Plymouth Sustainability and Surfing Research Group (PSSRG)

Plymouth Sustainability and Surfing Research Group explores humanity’s interaction with the environment through the lens of a wave. 

We focus on environmental, social and economic sustainability with an emphasis on inter-disciplinary research, both from within the University of Plymouth and internationally. 

This group highlights the impact on the ground and in the sea, addresses multiple policy agenda and forms partnerships with industry, government and non-governmental organisations. 

A book for anyone interested in the challenges of sustainability in the surfing world 

Published in 2015, Sustainable Stoke – Transitions to Sustainability in the Surfing World, looks at the greatest challenges to sustainability in the surfing world. The book includes the views and opinions of more than 40 recognised global experts, including former world champions, environmental campaigners and the directors, CEOs and founders of some of the industry’s most recognisable brands.
"Sustainability is core to how we live on this planet. Surfing could be a massive power tool for driving positive change". Chris Hines, co-founder of Surfers Against Sewage, 

Read the University of Plymouth's press release.

An image from the front cover of Sustainable Stoke (credit: Grant Davis)


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Regional Partner Profiles:  

Eliminating plastic packaging

PSSRG partners Surfers Against Sewage and international retailer Surfdome are highlighted in an article entitled 'Why we need to recycle plastic and not add to the eight million tonnes of rubbish in our oceans'.

Surfdome has successfully replaced all plastic packaging with 100% cardboard, gum tape and paper. The article also highlights the importance of PSSRGs partnership with Surfdome in their journey towards sustainability

"Plastic pollution in our oceans is the ‘new sewage’ - it is Surfers Against Sewage's priority issue. We have a vision of plastic free coastlines and we invite to be part of the movement to clean up our beaches. Together we can make a big difference."

Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage

Find out more about plastic free coastlines and Surfers Against Sewage priorities for 2017.

Surdome's packing is now 100% plastic free

Coming Soon - Sustainability and Surfing (Routledge)

International multidisciplinary book on Sustainable Surfing

Bringing together the world’s foremost experts on themes of sustainability and surfing drawing on cutting edge theory, research, policy and impact.

Gregory Borne's blog for Huffington Post

"What instantly struck me was the incredible sustainable development related solutions that this initiative represents from energy and pollution through to poverty alleviation."

Read Greg's blog in full

Nev House

Research partners Nev House, spearheaded by surfboard designer Nev Hyman, have designed a house made out of recycled plastic that can withstand a category five cyclone. 

Nev House was so successful that it went on to win the prestigious Australian Good Design Award.

Watch the video now

Our people

We are an international research hub that focuses expertise from around the globe.

Membership is open to all those engaged in research either as a central focus or as a contributory element to sustainability and surfing

PSSRG is also a founding partner of the Association of Surfing Academics.

University of Plymouth based contributors

Our global activity

Find out more about our work across the globe as part of our research activity.

Google map of activities

International contributors

Doctor Jess PontingDirector, Center for Surf Research, San Diego State University, USA 

Doctor Danny O'BrienAssociate Professor, Head of Sport Management Program, Bond University, Australia

Professor Mark OramsProfessor Marine Tourism, Aukland University, New Zealand                                                

Doctor Neil Lazarow: Griffith University, Australia

Doctor Chad NelsonCEO Surfrider Foundation

Doctor Peter Neushul: University of California Santa Barbara        

Professor Scott Laderman, Professor of History, University of Minnesota Duluth
Professor Chris GibsonDirector, Global Challenges Program at University of Wollongong

Doctor Andrew Warren: University of New England

Doctor Jason ScorseAssociate Professor, Monterrey Institute for International Studies                   

Doctor Lindsay UsherAssistant Professor, Old Dominion University

Doctor Steve Martin: Lecturer in the Department of Chinese Studies, Prince of Songkla University, Thailand

Professor Ian Eddie: Southern Cross University Australia

Professor Tony Abbott, Professor of Environmental Science and Studies, Stetson University

Mr Elliot Pill, Director MA International Public Relations and Global Communications Management, Cardiff University

Dr Fathima Ahmed, Lecturer Human Geography, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Professor Jean Pierre Augustin, Professor geography, University of Bordeaux-Montaigne

Predro Bicudo, Instituto Superior Tecnico

Dr Robert Brander, Coastal geomorphology, rip currents, beach hazards and safety, University of New South Wales

Dr David Brown,  Reader in the Sociology of Sport and Physical Culture, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Dr Kimberly Burnett, Research Economist, University of Hawaii

Dr Laurence Chalip, Recreation, Sports and Tourism, University of Illinois

Jeremy Goffin. Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Design, University of Lincoln

Professor Christophe Guibert: University of Angers, France  

Doctor Sun Young ParkAssociate Professor School of Management University of San Francisco, USA          

Doctor Jon AndersonSenior Lecturer, Cardiff University, UK

Doctor Anna GerkeAssistant Professor, Audencia Nantes, France

Doctor Robert Hales: Griffith University, Australia

Sam BleakleyTravel writer, surfer, geographer

Doctor Carla BarbieriAssociate Professor, North Carolina State University, USA

Doctor Serge DedinaExecutive Director Wildcoast

Brender WillmottProgramme Manager - Surf Science and Technology - Cornwall College

Doctor  Easkey BrittonSurfer, scientist, explorer

Mattias Cape, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Dr Robin Canniford, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, University of Melbourne

Dr Robyn Ceurvorst, Assistant Professor, Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services

Dr Makena KL Coffman, Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaii

Professor Sara Dolnicar, The University of Queensland

Dr Sheranne Fairley, Senior Lecturer, The University of Queensland

Professor Falk Feddersen, SCRIPPS institution of Oceanography

Dr Philip Furley, German Sport University Cologne

Dr Jerome Hall, Associate Professor, Anthropology University of San Diego

Dr Tracey Harrison - Hill, Senior Lecturer, James Cook University

Dr Rob Hales, Programme Director, Griffith Center for Sustainable Enterprise, Griffith University

Dr Sun -Young Park, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco

Dr Darrell Strauss, Griffith centre for Coastal Management, Griffith University

Professor Ken Liberman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of Oregon

Joao Taborda, OTL,MSc, Occupational Theorapist and Adaptive Sports, International Health (IHTM-UNL) Health Policies and development

Dr Tony Butt  Research Fellow, University of Plymouth  

Dr Emily Hughes-dit-Ciles, Senior Scientist, South West Catchments Council, Australia 

Our partners:

​Through the medium of surfing the research group aims to facilitate enterprise, innovation and cooperation on a multi-sectoral basis. The following are working in partnership with us to achieve this vision.

Marine Institute

Providing an external portal to our extensive pool of world-leading experts and state-of-the-art facilities, enabling us to understand the relationship between the way we live, the seas that surround us and the development of sustainable policy solutions.
Further information

Research expertise

The Sustainable Earth Institute is about promoting a new way of thinking about the future of our world. It's about the science of the planet, its health and well-being and what that means for us.
Further information

Industry partners

Academic partners

Not-for-profit partners

Other partners