Resources to implement nature based flood defence. She will be discussing her work on the FAST (Foreshore Assessment Using Space Technology) project and the new MI-SAFE technology which combines existing and new earth observation data for coasts worldwide to estimate the contribution of vegetated foreshores towards coastal flood and erosion risk reduction.

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# Stormy Geomorphology: new EGU blog

Stormy Geomorphology: new EGU blog

A new post on the European Geosciences Union blog by a team including James Tempest, Dr Iris Moeller and Prof Tom Spencer explores the role that geomorphology can play in improving our understanding of flood risk through extreme storm and flood events. In addition, they show how geomorphological science is now regularly used to deliver nature-based management approaches, such as the creation of coastal wetlands. Such approaches are delivering more sustainable forms of flood and storm defence that are effective in reducing damage and destruction brought about by extreme events.

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# Scientia: Using nature to protect us from... nature

Scientia: Using nature to protect us from... nature

The work of Department Lecturer Dr Iris Moeller and Cambridge Coastal Research Unit on the role of salt marshes in protecting coastlines from storm surges appears in a new profile in Scientia.

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# Cambridge Coastal Research: live press conference

Cambridge Coastal Research: live press conference

On Tuesday 25 April, 8am-9am, the research of a team including Professor of Coastal Dynamics Tom Spencer will feature in a live press conference from the European GeoSciences Union General Assembly. The press conference will present findings from the team's Paper 'Impact of storms on coastlines: preparing for the future without forgetting the past? Examples from European coastlines using a Storm Impact Database' appearing in the 'Natural hazard event analyses for risk reduction and adaptation' session of the conference. The press conference will be live streamed. Prof Spencer is one of a large group of researchers from both the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit and Climate and Environment Dynamics team presenting at the assembly.

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# New film on coastal research

In a new film on the University's Youtube Channel, University Lecturer Dr Iris Möller explains how an understanding of natural processes and landforms can help us develop win-win solutions for reducing flood risk.

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# New research with Cambridge Coastal Research Unit explores the coastal protection of salt marshes and climate change

New research with Cambridge Coastal Research Unit explores the coastal protection of salt marshes and climate change

Research by Ruth Reef (Monash, previously MC Research Fellow), Tom Spencer, Iris Möller, Catherine Lovelock (Queensland), Elizabeth Christie, Anna McIvor, Ben Evans and James Tempest recently published in Global Change Biology explores how elevated levels of CO2 and changing nutrient availability are affecting saltmarsh growth. Saltmarshes play a vital role in protecting coastlines from storm surges, but their growth is expected to be affected by changing environmental conditions. This study was innovative in its analysis of the role play by both biological processes (both above and below ground) and geomorphological processes in affecting saltmarsh growth. The study used saltmarsh blocks from the Essex marshes grown under different climate change scenarios in Cambridge Botanic Garden to measure the effects of elevated CO2 and eutrophication on surface elevation change. It was found that Elevated CO2 conditions could enhance resilience in vulnerable systems such as those with low mineral sediment supply or where migration upwards within the tidal frame is constrained. The project has also led to wider collaborations with researchers in Germany and Australia.

The results of this study will be able to guide management policy regarding the conservation of saltmarshes in the face of sea level rise.

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# Healthy saltmarshes for coastal defence

Healthy saltmarshes for coastal defence

During the last month, the consortium of the European 'FAST' Project celebrated their second general assembly in Cadiz (Spain). The consortium concluded that after two years of collecting data in the field, making great advances in satellite image analysis and interacting with potential end-users, they have enough information to refine the Basic prototype of the MI-SAFE tool. This innovative product will provide easily accessible information about individual saltmarshes of use to scientists, managers and citizens. The tool will allow the user to assess the importance of the flood defence services provided by coastal ecosystems, on European shores and beyond.

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# One Hundred Years of Coral Reef Mapping

One Hundred Years of Coral Reef Mapping

Co-ordinated by Dr Tom Spencer and with strong Departmental connections, this display describes early reef mapping in the Central Pacific at the turn of the 20th century, the first detailed reef mapping, at Low Isles on the Great Barrier Reef by Alfred Steers in 1928-1929 (remapped in the 1970s by David Stoddart), and recent mapping from remotely-sensed imagery in the Seychelles by the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit (Sarah Hamylton, Annelise Hagan and Tom Spencer). The exhibition is supported by key texts, taken from the Department Library's interesting collection of coral reef books.

The Periodicals Room, The Library, Department of Geography, 7 March - 22 April 2016. See opening times.

Image: Geological sketch map and sections, Funamanu Islet, Funafuti atoll mapped by George Sweet during the Second Expedition to Funafuti in 1897 (from Spencer, T, Stoddart DR and McLean RF 2008 Coral Reefs. In: Burt TP et al.(Eds.), The History of the Study of

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