Coastbusters - Creating underwater value from bio-based reefs for coastal management


Identify and assess economical valuation of bio-based reefs and linked ecosystem services.

Our coastal zones are increasingly affected by climate change, inducing sea level rises and more frequent weather extremes such as storms and floods. In addition, intensified human activity is heavily reducing the resilience of our coastal ecosystems. Traditional solutions that combat this erosion of beaches are considered to become less sustainable in the future.

A more ecologically sound solution can be found by nature-inspired designs in the process. Taking inspiration from healthy and dynamic ecosystems, the Coastbusters® are looking towards key bio builder species (such as seagrasses or seaweeds, bivalves and tube building worms) to enhance coastal stabilisation and coastal protection. Additional benefits (i.e. “ecosystem services”) include the improvement of water quality, support for fish populations, stimulation of biodiversity, and seafloor habitat enhancement.

For stakeholders (companies, coastal cities, local governments and coastal population) the cost reduction and added values linked to these bio-based measures are primordial for their viability and valorisation.


The student will become part of the Coastbusters®  student group. It includes regular soundboard meetings, participation in dissemination events and access to the Coastbusters partners (Jan de Nul, DEME, Sioen, ILVO and VLIZ). Student will in most probably be based at DEME HQ (

Do you want to participate in cutting-edge industrial coastal research, combining biology and economy, contact us!

Language requirements: 
Full English proficiency
Specific competences required : 
Interest in economical valuation and assessments of bio-based reefs. Bringing biology further. Innovative thinking mindset.
Safety issues: 
Student will get a safety induction upon arrival at DEME HQ
Accommodation possibilities : 
Additional costs to be covered by the student: 
Describe the additional costs to be covered by the student: 
Lunch at reduced rate in Company restaurant (<2€) or foresee own lunch Public transport via waterbus ( Steenplein-Zwijndrecht) covered by DEME.