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EMB Science Webinar - Ocean and Human Heath: A deeper look into how coastal environments benefit human health and well-being

On Thursday 17 February 2022, EMB hosted its 17th Third Thursday Science webinar on the topic of 'Ocean and Human Heath: A deeper look into how coastal environments benefit human health and well-being'. The webinar was 1 hour long and took place from 13:00 - 14:00 CET.

The webinar 'Ocean and Human Heath: A deeper look into how coastal environments benefit human health and well-being' built on the science presented in EMB's Policy Brief No. 8 on 'Policy Needs for Oceans and Human Health', and included presentations and a discussion session with Marine Severin and Alexander Hooyberg, PhD Students at Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), Belgium.

Marine Severin gave a talk on emotional mechanisms underlying the beneficial impact of coastal environments on mental well-being. She is a predoctoral researcher working at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), in collaboration with Ghent University and KU Leuven. After earning her Master’s in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Marine joined the research team of Ocean and Human Health at VLIZ. Her main research interest is human well-being and particularly innovative sources of well-being such as coastal environments. She is currently investigating the emotional pathways that potentially explain how and why the coast benefits mental well-being, using both qualitative and experimental methodology. Her doctoral research is under the supervision of dr. eng. Gert Everaert, prof. dr. Ann Buysse (Ghent University), and prof. dr. Filip Raes (KU Leuven).

Alexander Hooyberg gave a talk on psychological restoration along the Belgian coast and the influence of landscape type and content. He is a doctoral researcher positioned at the Flanders Marine Institute, where he studies the relationships between the Belgian coast and diverse health-outcomes. After he obtained a Master in Biology at Ghent University in 2018, his early work revealed that people who live near the Belgian coast report a better general health. In his subsequent work, he is investigating the cognitive, emotional, and physiological changes (e.g. attention, heart rate variability) in response to different coastal environments, by implementing picture-rating experiments, virtual reality, and questionnaires. Throughout his PhD, he collaborates closely with a multidisciplinary team of experts in health sciences, sociology, psychology, and environmental health economics, who help him also address the sociological drivers and economic value of the health-effects along the Belgian coast.

You can re-watch the webinar here on the EMB YouTube page

You can download Marine's slides here and Alexander's slides here.

For any questions, please send an email to

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