Environmental Engineering Research Centre
School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering

Alison Orr



Room G.312B

David Keir Building, Stranmillis, Belfast BT9 5AG

Tel: +44 (0)28 90975606

Email: aorr16@qub.ac.uk


Academic History

2009 – Present                     PhD in nutrient fate and transport in groundwater

2008 – 2009                         MSc Environmental Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast

2004 – 2008                         BSc in Environmental Science, University of Limerick


PhD research


The aim of my research is to investigate nutrient fate and transport along depth specific groundwater pathways in Irish agricultural catchments underlain by aquifers of high and low permeability. Catchment geology is an important influence on nutrient pathways within catchments and the subsequent fate and transport of nutrients from source to receptor. This research is using hydrogeological tests, hydrochemical and nitrate isotopic methods to determine the nutrient dynamics and attenuation processes occurring and to draw comparisons of these dynamics between catchment types.

This project is part of a larger Irish EPA funded STRIVE project (Pathways project), involving a collaboration between QUB, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, which is investigating the transport and attenuation of pollutions including sediment, nutrients and pathogens along hydrological pathways and their impact on ecological receptors. This aims to develop a catchment management tool for Ireland which will enable catchment managers in Ireland to achieve or maintain “good” water quality status according to the European Union Water Framework Directive.


 A. Orr, M.  Archbold, J. Deakin, J. Nitsche, U. Ofterdinger, B. Misstear and R. Flynn (2011) ‘A comparison of the stratification of inorganic nitrogen in groundwater in catchments underlain by a regionally important aquifer and a poorly productive aquifer’, Catchment Science 2011, Dublin. 


Orr et al. (2010) 'Investigation into nitrogen attenuation in groundwater pathways in Irish RBDs through the use of stable isotopic signature analysis', Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 12, EGU2010-2663, EGU Assembly 2010.


Orr et al. (2010) 'Assessing Protection Afforded to the Microbiological Quality of Bedrock Groundwater from the Impacts of Septic Tank Effluent by Irish Glacial Till: A Field Study', Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 12, EGU2010-5079-1, EGU Assembly 2010.