“Learning from experience to advance the operationalization of integrated coastal and marine management”

May 3, 2019

James M Flaherty Research Scholarship Report:

Name:                            Sondra Eger

Home Institution:

School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Host & Institution:  

Dr Wesley Flannery, School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast

Title of Research:
Learning from experience to advance the operationalization of integrated coastal and marine management

Field of Study:
Broadly, my field of study is within the human dimensions of coastal and marine management. My doctoral research seeks to provide insight into appropriate governance elements for operationalizing integrated coastal and marine management. My research uses case studies, situated in the Bay of Fundy, Atlantic Canada where I use qualitative approaches to understand lived experiences of various actor groups relating to integrated coastal and marine management initiatives (e.g., marine spatial planning, integrated coastal zone management, ecosystem-based approaches, etc.). This research will provide a better understanding of how to support the successful operationalization of such initiatives that often try to address multiple uses within a single area (e.g., renewable energy, commercial and traditional fisheries, aquaculture, conservation, offshore wind, transport, tourism, etc.). Thus, all actors related to human activities that use or occupy space to coastal and marine systems will need to work towards common and complementary objectives to achieve sustainability – maintain or restore ecosystem integrity and human wellbeing.

Visit Details (March/April 2019):
Research & development conducted/completed:

• Completed the analysis of my doctoral research and scoped out a manuscript as one of my dissertation chapters.

• Networked with, learned from and shared research with Flannery research group members and contacts through attending/observing/participating/contributing in host research group meetings and events
 – Organized and participated in a half day workshop with host institution colleagues to share dissertation research and plan for our upcoming presentations at MARE conference in Amsterdam (June 24-29, 2019)
- Participated in a training session with Dr. Geraint Ellis on publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
- Attended a departmental Lecture on Planning theory by Dr. Angelique Chettiparamb from the Henley Business School, University of Reading on “Complexity theory: The why, what and how of its relevance for planning practice”.
 – Delivered a lecture on my dissertation and Canadian experience with integrated management to host research group. Audience included my host, 6 PhD students and 2 post-doc students.

• Identified key conferences, groups and organizations to participate in relative to integrated coastal and marine planning, management and governance
– Connected with various organizations such as the Marine Social Science Network and Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
– Attended, participated and presented ICES Marine Spatial Planning Working Group Meeting in Galway, Ireland April 2019

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Marine Spatial Planning Working Group Meeting at the Marine Institute in Galway, Ireland ( April 8-12, 2019)

Contacts made:
1. Belfast
Wesley Flannery, Queen’s University Belfast
Heather Richie, Ulster University
Christina Kelly, Queen’s University Belfast
Geraint Ellis, Queen’s University Belfast
PhD student contacts:
-Jane Clarke, Queen’s University Belfast
-Ben McAteer, Queen’s University Belfast
-Danielle McCarthy, Queen’s University Belfast
-Maria Parfi, Queen’s University Belfast
-Kofi Ansong, Ulster University

2. ICES meeting Galway
Kira Gee, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Lodewijk Abspoel, Ministry for Infrastructure and Water Management in the Netherlands
Andrea Morf, University of Gothenburg and Swedish Institute for Marine at Swedish Institute for Marine Research
Andreas Kannen, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Rachel Mulholland, Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
Andronikos Kafas, Offshore Renewable Energy & Environmental Advice, Marine Scotland
Matthew Gubbins – Scottish Government
Caitriona Nic Aonghusa – Marine Institute, Galway

Future Continuing Collaboration (opportunities/plans):
• Have made great progress in developing a long-lasting collaborative relationship between Ireland and Canada on research contributing to integrated coastal and marine planning, management and governance processes.
– broadened network for continuing work in this area and identified opportunities in the near future for continued interactions – e.g., MARE conference, host to mentor and/or contribute a manuscript coming out of my doctoral research
• Host from Queen’s will soon be planning sabbatical for next year and talked about organizing a trip to Canadian research groups in 2020
• Connected with incoming students in broader research group and offered to connect with other Profs/researchers at the University of Waterloo as well as encouraged to connect with ICUF scholarships for exchange support.
• Will be meeting contacts made during the visit at the upcoming MARE conference: People and the Sea in Amsterdam June, 2019 where we will be giving presentations on our work
– Also, I will be introducing my home research group in Canada with my host from Belfast with the intention to determine other opportunities for future collaboration.
• Over the coming months, I will be scoping out a possible collaboration with Dr. Flannery and his PhD students (e.g., Jane Clarke) from Queen’s University Belfast on a journal article or conference session on a Canada-Ireland ICM initiative comparison using a governance lens
– E.g., Case study comparison of local-regional scale within Ireland and Canada with regards to renewable energy and power
• Continue to work on a collaborative paper on the topic of coastal and marine governance participation and representation that draws on case study examples from:
– Canada, Ireland, Tasmania, UK, Sweden
– Host, Wes Flannery, a mentor and co-author for the paper
– Christina Kelly from host institution as a contributor for Irish case
• Currently determining how I can contribute to ICES Marine Spatial Planning Working Group products and participate in the group moving forward.

Sondra Eger (Left) with a Queen’s University colleague and the new MSP book (with a collaborative chapter by host research group).


The European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive to achieve ‘good environmental status’ by 2020 has spurred a large focus towards coastal and marine areas. There is ample insight from such integrated approaches being taken in coastal and marine areas from member states. Through this visit to Queen’s University Belfast where such research is taking place, I have been able to learn from and share experiences of the planning an implementation of various strategic, integrated approaches towards achieving this directive. The Flaherty scholarship has enriched my doctoral research and expanded my network and potentially, career opportunities. I have learned about some of the similarities and differences between Northern Ireland/ Ireland and Canada and through completing my doctoral research analysis and the help of my ICUF host and research group, have drawn on specific lessons to contribute to current debates in academic literature and to be shared with the rest of the world.