The Nippon Foundation (NF), along with UBC, is the co-founder of the Nereus Program. In 2009, the Nippon Foundation started working to solve the problems concerning fish, recognizing that it is an international issue for sustainable ocean. The Foundation, through its Maritime Affairs Department, has cooperated with the United Nations, universities and research institutes, governments and NGOs, and other organizations at the forefront of marine disciplines, to support global interdisciplinary human resource development for ocean. Ultimately the Foundation desires to protect the ocean, to secure our food and to pass on an ocean rich in life to future generations, and in this regard, accepts the role of leadership to resolve the problems fish supply encounter globally. NF is a non-profit philanthropic organization active both in Japan and abroad and has also expanded its activities to include education, social welfare, and public health, both within Japan and in more than one hundred countries to date.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s conservation and science programs intend to tackle the most critical issues that threaten ocean health. Bluefin tuna stocks have been declining since the 1940s, and the collaboration aims to improve various fields of Pacific Bluefin tuna science through research, with the objective of improving the stock assessment process. In addition to expanding the scientific knowledge of the Bluefin tuna, this project will challenge the science-policy interface to ensure that scientific results are interpreted and applied correctly throughout the management process.
The University of Wollongong’s Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) is devoted to research, education, and training on ocean governance, maritime security, and natural marine resource management. ANCORS provides policy advice and support services to government agencies and regional and international organizations in ocean-related industries. The alliance between the Nereus Program and ANCORS will address the political stalemate that is undermining the long-term sustainable management of the Pacific tuna fisheries. To prevent the devastating impacts of overfishing, this collaborative effort aims to provide clear principles for decision-making that address both equity and conservation concerns.
The Biochemistry of Global Contaminants research group at Harvard University studies how biogeochemical processes impact the fate, transport, and food web bioaccumulation of trace metals and organic chemicals in aquatic ecosystems. The objective of the collaboration between the Nereus Program and Harvard University is to strengthen the understanding of the effects of changing contaminant levels in the atmosphere and oceans, to determine the overall health of global fisheries. This project will create new insights into how contaminants affect fisheries by combining contaminant emissions, atmospheric and oceanic transport, marine ecology, and fisheries into a single “unified global model.”
The University of Washington’s Communication Leadership Program is a graduate program that acknowledges the role of communication through personal and professional narrative in inspiring action and influencing change. The partnership with the Nereus Program will design and implement communication efforts to influence public decision-making and behavior in regards to climate change and its impacts on our oceans. The Communication Leadership Program will work with Nereus members and fellows to research, design, and develop approaches of how to most effectively communicate information about values and uncertainty in both the social and natural sciences.
The Rykaczewski Lab at the University of South Carolina studies ocean-atmosphere ecosystem responses to changes in physical, biogeochemical, and planktonic characteristics. This research intends to distinguish impacts of anthropogenic climate change from those of natural variability and resolve how such changes might influence fisheries productivity. In collaboration with the Nereus Program, researchers will explore the responses of forage fish populations in eastern boundary upwelling ecosystems to physical and biogeochemical variability associated with future climate change to estimate fisheries productivity given projected changes in upwelling intensity, nutrient stoichiometry, acidification, and plankton production and composition.
The Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Center at Agrocampus Ouest works on the development of training and research devoted to the implementation of theecosystem approach to fisheries management. The partnership between the Nereus Program and Agrocampus Ouest will analyze and model the impact of overfishing and climate change on the functioning of marine food webs, focusing on the effects of changes in species composition on trophic transfers’ efficiencies and on ecosystem productivity. Trophic-level-based models will be use to simulate the trophic impacts of climate change on the biomass and productivity of the global ocean.
Arizona State University’s Center for Biodiversity Outcomes brings together individuals and groups from diverse disciplines and practices to identify and create solutions that conserve biodiversity in the long term, in a time of rapid biophysical, institutional, and cultural change. This collaboration with the Nereus Program aims to develop social and environmental indicators of fisheries status, and integrate these indicators into an assessment protocol to evaluate the performances of fisheries with respect to key human wellbeing and environmental sustainability parameters.
At the University of Ottawa, Dr. Laurie Chan’s research group “Ecosystem health: From molecules to populations” studies the toxicology of chemical contaminants found in ecosystems and the relationships between ecosystem health and human health. Through the collaboration with the Nereus Program, their research will further the development of an analytic socio-ecological framework to assess human health in relation to ocean changes. This partnership will estimate global coastal and Indigenous people’s exposure to contaminants from consumption of marine-sourced foods through the development of a novel global environmental health database.
The Environmental Physics group (UP) is part of the Institute of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics at ETH Zürich. The group is composed of five subgroups that work on a wide array of topics in ocean biogeochemistry, ecology, and climate, including studying the interaction between the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles and climate from the global to regional scales. Through the Nereus Program collaboration, the group will assess past and future changes in marine heat waves and how they will impact marine organisms and ecosystems.
The Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF) at the University of British Columbia promotes multidisciplinary study of aquatic ecosystems and broad-based collaboration with maritime communities, government, NGOs and other partners. With its expertise in the issues surrounding the exploitation of the world’s marine living resources and global fisheries modeling, the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF) serves as the directional and scientific hub for the Nereus Program.
The research at Rutgers University’s Pinsky Lab focuses on how marine species adapt to climate change, how marine communities are assembled, how networks of larval dispersal spatially connects populations, and how people affect and are affected by the changing ocean. With the Nereus Program, the feedbacks surrounding shifts in species distributions will be examined, as these shifts will present new challenges to fishers. This research will integrate analysis of long-term ecological data with social data to gain a comprehensive understanding of how fishing communities might adapt to shifts in species ranges and abundances.
The Marine Geospatial Ecology Laboratory (MGEL) at Duke University was established to cross the multidisciplinary boundaries of ecological analysis, eco-informatics and analytical tool development. With the lab’s focus on spatio-temporal analyses, marine conservation, and bioinformatics, MGEL works on synthesizing and translating both data and information between different Nereus project teams. As well, they develop research concerning spatio-temporal patterns of both fish and fisheries.
The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is the specialist biodiversity assessment centre of the United Nations Environment Programme. The Centre has been in operation for over 30 years, combining scientific research with policy advice and the development of decision-support tools. The Nereus Fellows at UNEP-WCMC are positioned jointly at UNEP-WCMC and the Geography Department at the University of Cambridge, engaging in researches on changes in coastal systems and ecology (Dr. Tom Spencer and Dr. Mike Bithell).
The Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS) Program is a unique collaboration between Princeton University and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Since it began in 1964, the AOS program has been at the forefront of atmospheric and oceanic study and research. As well, AOS is internationally recognized for its development of earth system models. Princeton and NOAA’s collaboration with Nereus partners will meet the challenges of making reliable projections of fisheries’ responses to future climate.
The Stockholm Resilience Centre is a joint initiative between Stockholm University, the Stockholm Environment Institute, and the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics at The Royal Swedish activities. The centre advances interdisciplinary research for governance of social-ecological systems with special emphasis on resilience. For the Nereus Program, the centre will specifically help to develop new governance strategies for future oceans. This will involve several of the centre’s experts, including Drs. Carl Folke and Henrik Österblom, on issues like governance structures and industry networks.
The Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea (NILOS) is a nationally and internationally renowned research institute. NILOS, established in 1984, operates within Utrecht University in the framework of the School of Law’s department of International and European Law (IER), as well as within the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law. NILOS emphasizes that the legal regime must maintain a balance between the rights and interests of individual states and the international community regarding the sea. As the most recent addition to the Nereus Program, the Fellows at this institute will address the issues related to international legal framework for trans-boundary fisheries management.