RaNTrans funded by European Regional Development Fund logo

The European Regional Development Fund has contributed €1,988,778 to the project's budget of €2,912,288.

EU flag

Excessive nutrients in coastal waters cause eutrophication in the aquatic environment and green algal mat growth on intertidal mudflats. The Rapid reduction of Nutrients in Transitional waters (RaNTrans) project will develop and test innovative and cost-effective methods to reduce algal mat coverage and reduce nutrient levels in these mudflats.

The project will also develop novel uses of algal mats by extracting chemicals with human health benefits. By developing the business potential of these sustainably-produced outputs the project will show how biodiversity preservation and environmental improvements can underpin regional job creation as oysters, aquaculture feeds and seaweeds are multibillion-dollar industries.

The project’s goals are also to reduce nutrients that will not only generate societal and economic benefits, but 5 years post-project will increase the FCE percentage of TAC (Transitional and Coastal) water bodies with Good Ecological Status (GES) by 20%.

The project will develop techniques to:

  • Mechanically remove algal mats
  • Feed algal mats to polychaete worms to convert them to aquaculture feed
  • Use seaweed and European oysters to reduce nutrient loading


This project uses testing sites in France and England, including facilities at the Institute of Marine Sciences such as the floating research platform moored in Langstone Harbour, a 5.4m research vessel, the RV Calypso and the extensive laboratory facilities.

University of Portsmouth staff

Gordon Watson Portrait

Professor Gordon Watson

Professor of Marine Zoology


School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Joanne Preston Portrait

Media ready expert

Professor Joanne Preston

Professor of Marine Biology


School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Science and Health

PhD Supervisor

Read more
  • Dr Andrew Van Der Schatte Olivier, Senior Research Associate
  • Zoe Morrall, Project Coordinator


Explore more of our research

Marine sciences

Through our research in marine science, we're working to improve the marine environment for future generations, and to make marine activities more sustainable.
School of fish swimming in deep ocean
Read more

Environmental processes and impacts

We're looking at the monitoring, movement and impacts of contaminants and pollutants in the environment, and identifying problems and potential solutions.

Pollution from factory rising into a dark grey sky
Read more

Environmental change

We're looking at how the planet's climate has changed over time, and how human activities – and a growing population – is changing our environment today.
Aerial view of scenic Greenland Glaciers and icebergs
Read more