Dr Danielle Gallagher

Research assistant working on the EPA 5 Year Assessment Report on climate change.

I am a research assistant working with Prof Jennifer McElwain on the EPA 5 Year Assessment Report on climate change, which is expected to inform policy processes in Ireland in the years ahead, such as the Climate Action Plan.

My background is in biofuel research and development, biotechnology, genetic engineering and molecular biology. I completed my PhD from Imperial College London in 2018, which looked at the molecular control and regulation of fatty acid synthesis in E. coli, and how to optimise this as a high-yield, renewable platform for further downstream commodity chemical development. Before this, I studied and worked on strain engineering with various micro-organisms – algae, yeast and thermophilic bacteria, and completed my undergraduate in Botany, where my interest in biofuels began while studying the bioenergy crop switchgrass under the supervision of Prof Michael Jones.

I also founded DúlaBio – a research-based start-up investigating seaweed as a tool for GHG and nutrient waste reduction in an Irish context. I brought this to the MVP stage with funding from Enterprise Ireland, Climate-KIC and Údarás na Gaeltachta. We tested an anti-methanogenic blend of seaweed on an organic, high-nature value beef farm in 2020. Now on a part-time basis, to balance with the EPA project, I am still operating DúlaBio’s research and advocacy activities and other environmental and activist work for climate action.

My broad areas of interest include nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation, localised food systems, the bioeconomy, community-led climate action and climate justice, citizen science, biological farming/agroecology and seaweed cultivation/biorefinery.