eCOAST Research Centre Ostend (eCOAST)

8 ecoasteCOAST Research Centre Ostend is a Belgium-based independent research centre specialized in the marine and coastal environment. eCOAST provides high-quality applied research and consultancy in the fields of marine biotechnology, marine ecology, environmental studies, aquaculture and marine policy. eCOAST combines desk-based research with laboratory and field experiments and monitoring. It also offers a range of project management and communication services for projects and activities in the area of marine and coastal research. eCOAST was founded at the end of 2009 as an initiative of Ghent University. eCOAST combines in-house expertise with the unique scientific knowledge and facilities of Ghent University for marine environmental sciences. As such, eCOAST represents a tremendous amount of knowledge on the ecology, ecotoxicology and resource exploitation and management of the marine and coastal environment; a knowledge which eCOAST makes available to all interested parties including governments, private companies and NGO's. eCOAST is active in sfive specific fields: (i) aquaculture; (ii) ecological monitoring; ecotoxicology; (iii) marine ecosystems; (iv) marine environment; (v) marine policy. eCOAST working fields cover both the natural marine ecosystem, as well as the human influence on, and the human use of the marine environment. At the same time, eCOAST is also active in a range of cross-cutting domains such as Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM), Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and marine biotechnology which draw from expertise in several of the eCOAST working fields.


Contact person: Oonagh McMeel (



Role of eCOAST in MaCuMBA:

eCOAST will be involved in WP9 on Dissemination, Knowledge Management and Linkages where it will lead Task 9.5 which involves the development and execution of specific outreach products and activities for selected target audiences including early stage researchers, policy makers/advisors and the wider scientific community as well as the wider interested public to promote increased understanding between the marine biotechnology world and society at large. In the same WP, eCOAST will also contribute to the identification and analysis of relevant stakeholders of the MacuMBA project.


Profile of staff engaged in the project:

Thomas Vanagt

Dr. Thomas Vanagt (MSc, PhD) holds a BSc in Biology and an MSc in zoology and obtained his PhD at the marine biology research group at Ghent University. Vanagt is one of the founders of eCOAST and has been the managing director since the start of the research centre. Thomas Vanagt is a well-respected expert in coastal and marine biology and ecology with experience as a research scientist and as an environmental consultant.

Oonagh McMeel

Oonagh McMeel is a Senior Scientist at eCOAST. She originally trained originally as a molecular biologist and has worked mainly in applied fisheries and aquaculture. Her work at eCOAST focuses on the policy and legal aspects underpinning the access and utilization of biological resources from the marine environment in support of the expanding marine biotechnology sector.

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