The Program


Who we are

The Nereus Program is a global interdisciplinary initiative created to further our knowledge of how best to attain sustainability for the world’s oceans.

The Nereus Program, a collaboration between the Nippon Foundation and the University of British Columbia, has engaged in innovative, interdisciplinary ocean research since its inception in 2011. The Program is currently a global partnership of six leading marine science institutes with the aim of undertaking research that advances our comprehensive understandings of the global ocean systems across the natural and social sciences, from oceanography and marine ecology to fisheries economics and impacts on coastal communities.

Current partners include: the University of Cambridge, Duke University, Princeton University, Stockholm University, United Nations Environment Programme – World Conservation Monitoring Centre and Utrecht University.

Download the Nereus Program Organizational CV.

What we do

The Program is built around three core objectives:

  • Research: conducting collaborative ocean research across the natural and social sciences
  • Capacity building: developing a network of experts that can engage in discussion of complex and multifaceted questions of ocean sustainability
  • Public outreach: transferring these ideas to practical solutions in global policy forums and public engagement

Mission Statement

The Nereus Program strives to explore a broad range of perspectives and scientific opinions on ocean sustainability, and to create an inclusive community of researchers and other marine professionals. This principle is founded on the Nippon Foundation’s vision of global capacity building to ensure that our oceans’ legacy is preserved and potential is protected for future generations.


Who is Nereus?

The name of our Program is from Homer’s Illad, in which Nereus is described as the Old Man of the Sea who has the ability to foresee immanent changes in the ocean. As the eldest son of Pontos (the Sea) and Gaea (the Earth), Nereus was known for his wisdom, truthfulness, and virtue.