Global waves shutterstock main

Dr Ian Ashton will speak on measuring the impact of marine renewable energy

University of Exeter experts speak at UK’s first Global Wave Conference

Oceanography and psychology experts will describe a tool to measure the impact of marine renewable energy whilst ensuring surfing is fairly represented.

University of Exeter experts in oceanography and psychology will be speaking at the UK’s first Global Wave Conference.

Oceanographer and wave analyst Dr Ian Ashton will be talking about a new method for assessing the impact of marine renewable energy at the conference, which runs the week starting Monday, October 12.

Dr Ashton will describe a tool for measuring the effects of marine renewable energy projects on waves, surfing and the coastline at the four-day event, which will take place in Cornwall and London. The research was undertaken while he was a member of the University’s Offshore Renewable Energy group, based at the Penryn campus in Cornwall.

Dr Ashton and his team worked closely with leading marine renewables developers and environmental charity Surfers Against Sewage to develop a methodology that can support constructive discussions at an early stage between these groups, helping energy extraction to coexist near sensitive coastal areas.

Dr Ashton, a member of the Centre for Geography, Environment and Society at the Penryn Campus said: “One of the challenges for campaigners is that surfing is not always represented at the stage when projects are being designed. We have developed a technical solution which can identify offshore areas that will have an impact on sensitive coastal features, which may be valuable environmentally, for surfing or for tourism. This method is designed to give coastal communities a stronger voice at the outset.”

Dr Mathew White, an expert in environmental psychology, will also be speaking on his pioneering research into how coastal environments can improve health and wellbeing. Dr White leads a team at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, based in Truro, which is providing increasing evidence for the therapeutic properties of spending time near the ocean.

The Global Wave Conference, the fourth of its kind, is being or organized by Surfers Against Sewage. It aims to highlight the growing threat to waves and surfing habitats worldwide and facilitate global coastal environmental and sustainability initiatives, and will bring together international enviro-surf NGOs, academics, oceanographers, environmentalists, grassroots activists, surfers, politicians, the surf industry and coastal communities.

“Cornwall has a rich surfing heritage and a fantastic surfing community” added Dr Ashton. “It is great that this conference will bring the attention of the global surfing community to Cornwall and the UK.”

Date: 12 October 2015

Read more University News