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Seas, Oceans and Public Health in Europe (SOPHIE): a Strategic Research Agenda for Europe and Beyond

Project description

A dive into the link between oceans and human health

Our oceans are a source of beauty and wonder, enhancing our physical and mental well-being, but they are also a potential threat to human health. From contaminated seafood to harmful algal blooms, the risks associated with our oceans are increasingly evident. The EU-funded SOPHIE project will explore the links between human health and the marine environment in Europe. It will bring together marine, health, social and economic science experts and practitioners from across Europe to investigate European issues and perspectives. The overall goal is to develop an Oceans and Human Health Strategic Research Agenda based on extensive involvement from stakeholders. SOPHIE will also identify innovative solutions to reduce risks and promote benefits.


A Growing body of evidence indicates that the marine environment and human health are inextricably linked. These linkages encompass both risks to health and wellbeing, and a range of potential benefits and opportunities. However, much of this early evidence has been established in the US, under the rubric of the integrative meta-discipline of “Oceans and Human Health” (OHH). Far less is known about these issues in other parts of the world, including the European context which faces its own set of unique challenges and opportunities.

Building on the early leadership shown by members of the consortium mapping these issues in Europe, the Seas, Oceans and Public Health in Europe (SOPHIE) consortium brings together an international multidisciplinary European team of marine, health, social and economic science experts and practitioners to explore these relationships in the European context. By including a broad range of interdisciplinary partners from both marine and health sectors, SOPHIE can demonstrate reach across disciplines and communities in Europe and internationally.

Responding directly to the BG-06-2017 call, SOPHIE’s primary aims are to: a) deliver a clear, evidence-informed Oceans and Human Health Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) within the European context, based on extensive involvement by diverse stakeholders; and b) ensure that the structures needed to develop and implement this SRA are in place and will exist as a legacy beyond the life of the project. These aims will be achieved by: (i) systematic synthesis of the current evidence base; (ii) developing and coordinating a European community of OHH stakeholders; (iii) identification of innovative solutions to sustainably reduce risks and promote benefits; (iv) scenario modelling and horizon scanning; (v) knowledge exchange through bespoke training and skills programmes; and (vi) a global OHH Conference to present SOPHIE’s findings and enhance European leadership and global cooperation in OHH research

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 406 720,00
EX4 4QJ Exeter
United Kingdom

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South West (England) Devon Devon CC
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 406 720,00

Participants (7)