Environment

Photo: Environmental Research Banner

The EU articulates an engaging vision of the future to 2050 in the 7th Environment Action Programme ‘Living Well, within the Limits of our Planet’. Physical and life scientists, engineers, educators, and social scientists must work collaboratively to understand environmental systems that, partly owing to human activity, may be approaching thresholds for irreversible change. This ethos forms the foundation for the Ryan Institute’s mission in the area of Environmental Research.

There are three main thrusts to our environmental research which are: Environmental Technologies, Climate Change, and Environment and Health.

Environmental Technologies are about directly or indirectly improving our marine and terrestrial environments, our health and quality of life, and the sustainability of our urban spaces and lifestyles.  Researchers in this field are working on areas such as sensor development, waste treatment, and energy efficient technologies – areas that can be applied to almost all aspects of Environmental, Marine and Energy research.

Climate Change Climate Change research is organized into four main sub-themes – Atmospheric Composition and Emissions, Air Quality and Pollution, Ocean-Atmosphere Exchange, and Climate-Ecosystem Interactions – and has been consolidated into an integrated Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) C-CAPS aims to quantify key atmospheric processes and transport emission inventories.  These data will be fed into predictive systems such as a coupled ocean-atmosphere model and marine ecosystem models that are crucial to accurate climate change scenarios.

Environment and Health. We talk much more about disease than we talk about health.   What passes for discussion on health is mostly about the prevention of disease, the detection of disease and the treatment of disease.   An overwhelming preoccupation with disease is an expensive and inefficient way to pursue health.    Health is achieved and sustained through our interaction with the world around us – air, water and food, the people, the footpaths, the hurling pitches, night clubs and countryside. The Centre for Health from Environment (CHE) recognises the dependence of human health on our environment, and it promotes the concept that health and well-being is the most important resource that we derive from our environment.

People:
My Photograph Prof. Colin Brown
Earth and Ocean Sciences
Phone: (091) 49 2691; Email: colin.brown@nuigalway.ie
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Prof. Brown is the Director of the Ryan Institute, and is the Project Manager for the €3.1M  Griffith Biogeoscience Project.  His research interests include: (i) investigating the structure of the crust (ii) electromagnetic induction methods (iii) acoustic, and seismic, imaging and classification of sediments (iv) marine habitat mapping using remotely operated vehicles.

Click here to listen to an interview with Professor Colin Brown on our Itunes podcast channel:

