Founding Member, Ocean Collectiv

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  • — Marine social science
  • — People-sea connection
  • — Professional surfing

Dr. Easkey Britton is an internationally renowned professional surfer, artist, scientist and explorer from Ireland. Her parents taught her to surf when she was four years old and her life has revolved around the ocean ever since. She pioneered women’s big-wave surfing in Ireland as the first woman to surf Aileens at the Cliffs of Moher and Mullaghmore, where her performances have earned her international recognition including a prestigious Global WSL Big Wave nomination. Britton is a five-time Irish national surf champion, and holds a Ph.D. in Marine Environment and Society, but her real work lies in promoting a healthy relationship between people and the sea by using her passion for the ocean to jump-start social change.

Her ground-breaking journey to Iran in 2013 introduced the sport of surfing to women and local communities and is featured in the award-winning documentary film, "Into the Sea”. Easkey has co-organised and facilitated international gatherings around the world promoting social change and leadership including the world's first global "Into the Sea” in Indonesia, 2015. Named an ‘Agent of Change’ by Surfer magazine in their special Ocean Edition, surfing is Easkey’s active metaphor for life. An inspirational public speaker, her work and unique connection to the ocean led her to being asked to talk at TEDx Dublin.

Currently a post-doctoral research fellow at NUI Galway, Britton co-leads the interdisciplinary NEAR-Health work package on nature-based solutions: a framework to use coastal blue space to restore health and wellbeing. This year, she founded Like Water, a platform to explore innovative ways to reconnect with who we are, our environment and each other, through water.


http://likewater.blue, @likewater_blue


Backwash, On belonging and being like water, June 2016

A Lust for Life, Blue mindfulness: How big waves surfing taught me to live in the moment.

Irish Research Council, Understanding how water environments are good for wellbeing, July 2017

Maptia, Into the Sea and Beyond the Veil in Iran.

Maptia, Pink nose revolution: The development of surfing for social good in Papua New Guinea.


Irish Tech News, Surfing to help the wider community: Easkey Britton,  scientist, social entrepreneur, big wave surfer, November 2015

The Brandling, The Unreasonable Advantage of Easkey Britton, December 2014

Mpora, Iran's New Revolution, October 2014

The Irish Times, Surfer Easkey Britton and film-maker Marion Poizeau, March 2014

Surf Europe, Easkey in Iran, April 2013


Britton, Easkey, and Sarah Coulthard. "Assessing the social wellbeing of Northern Irelands fishing society using a three-dimensional approach." Marine Policy. January 2013, 28-36.

Britton, Easkey. "Women as agents of wellbeing in Northern Ireland’s fishing households." Maritime Studies, December 2012.

Coulthard, Sarah, and Easkey Britton. "Waving or Drowning: An Exploration of Adaptive Strategies Amongst Fishing Households and Implications for Wellbeing Outcomes." Sociologia Ruralis 55, no. 3 (July 2015): 275-90. 

Britton, Easkey. "Ghost Boats and Human Freight: The Social Wellbeing Impacts of the Salmon Ban on Lough Foyle’s Fishing Communities."In: Urquhart J., Acott T., Symes D., Zhao M. (eds) Social Issues in Sustainable Fisheries Management. MARE Publication Series, vol 9. Springer, Dordrecht (2014)

Coulthard, S; Paranamana, N. and L. Sandaruwan et al. "Exploring wellbeing in fishing communities: Methods handbook." (2015).

University of Plymouth Press, Just Add Surf: the power of surfing as a medium to challenge and transform gender inequalities, May 2015

Britton, Easkey. "Just Add Surf: the power of surfing as a medium to challenge and transform gender inequalities." In Sustainable Stoke: Transitions to Sustainability in the Surfing World, edited by Borne, Gregory and Jess Ponting. University of Plymouth Press, 2015.