The 66th Irish Geological Research Meeting - Belfast 2023

The 66th Irish Geological Research Meeting

The 66th Irish Geological Research Meeting (IGRM) took place from 3 – 5 March 2023. The event was hosted at the Ulster Museum at the Botanic Gardens in Belfast. Over 150 individuals attended the conference. Keynote talks were featured by Professor Andy Gale who discussed the reconstruction of a Cretaceous greenhouse world and Professor Adrian Jones who discussed his work on diamonds and the carbon cycle.   

Terraform’s master’s student, Ms. Bea Jackson gave a presentation on her work on estimating Devonian paleo-atmospheric COconcentrations using fossil plant traits. Team members, Dr William J. Matthaeus, Dr Christos Chondrogiannis, Ms Antonietta Knetge and Ms Catarina Barbosa also attended to present a joint team poster on how the Terraform project will employ modern trait ecology to expand the horizons of paleo-botany and further uncover the science behind biogeochemical cycles in deep time.  

The programme for the 66th Irish Geological Research Meeting is available here.  

The 12th annual TCD Botany-Zoology Post-Graduate Symposium

The 12th annual TCD Botany-Zoology Post-Graduate Symposium

The 12th annual TCD Botany-Zoology Post-Graduate Symposium took place from 2-3 March 2023. The two-day symposium gives post-graduate students within the departments of Botany and Zoology the opportunity to showcase their work. It’s an excellent opportunity for staff and students from the TCD School of Natural Sciences to engage with the varied array of research that takes place within the two departments.  

 22 post-graduates from across the two departments presented their research projects. The topics spanned from natural capital accounting to visual processing in animals, heatwave effects on parasites to the understanding of the role of urban wild spaces in maintaining mental health. Ms. Bea Jackson of the Plant-Climate lab was an organizer of the event. Bea also presented her work on estimating Devonian paleo-atmospheric COconcentrations using fossil plant traits. Ms. Antonietta Knetge gave a talk on the use of traits to uncover abiotic stress in Mesozoic flora. Congratulations to Mr. Ian Clancy of the Botany Department for winning the overall best talk for his presentation on understanding the carbon sequestering potential of Irish grasslands.  

We were delighted to host two excellent keynote speakers for the event. Dr Sandy Hetherington, a paleo-botanist, travelled from the University of Edinburgh to give an engaging talk on the origins of plant complexity. Dr Aidan O’Hanlon, an entomologist at Dublin’s Natural History Museum, gave an excellent presentation on the museum itself as well as its collections and how they can be utilized in biodiversity research. 

The book of abstracts for the 12th TCD Botany-Zoology Post-Graduate Symposium can be found here.

The Future of Ireland's Peatlands: Science, Engineering & Just Transition

iCRAG’s Future of Ireland's Peatlands: Science, Engineering & Just Transition

iCRAG’s Future of Ireland’s Peatlands: Science, Engineering & a Just Transition workshop took place on Tuesday 21st February at Abbeyleix Manor Hotel. The event was attended by over 145 and included stakeholders from research, community groups, industry, and state and semi-state agencies.

The all-day workshop explored a broad range of research related to Ireland’s peatlands from restoration and monitoring to the just transition and engineering considerations on post-peat land use. Attendees were also guided on a walk through Abbeyleix Bog by Chris Uys and other volunteers from the Abbeyleix Bog Project where they saw the very successful restoration works that have been undertaken by the local community. Dr. Sate Ahmad from PCI also attended the event.

IRC New Foundations Award to study Irish Peatlands

Dr. Sate Ahmad receives IRC New Foundations Award to study Irish peatlands


Dr Sate Ahmad has been awarded funding from the Irish Research Council’s ‘New Foundations’ program for a year-long project. The New Foundations program supports civil society organizations and government departments in developing evidence-based policies and strategies. This week, the Irish Research Council announced 67 New Foundations projects addressing various societal challenges and government policy issues. Dr Ahmad’s project, called “Dive2Store: Vegetation diversity, water balance, and carbon storage in Irish fen peatlands: Revealing spatial patterns and processes for climate mitigation,” aims to investigate crucial ecosystem processes in a degraded and drained fen and compare them to those of a near-natural fen. This information will be used to develop sustainable restoration and management strategies for fen peatlands in Irish catchments.