Ryan Institute Podcast Channel

Dr. Frances Fahy, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Frances Fahy
Lecturer in Environmental Geography, School of Geography and Archaeology
Phone: (091) 49 2315; Email: frances.fahy@nuigalway.ie
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Dr Fahy’s interests are in the field of environmental planning and sustainability, specifically the social and cultural consequences of environmental change. She is currently the Project Manger of ConsEnSus (Consumption, Environment and Sustainability), a large-scale EPA/STRIVE project (2009-2013), which is exploring key areas of domestic consumption that impact directly on the environment.
Dr. Hugh Melvin, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Hugh Melvin
Information Technology
Tel: (091) 49 3716; Email: hugh.melvin@nuigalway.ie
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Dr. Melvin’s research interests include Real-Time Systems, Energy Informatics, Internet Multimedia, Time & Timing Systems and Wireless Technologies. He is a member of the Performance Engineering Laboratory research group, a distributed group of researchers, based out of UCD and DCU but with a presence in other Irish institutions including NUI,Galway.
Dr. Xinmin Zhan, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Xinmin Zhan
Environmental Engineering
Phone: (091) 49 5239; Email: xinmin.zhan@nuigalway.ie
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Dr. Zhan’s research interest is to develop a sustainable agricultural industry by studying the environmental and energy issues: (i) biofuels production from agro-industrial wastes and crop by-products (ii) advanced technologies for nitrogen removal from wastewater (iii) development of adsorbents and nanomaterials for water supply, wastewater treatment and biofuel production.
Dr. Nathan Quinlan, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Nathan Quinlan
Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
Phone: (091) 49 2726 ; Email: nathan.quinlan@nuigalway.ie
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Dr.Quinlan’s research interests are in fluid dynamics; with applications to the characterisation, analysis and design of renewable and conventional energy conversion systems.  His group uses particle image velocimetry and computational fluid dynamics, and are developing novel computational approaches which are particularly suited to marine applications.
Photo: Dr. Thomas Barry, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Thomas Barry
Microbiology
Tel: (091) 49 3189;  Email: thomas.barry@nuigalway.ie
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Dr. Barry is the principal investigator of the Molecular Diagnostics Research Group (MDRG) at NUI Galway, which has 20 years experience and an international track record of achievement in the development and application of molecular diagnostics tests for microbial species detection in the clinical, food and environmental sectors. The MDRG has developed a suite of platform technologies, based on proprietary nucleic acid sequence targets, for the detection and identification of bacteria and fungi. The research group has also successfully worked with commercial partners to develop molecular diagnostic products for infectious diseases based on these technologies.
Dr. Donal Leech, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Dónal Leech
Chemistry
Tel: (091) 49 3563; Email: donal.leech@nuigalway.ie
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Dr. Leech is the Director of the Biomolecular Electronics Research Laboratory. Environmental diagnostics research in the laboratory focuses on the preparation and characterisation of electron-transfer catalysts and modified electrode surfaces.  A recently awarded sensor technology projects is the SFI-funded “Metals In the Marine Environment” (MIME) project, for the development, validation and deployment of autonomous electrochemical instrumentation for analysis of metals in the marine environment.
Photo: Brian Ward, Climate Change, Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy Dr. Brian Ward
School of Physics
Phone: (091) 49 3029; Email: bward@nuigalway.ie
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Dr. Brian Ward has received two US-Ireland grants through SFI for sensor development. The first deals with the development of a gas detector for air-sea fluxes of greenhouse gases. The second is a microfluidics device to be developed for an Argo float to measure carbon in the ocean. Other technology development is the autonomous profiler ASIP, and a diamond-coated microsensor for temperature and conductivity in the oceans in collaboration with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Photo: Chaosheng Zhang, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Chaosheng Zhang
School of Geography and Archaeology
Tel: (091) 49 2375; Email: chaosheng.zhang@nuigalway.ie
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Dr. Zhang’s research focuses on using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and geostatistics to (i) study spatial structure of environmental parameters and (ii) to produce spatial distribution maps. Current projects include:

  • Interactions of soil hydrology, land use & climate change, and impacts on soil quality
  • Characterising spatial variation of heavy metal pollution in urban soils
  • Spatial variation of phosphorus in grassland soil
  • Historic global atmospheric
Prof. Vincent O'Flaherty, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Professor Vincent O’Flaherty
Head of the School of Natural Sciences
Phone: (091) 49 3734; Email: vincent.oflaherty@nuigalway.ie
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Prof. O’Flaherty is the Head of the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway and director of the Microbial Ecology Laboratory. Main interests are in the areas of anaerobic biofilm and microbial ecology research, focused on: anaerobic biofilm reactor technology for energy production and wastewater treatment; and the microbial ecology of anaerobic biofilms and soil ecosystems.

Click here to listen to an interview with Professor Vincent O’Flaherty on our Itunes podcast channel:

Ryan Institute Podcast Channel

Photo: Dr. Maria Tuohy, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Maria Tuohy
Biochemistry
Phone: (091) 49 2439; Email: maria.tuohy@nuigalway.ie
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Dr. Tuohy is director of the Molecular Glycobiotechnology Group and has over 15 years experience in the Enzymology, carbohydrate biochemistry, plant biomass conversion and microbial fermentation. Our aim is to harness the full potential of fungi to recover the full energy and biorefinery potential of plant biomass and carbohydrate-rich wastes.
Photo: Miriam Byrne, Climate Change, Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy Dr. Miriam Byrne
School of Physics
Phone: (091) 49 3394; Email: miriam.byrne@nuigalway.ie
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Research interests include assessment (through measurement and modeling) of human exposure to environmental and occupational airborne contaminants; including radioactive particles from nuclear accidents, tobacco smoke particles, vehicular emissions.

