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About The Sea

About The Sea

The Sea is a Living Lab for marine and maritime research with a focus on coastal and marginal seas. It was launched in 2017 as one of Åbo Akademi University’s key research profiling areas, with the support of the Academy of Finland. We work in collaboration with the University of Turku under the joint thematic profiling area “Sea and Maritime Studies”.

VISION & MISSIONSymbol för forskningsprofilen HAVET

Our vision for a sustainable future is one where we utilise and manage our seas and marine resources sustainably and where we have found solutions to today’s wicked problems, such as eutrophication and climate change.

Our mission is to find science-driven solutions that enable coexistence between marine and maritime life and the modern society, that promotes sustainability in the Baltic Sea and Nordic maritime areas, including the Arctic.

In The Sea, we specifically focus on marine ecology and development in coastal regions in relation to an ever-changing environment; analysis and evaluation of the impact that political and administrative institutions has on the Baltic Sea region; development and implementation of sustainable, large-scale infrastructure systems, especially in the transport and energy sectors; and multidisciplinary expert advice for society, decision-makers, national and international advisory bodies, NGOs and the business sector.

Our framework for the research we conduct relies on the Living Lab concept and the methodology we are developing for this. It builds on a problem-solving and co-creative thinking where we seek collaboration from a wide variety of stakeholders from private and public sectors as well as society at large.

The overall objective of The Sea is to establish a world-leading marine Centre of Excellence with a focus on The Baltic Sea and the Nordic maritime areas, including Arctic marine ecosystems.

Logos of Sustainable Development Goals, 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 13 (Climate Action), 14 (Life Bellow Water), and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals)
The Sea work towards achieving the Global Sustainable development goals. We work specifically with Goal 14 as well as 4, 5, 7, 9, 13 and 17


As a Living Lab, we work across the research areas environmental and marine biology, public administration and industrial management, in close collaboration with government institutions, policy makers, maritime industry, research institutes, NGOs, private companies and donors.

The Sea is built around a core team of three professors, tenure-track professors, postdocs and researchers at the three different subjects within Åbo Akademi University: Environmental – and Marine Biology, Public Administration and Maritime Law, and Industrial Management. The core team is strengthened by a Professor of Practice and guest professors. The team is further supported by a steering group within the university.

The steering board for The Sea (2020-2022):

Prof. Nina Tynkkynen (chair)

Prof. Magnus Hellström

Head of Research Henrik Ringbom

Assoc. Prof. Anna Törnroos-Remes

Assoc. Prof. Christian Pansch-Hattich

Updated 4.11.2022