Senior lecturer School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork (UCC). Expertise in coastal  resource management and blue growth. Research into ecosystems governance and coastal management. Teaching coastal governance, ocean sustainability and innovation, geo hazards and scientific writing.

Science Foundation Ireland Funded Investigator, working in the governance field, focused on the interactions in human & environmental systems with a view to pathways to sustainable development at the coast. Research team currently 4 PhDs studying governance in marine renewables, trans-boundary stakeholder engagement, climate adaptation, & impacts of marine clusters.  

Track record in managing partnerships in complex institutional settings, fundraising, developing R&D capacity, internationalisation, and leading innovation networks.  Co-founder & director of the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster, (IMERC), 2010 to 2016, concerned with building excellence in research, entrepreneurship, training and innovation. Previously director of the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre 2003-2010.

Married with three young daughters. Enjoy recreational sailing, hill walking and live music.


Research Interests

My research background is in coastal resource management and environmental governance, with a particular interest in sustainability science, and the human dimension of sustainability transitions.

To this extent my research also draws on concepts from across:
- Action Research
- The Systems Field
- Innovation
- Management and Organisational Development    

More specifically I have worked with the following fields, concepts, methods and approaches:

  • Integrated Coastal and Oceans Management
  • Environmental governance
  • Energy transitions
  • Conflict management and dispute resolution
  • Place-based climate change adaptation
  • Post-normal science 
  • Knowledge co-production
  • Participatory approaches to decision-making
  • Evaluation frameworks for environmental governance and sustainability.  



Dr Valerie Cummins

Contact Details:


Senior Lecturer



School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland T23 N73K