Click here to listen to an interview with Dr. Miriam Byrne on our Itunes podcast channel:

Ryan Institute Podcast Channel

Dr. Marie Coggins 
School of Physics
Phone: (091) 49 5056; Email: marie.cogginsnuigalway.ie
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Research interests include measurement of environmental and occupational hazards. Currently working with the Pharmaceutical industry on the development of chemical control and containment designs
Dr. Florence Abram
Microbiology
Phone: (091) 492390; Email: florence.abram@nuigalway.ie
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Dr Florence Abram is the director of the Functional Environmental Microbiology laboratory, which focuses primarily on microbial adaptation to ecological niches. Her expertise lies in the application of proteomics and metaproteomics to investigate microbial behaviour within their natural ecosystem.
Dr. Liam Morrison, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Liam Morrison
Earth and Ocean Sciences
Phone: (091) 493200; Email: liam.morrison@nuigalway.ie
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Research interests in the area of environment and health include the bioavailability, mobility, biomonitoring, and toxicity of metal contaminants in the environment. Current research includes biogeochemical investigation on elevated concentrations of metals from natural and anthropogenic sources in drinking water supplies. Dr. Morrison established and manages the Chemical Monitoring Facility at the Ryan Institute, NUIG.
Dr. Su Ming Khoo
School of Political Science & Sociology
Phone: (091) 493643; Email: s.khoonuigalway.ie
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Current research interests include contested meanings of development and globalization; development alternatives from the perspectives of sustainability, rights and citizenship; The Right to Development and Right to Health; global citizenship, public advocacy and public goods; development education and the globalization(s) of higher education.
Prof. Kevin Leyden
School of Political Science & Sociology, Whitaker Institute Member
Phone: (091) 492848; Email: kevin.leydennuigalway.ie
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Professor Leyden’s teaching and research interests include social capital, public policy, public opinion, elections, interest groups, health policy, energy policy, land-use & transportation planning and issues of sustainable development. His research has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, Environmental Health Perspectives, The British Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, American Politics Quarterly, American Journal of Health Promotion, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and Policy Studies Journal, among others. His current research focuses primarily on the relationship between the community design, social capital, health, and climate change.
Dr. Diarmuid O’Donovan
Health Promotion and Director of Public Health HSE West
Email: diarmuid.odonovannuigalway.ie
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Dr O’Donovan is Senior Lecturer in Social & Preventive Medicine at NUI Galway and Director of Public Health in the Health Service Executive (HSE West, Galway). He is a Project Leader in the Health Promotion Research Centre. His research interests include equity in health, health policy, communicable disease control and environmental health, health and human rights, and global health and development.
Dr. Mark Healy, Ryan Institute for Environmental Marine & Energy Research Dr. Mark Healy
Civil Engineering
Phone: (091) 495364; Email: mark.healy@nuigalway.ie
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Dr. Mark G. Healy is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of Engineers Ireland, and is a lecturer (above the bar) in Civil Engineering at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Dr. Healy’s research work is primarily in the area of experimental environmental engineering and soil erosion. He has published 2 book chapters and 45 peer-reviewed, national and international journal papers. To date, with collaborators, he has successfully competed for research funding awards in excess of €3.4 million. Recent and on-going research projects on which Dr. Healy is PI include projects funded by EPA/COFORD, Teagasc , DAFF and IRCSET. His research interests include: surface and subsurface processes with a particular interest in erosion and surface runoff of nutrients, solids and metals, and leaching of nutrients through soil; greenhouse gas emissions; soil fertility; constructed wetlands; sand filtration; sequencing batch reactors; biosolids; composting; and the effects of forestry activities, such as clearfelling, on the environment (nutrient loss, use of buffer zones, greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere).
Dr. Conor O'Byrne, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Conor O’Byrne
Microbiology
Phone: (091) 493957; Email: conor.obyrne@nuigalway.ie
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Dr Conor O’Byrne is a lecturer in Microbiology in the School of Natural Sciences. He is director of the Bacterial Stress Response Group, whose research focuses on the molecular responses of bacterial food-borne pathogens to environmental stresses (eg. limited water activity, reduced temperatures, low pH). The group has attracted more than €5 M in research funding since its inception in 2000 and has published extensively on food-borne pathogens. Dr O’Byrne worked as a post-doctoral researcher with a multinational food company in the UK for 4 years and so has strong appreciation for the potential damage that food-borne pathogens can cause to a food business. Much of the group’s recent research has focussed on Listeria monocytogenes, with an emphasis on understanding the regulatory mechanisms that underpin the responses to food-related stress. Dr O’Byrne was elected onto the Prokaryotic Division of the Society for General Microbiology in 2010.
Photo: Colin O'Dowd, Climate Change, Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy Prof. Colin O’Dowd
Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS); and School of Physics
Phone: (091) 49 3306; Email: colin.odowd@nuigalway.ie
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Research interests include atmospheric aerosol formation, transformation and climate effects, air quality, climate-air quality interactions, air-sea exchange, biogeochemical cycling, as well as measurements and modeling of aforementioned themes.
Photo: Harald Berresheim, Climate Change, Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy Dr. Harald Berresheim
School of Physics
Phone: (091) 49 5705; Email: harald.berresheim@nuigalway.ie
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Research interests include: (i) atmospheric composition and climate change, (ii) atmospheric oxidation efficiency, (iii) atmospheric aerosols: gas-to-particle conversion, gas-particle interactions, (iv) potential health effects of trace gases and aerosols, (v) mass spectrometry and its applications to atmospheric and environmental analysis.
Photo: Michael Hartnett, Climate Change, Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy Dr. Micheal Hartnett
College of Engineering and Informatics
Phone: (091) 49 2502; Email: michael.hartnett@nuigalway.ie
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Research activities include coastal, shelf and ocean modelling; hydrodynamics; water quality modelling; numerical and scale modelling; structural dynamics (offshore structures and train-bridge interactions).
Photo: Dr. Ger Fleming, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Gerard Fleming
Microbial Oceanography Research Unit, Microbiology
Phone: (091) 49 3562; Email: ger.fleming@nuigalway.ie
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Research interests include detection and enumeration of microbial and fungal bioaerosols in the environment.
s200_no_pic Dr. Cindy Smith
Microbiology
Phone: +00 353 91 49 3832 ; Email: cindy.smith@nuigalway.ie

