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Thresholds in human exploitation of marine vertebrates

Project description

Using archaeological data in the study of marine environments

Sustainability studies of Europe’s marine environment may have focused on geological and biological data, but they have not extensively integrated disciplines such as archaeology or the evidence this field can provide in understanding the past use of resources. The SeaChanges project involves experts in archaeology, zoology, marine ecology and conservation biology from seven leading institutions who will build a bridge between the archaeological and biological sciences to develop an interdisciplinary training platform. This will help researchers investigate the impact of humans on key European marine species through the millennia. SeaChanges will also improve the understanding of marine vertebrate populations and raise awareness of human impact on such species historically.


SeaChanges provides state-of-the-art training to forge a new generation of interdisciplinary researchers able to operate at the interface of archaeology and marine biology. The seas are crucial to European economy, identity, and food security, as recognised by H2020 Blue Growth. Marine resource use has influenced European societies for millennia, and we in turn have impacted the seas. The need for long-term perspectives to inform marine management is becoming clear, but disciplinary silos hold back integration of archaeological data/approaches to this end. SeaChanges brings together experts from 7 leading institutions in archaeology, zoology, marine ecology & conservation biology, united by our recognition of this gap. We will pool our disparate skills and experience in an integrated training programme, creating a new generation of researchers who from the outset of their careers have the interdisciplinary understanding & skills required fully to realise the potential of archaeological remains to a) understand past marine resource use, b) assess past impacts, and c) use these to inform the present. SeaChanges will:
1) develop a truly interdisciplinary training platform, breaking down boundaries between archaeological & biological sciences.
2) improve understanding of the time depth of human use of and impact on key European marine species.
3) train a cohort of researchers who can communicate across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries, whose insights will drive the adoption of long-term perspectives into concepts of sustainable fishing.
4) increase cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral awareness of the potential of long-term perspectives in marine ecology.
This is achieved via dedicated training in bioarchaeology, ecology, and communication, supporting a network of 15 complementary research projects that apply diverse methods to address both social and ecological themes, covering all of Europe's seas, key marine species, and timescales from decades to millennia.


Net EU contribution
€ 606 345,12
YO10 5DD York North Yorkshire
United Kingdom

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Yorkshire and the Humber North Yorkshire York
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 606 345,12

Participants (6)

Partners (29)