University of Galway has teamed up with 12 institutes across 10 countries for a new €10m Horizon Europe project to examine the impact of climate change on health risks due to disease-causing microorganisms in coastal waters.
The project, 'BlueAdapt – Reducing Climate Based Risks in Blue Environments: Adapting to the climate change impacts on coastal pathogens', brings together an interdisciplinary team of researchers, including microbiologists, epidemiologists, economists, climate scientists, and policy specialists in order to investigate the complex interactions between climate change, pathogen dynamics, and human health.
“Our coastal waters are important for tourism, fishing, and recreational activities," said Professor Dearbhaile Morris, professor of antimicrobial resistance and One Health at University of Galway. "Through BlueAdapt we hope to assess how bacteria and viruses in our coastal waters respond to different climate change scenarios and understand better the potential impacts for human health.”
Dr Sinead Duane, lecturer in marketing at University of Galway's JE School of Business and Economics, who is part of the University of Galway One Health team, added: “Testing and monitoring are key ways to improve and maintain the quality of our coastal waters, however how we interact with our coastal waters also plays a role.
“Through the development of behaviourally enhanced smartphone app technology, BlueAdapt will deepen our understanding of coastal water users behaviours and attitudes to exposure pollution events. This information will help develop targeted interventions in the future. This app will capture how users respond to warnings of pollution events in real time.”
BlueAdapt is funded under European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme and by UKRI/HM Government.