International Centre for Education, Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (ICEMASA) [fr]


Launched in 2009 and based in South Africa, the international research laboratory ICEMASA gathers African and European scientists on ocean-related issues at the local, regional and continental scale in Africa.

The cold South Africa’s Atlantic coast is among the most productive marine ecosystem worldwide whereas the east coast is the gateway of Indian Ocean tropical waters to the Atlantic. ICEMASA is developing a multidisciplinary approach in marine sciences around Southern Africa. This scientific cluster gathers researchers with worldwide recognized expertise in marine ecosystems, fisheries, oceanic circulation, ocean-atmosphere exchanges and biochemistry.

In addition to conducting class A partner-oriented research, ICEMASA contributes to Masters and PhD programs applied to the simulation of physical, chemical and biological conditions in order to explore future impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems.

Research topics

  • Sea, atmosphere, biochemistry and climate interactions
  • Fish, fisheries and their ecosystems
  • Multi-disciplinary approach
  • Cross strategy between observation and modeling

South African side:

  • Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Department of Environmental Affairs
  • Marine Research Institute and University of Cape Town

French side:

  • Université de Bretagne Occidentale
  • Université de Montpellier
  • Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD)
  • Institut national des sciences de l’Univers, centre national de la recherche scientifique

Key figures 2014-2016

  • 15 supervised PhD students
  • 13 trained Masters Students
  • Lecturing: 110 h/year on average
  • Publications in peer-reviewed journals: 65 (44% co-signed Africa/Europe

The international laboratory ICEMASA is co-directed by Francis Marsac (IRD) and Pr. John Field (UCT/Marine Research Institute). Oversight and guidance on core ICEMASA business is provided by an Executive Committee (EC) comprised of representatives of the partner institutions and associated laboratories. The EC discusses and advises strategic policy and directions as presented by the ICEMASA co-directors. The EC normally meets once a year. A Scientific Coordinating Committee which meets at least once annually advises and informs the EC on the activities, partnerships, and scientific priorities of the laboratory.

ICEMASA develops ocean observation and analysis tools, such as a numerical modeling platform for physical and biological oceanography (ecosystems). Each year, ICEMASA organizes a summer school on multidisciplinary end-to-end modeling: “From Ocean to Fish”.

Expected outcomes of the transformation of ICEMASA into an African center of Excellence
By 2018, ICEMASA aims to evolve into an International Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Africa by gathering a larger panel of African partners (9 universities and 4 research conglomerates). It is also aiming at strengthening international partnership with Europe, the USA and Japan. The goal is to promote regional specialization among academic partners to address regional challenges linked to Oceans and strengthen the capacities of the African scientific community by developing training and applied research of international standard.

For more information, visit ICEMASA website.

publie le 14/02/2017

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