March 2018

Sustainable Futures Workshop

Ecostructure researchers from the Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, UCC and University College Dublin took part in the ‘Sustainable Futures’ Series at Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh on March 6th, speaking on climate change implications for coastal communities, the role of eco-engineering in climate change adaptation, and to get feedback on the Ecostructure Observatory – our upcoming citizen science platform, which is in the final stages of development. Great insight, feedback and discussion from the community.

Sonya Agnew (UCD) presenting the Ecostructure Observatory Demo

February 2018

Biosecurity Workshop

The Ecostructure team in Bangor University recently held a workshop for marina owners and operators from Ireland and Wales, aimed at understanding the sectors priorities for non-native biosecurity. The workshop highlighted the variety and impact of non-native species for marina in the Irish sea, while briefing the stakeholders in attendance on  restrictions, environmental regulation, legislation, advice and guidance, with sector experts providing context and using case studies of non-native invasive species. Pictured below is Siobhán Vye, Ecostructure researcher at Bangor University.

Visit from Welsh Cabinet Secretary

Ecostructure researchers in University College Dublin this week met with the Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Finance Marke Drakeford, as part of his visit to Dublin on Wednesday February 21st. He took the opportunity while visiting UCD to hear about the EU Interegg Ireland Wales projects that the university is involved in, three projects in total – Ecostructure, Acclimatize and Calin. Pictured below L-R: John O’ Sullivan, Tasman Crowe, Orla Feeley (UCD Vice Principal for Research Innovation and Impact), Mark Drakeford, Paul Brooks, Aoife Corcoran and Atteyeh Natanzi

January 2018

Marinas and Biosecurity Workshop

Ecostructure partners in Bangor University will be hosting a free workshop for marina owners and operators on February 27th. The workshop will focus on understanding the sector’s priorities for non-native species biosecurity. For more information, email

December 2017

ECOSTRUCTURE Christmas Newsletter

Our researchers have had a busy 2017! Read all about it here in our Christmas newsletter!

The Ecostructure team would like to wish you all a happy Christmas!

Newsletter – English

Llythyr Newyddion – Cymraeg

To keep up to date on the project, and learn more about Ecostructure , please click here to subscribe.

October 2017


The work of the Ecostructure team at Aberystwyth University recently received some high-profile coverage, with a feature on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme on October 25th.

BBC Environmental Analyst Roger Harrabin met with Dr. Pippa Moore to discuss the work of the team in making coastal structures more environmentally and ecologically friendly, in response to increasing climatic and other environmental stress factors.

Pippa took Roger to visit their project study-site at Twywn to record the segment, where holes have been drilled into conventional rock defences as part of a previous study, allowing for colonisation by a range of marine species, thus creating ‘Ecostructures’.

Artificial drill-cored rock pools on Tywyn

As well as the radio segment, a more comprehensive article was published on BBC News online. The article examines the project at Twywn in more depth, as well as discussing other aspects of the team’s work, such as the development of Reefcrete – an alternative form of concrete, designed to provide more environmental benefits, and the observed results. Both of these previous studies  will be built upon by the Ecostructure project to see what else we can learn about their potential to enhance biodiversity.

You can listen back to the radio segment by following this link, and skipping forward to 2:50:00.

The news article is available here at BBC News Science and Environment online at this link, click to learn more!

ECOSTRUCTURE at the Centre for Alternative Technology

ECOSTRUCTURE teams from Aberystrwyth University and University College Dublin attended the Centre for Alternative Technology 2017 conference – 100 Good Ideas. Here they facilitated an audience led discussion and  hands on workshop activities on improving the ecological value of sea defences, demonstrating, for example, the principles of drill-cored rock pools.

August 2017

EWTEC 2017

From the 28th-30th  of August, EWTEC were present at the European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, hosted this year in University College Cork, home of Ecostructure partners MaREI UCC. The conference was attended by over 500 experts across the fields of industry and academia, with a huge diversity of backgrounds and nationalities. The European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC) series are international technical and scientific conferences, focused on ocean renewable energy and widely respected for their commitment to maintain high standards of academic and industrial contributions.

On Friday the 31st, the ECOSTRUCTURE team from MaREI UCC were at the MARINCOMP symposium, held in the National Maritime College of Ireland, Ringaskiddy, which coincided with the end of EWTEC. The MARINCOMP international symposium’s theme was concerned with ‘Novel Composite Materials and Processes for Offshore Renewable Energy’, and was attended by over 60 experts in the field.

Dr. Peter Robins (Bangor), Dr. Ruth Callaway (Swansea), and Kathrin Kopke (UCC) at EWTEC 2017

Ecostructure's Kathrin Kopke (UCC) with Prof. Tony Lewis (UCC) at EWTEC
EWTEC 2017, University College Cork
ECOSTRUCTURE at MARINCOMP international symposium 2017
MARINCOMP international symposium poster session

Ecostructure in Aberystwyth Summer Uni Programme

In August 2017 marine ecologists working on Ecostructure were involved in Summer Uni activities at Aberystwyth University. Students on the Environmental Science course designed their own ‘Ecostructure’ interventions for marine/coastal developments and pitched their ideas as part of their Summer Uni assessment. The activities involved 10 students from around Wales, taking part in the programme designed to prepare them for higher education.

The aim of the activities involving the Ecostructure team was to give the students some foundation knowledge of marine ecology and conservation issues, and to get them working in groups in order to present ideas and scaled models to the class. An important part of this exercise was to show the students that science isn’t just about following scientific methods but that tackling real world conservation issues requires imagination and creativity and can be fun.

For more information, see:

July 2017

Reefcrete Presentation

Check out the 5 minute video of the Reefcrete paper (ECOSTRUCTURE’s first publication). The publication can also be downloaded by clicking on the article below.

May 2017

New ECOSTRUCTURE Publication

Reefcrete: Reducing the environmental footprint of concretes foreco-engineering marine structures.

Click the image below to access the publication.

Universities to work on eco-friendly tidal lagoon designs