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Research Interests: Molecular microbial ecology of natural and engineered ecosystems withparticular emphasis on the biogeochemical cycling of nitrogen in coastal zones, drinking water microbiology and the geomicrobiology of fluid inclusions. 

My Photograph Dr. Eugene Farrell
Geography
Phone: n/a ; Email: EUGENE.FARRELL@nuigalway.ie

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My Photograph Dr. Aoife Boyd
Microbiology
Phone: +353-(0)91-492404 ; Email: Aoife.Boyd@nuigalway.ie

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Research Interests : Host-pathogen interactionsToxins and Effectors of Type III Secretion SystemsVibrio parahaemolyticusIdentification and characterisation of bacterial adhesins and invasinsDisruption of the intestinal barrier function by gastrointestinal pathogensManipulation of eukaryotic cell signalling pathways and cell activities by bacterial effector proteins

s200_no_pic Mr. Gerard Spain
Physics
Phone: 095-32754 ; Email: gerard.spain@nuigalway.ie

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My Photograph Dr. Annette Harte
Civil Engineering

Phone: n/a ; Email: annette.harte@nuigalway.ie

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My Photograph Dr. Audrey Morley
Geography

Phone: n/a; Email: AUDREY.MORLEY@nuigalway.ie

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s200_no_pic Dr. Peter Crowley
Chemistry

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s200_no_pic Dr. Padraig Molloy
Mechanical Engineering

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My Photograph Dr. Veronica McCauley
Education

Phone: 00 353 91 49 5260 ; Email: veronica.mccauley@nuigalway.ie

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s200_no_pic Dr. Cyril Carroll
Microbiology

Phone: +00 353 91 49 2277 ; Email: cyril.carroll@nuigalway.ie

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Dr. Gesche Kindermann
Microbiology

Phone: n/a ; Email: n/a

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s200_no_pic Dr. Tiernan Henry
Earth and Ocean Sciences

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Dr. Paul Kavanagh

Chemistry

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s200_no_pic Dr. Catriona Carlin
Microbiology

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My Photograph Dr. Deárbhaile Morris
Bacteriology

Phone: 87-4652 ; Email: dearbhaile.morris@nuigalway.ie

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Dr. Tom Doyle

Zoology

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My Photograph Dr. Aaron Potito
Geography

Phone: +353 (0)91493936 ; Email: aaron.potito@nuigalway.ie

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s200_no_pic Dr. Colin Lawton
Zoology

Phone: 091-492335 ; Email: colin.lawton@nuigalway.ie

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s200_no_pic Dr. Mike Gormally
Microbiology

