Investigating and Monitoring Marine UAE Nearshore Environments (IMMUNE): Case study coastal environments in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in SARS-CoV-2 era

Project summary

The objective is to investigate and monitor the nearshore areas in the intertidal zone, since we believe that during the covid-19 lockdown and decrease of human activities either treated or untreated reclaim water release in marine environment affected the coastal environment. This proposal has a multidisciplinary approach (water, sediment, micofauna, microorganism quality) at the intersection of geosciences and biosciences, defining the geo-biological indicators and analogues during the pandemic.
Sediments and sea water sampling from selected coastal areas focuses in coastal environments in the intertidal zone as, organic or reclaimed beaches, coastal sabkhas, channels, lagoons and mangroves. From each of the four sites (Abu Dhabi and Sharjah) we will obtain one sediment sample from the intertidal zone and one water sample. The samples will be collected in triplicates and a composite sample will be derived. Samples will be analyzed for physical, chemical and biological parameters.
Sea water and wastewater: Physio-Chemical analysis (Temperature, pH, conductivity) for water and wastewater samples. Purification of viral particles from water samples, SARS-CoV2 genomic detection (RT-PCR), linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Sediments and biological mud: X-ray florescence (XRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD) for mineralogical analysis, Grain size analysis, Total organic carbon (TOC), Measuring also in situ T, pH, conductivity (salinity). Analysis of benthic foraminifera’s it will take place. SARS-CoV2 molecular detection (Protocol, Pan et al. 2019): Therefore, benthic foraminifera are reliable bio-indicators of natural environmental and anthropogenic impact/pollution and are increasingly used in the monitoring of environmental health and balance in coastal and marginal marine ecosystems.

Project dates

August 2020 – ongoing


  • Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (PI)
  • University of Sharjah, College of Science, Department of Applied Physics and Astronomy and Department of Applied Biology, (CoPI)
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Geology. (CoPI)


Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi