The need for interdisciplinary research in marine sciences – A MERry outlook

Rebecca von Hellfeld* (Corresponding Author), Aryo Sahid Sujiwo, Salomi Seeram, Paul Oluwatimileyin Olatunji, Karla Parga Martinez, Anjaly Govindankutty Menon, Clara Beckmann, Ionan Marigomez, Manu Soto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The global oceans are facing a plethora of pressures, leading to cross-national impacts on marine ecosystems, wildlife, and resource users. Interdisciplinarity is integrating knowledge and methods from different disciplines to generate a comprehensive output. Due to the trans-boundary nature of marine habitats and stressors, interdisciplinary research forms the basis to addressing pressing matters in ocean health and conservation. To this end, the Marine Environment and Resources (MER) master programme was developed at the beginning of the century, enabling students to develop a well-rounded understanding of ocean science. The programme has since become a recognised Erasmus Mundus degree and has had almost 400 graduates. In September 2022, the first MER community summit was held, being a landmark for the building of a long-lasting global community to discuss and deal with priority challenges of the UN Decade of Oceans Science. This summit has highlighted that to understand the state of the oceans and improve conservation efforts, international collaboration is required (including those out with the academic realm). The following article aims to highlight the successes of the programme in aiding the development and training of interdisciplinary researchers from a plethora of backgrounds, uniquely suitable for addressing current problems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1392394
JournalFrontiers in Marine Science
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Author contributions
RV: Writing – review & editing, Writing – original draft, Visualization, Supervision, Project administration, Methodology, Investigation, Conceptualization. AS: Writing – review & editing, Writing – original draft, Visualization, Methodology. SS: Writing – review & editing, Visualization, Validation, Investigation. PO: Writing – review & editing, Validation, Resources, Investigation. KP: Writing – review & editing, Validation, Investigation. AG: Writing – review & editing, Validation. CB: Writing – review & editing. IM: Writing – review & editing, Validation, Data curation, Resources, Funding acquisition. MS: Writing – review & editing, Writing – original draft, Validation, Resources, Funding acquisition, Conceptualization.

Data Availability Statement

The original contributions presented in the study are included in the article/Supplementary Material. Further inquiries can be directed to the corresponding author.


  • Global science
  • UN decade of ocean science
  • sustainable development goals
  • MER 2030
  • research outlook


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