Phone: +00 353 91 49 3334 ; Email: mike.gormally@nuigalway.ie

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s200_no_pic Dr. Zoe Popper
Botany & Plant Sciences

Phone: +353 91 49 5431 ; Email: zoe.popper@nuigalway.ie

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s200_no_pic Dr. Grace McCormack
Zoology

Phone: n/a ; Email: grace.mccormack@nuigalway.ie

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My Photograph Dr. Kevin Lynch
Geography

Phone: +353 91 49 5779 ; Email: kevin.lynch@nuigalway.ie

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Dr. Ronan Kennedy, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Mr. Rónán Kennedy
Law

Phone: (091) 49 5626 ; Email: ronan.m.kennedy@nuigalway.ie

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Rónán Kennedy is a member of the Law School at NUI Galway and teaches courses in environmental legislation, information technology law and intellectual property (principally copyright). He is also the co-ordinator of the new LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance. He has published in the areas of planning law and environmental law, and is currently researching Irish climate change law and policy.

My Photograph Dr. Gavin Collins
Microbiology

Phone: 00 353(0)91 49 3163 ; Email: gavin.collins@nuigalway.ie

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Research Interests : Microbial diversity; evolution; biofilm formation; ecophysiology and fitness; and ‘eco-engineering’ of yet-to-be-cultivated microbes, especially in biotechnologically-relevant and environmentally-important biofilms, including carbon-, nitrogen-, sulfur- and iron-cyclers.

My Photograph Dr. Anthony Grehan
Earth and Ocean Sciences

Phone: + 353(0)91 49 3235 ; Email: anthony.grehan@nuigalway.ie

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My Photograph Dr. Kevin Davison
Education

Phone: 353 91 492158 ; Email: Kevin.Davison@nuigalway.ie

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s200_no_pic Dr. Eve Daly
Earth and Ocean Sciences

Phone: + 353(0)91 49 2183 ; Email: eve.daly@nuigalway.ie

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NWS_20130926_OPI_026_29048972_I1 Dr. Martin Cormican
Bacteriology

Phone: + 353(0)91 87-4146 ; Email: martin.cormican@nuigalway.ie

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https://iris.nuigalway.ie/live/w_rms_blob_common.download_photo?pObjectId=112174187 Dr. Brendan Flynn
Political Science and Sociology

Phone: + 353(0)91 49 3160 ; Email: brendan.flynn@nuigalway.ie

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s200_no_pic Dr. Marie Mahon
Geography

Phone: + 353(0)91 49 2376 ; Email: marie.mahon@nuigalway.ie

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Photo: Dr. Jim Duggan, Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research Dr. Jim Duggan
Information Technology

Phone: (091) 49 3336; Email: jim.duggan@nuigalway.ie

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Dr. Duggan’s interest is in policy modelling to investigate the feedback interactions between economical and energy policies and the environment. He is lead investigator with the System Dynamics Research Group at NUI Galway, and specialises in the design  of computational methods to model complex social systems.

s200_no_pic Dr. Niall Madden
Mathematics

Phone: n/a ; Email: niall.madden@nuigalway.ie

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s200_no_pic Dr. Valerie Ledwith
Geography

Phone: n/a ; Email: valerie.ledwith@nuigalway.ie

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Dr. Darius Ceburnis

Physics

Phone: + 353(0)91 49 2496 ; Email: darius.ceburnis@nuigalway.ie

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Dr. Ronan Sulpice

Botany & Plant Science

Phone: n/a ; Email: ronan.sulpice@nuigalway.ie

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Dr. Akke Vellinga

General Practice and Bacteriology

Phone: + 353(0)91 49 5194 ;

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Dr. Maire Connolly

Medicine

Phone: n/a ; Email: maire.connolly@nuigalway.ie

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Dr. Terry Morley

Geography

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 Dr. Conor Newman

Archaelogy

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 Dr. Nessa Ní Chróinín

Archaelogy

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 Dr. Carlton Jones

Archaelogy

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 Dr. Bryan McCabe

Civil Engineering

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 Dr. Niall O’Brolchain

Insight Centre for Data Analytics

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 Dr. Shane Tyrell

Earth and Ocean Sciences

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 Dr. John McDonagh

Geography

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 Dr. Maure Farrell

Geography

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 Dr. Srinivas Raghavendra

Economics

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