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Ecosystem Biology and Sustainability

Research Opportunities


  • Animal Contest Behaviour
  • Animal Welfare
  • Animal Welfare Sensor Development

Dr Gareth Arnott

  • Agricultural economics (decision making under risk, technology adoption, food and nutrition security)
  • Climate change economics (climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agri-food sector)
  • Sustainable value chains (with focus on the agri-food sector)
  • Economics of wildlife management and wildlife trade
  • Applied Econometrics

Dr Martina Bozzola

  • Use state-of-the-art methods to advance fundamental questions in ecology
  • Address practical conservation issues
  • Systems as varied as boreal forests, Irish pastures, arctic mountains, and cities. 

Dr Paul Caplat

  • Soil biodiversity
  • Microarthropods
  • Nematodes
  • Fungi
  • Bacteria and the interactions between microbes, plants and animals, and how these interactions drive belowground (e.g. nutrient cycling) and aboveground (e.g. plant community dynamics) processes

Dr Tancredi Caruso

  • Consumers’ preferences for safe, healthy and environmental sustainable diets
  • Farmers’ behaviour towards technology adoption, adaptation and mitigation to climate change
  • Beliefs, risk and ambiguity preference elicitation using economic experiments
  • Methodological issues related to experimental auctions, contingent valuation and discrete choice experiments – for example incentive compatibility

Dr Simone Cerroni


Dr Patrick Collins


Prof Jaimie Dick

  • Relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning
  • Drivers of biodiversity change 
  • Consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem stability

Prof Mark Emmerson

  • Fisheries Sciences
  • Fundamental Biology

Dr Keith Farnsworth


Dr Sarah Helyar


Prof George Hutchinson

  • Co-physiology of aerobic methylotrophs: bacteria that utilise one-carbon (C1) compounds (i.e. methane, methylated amines) 
  • Microbial "functional" diversity and their impact on ecosystem functions (e.g. climate active trace gas cycling, soil and plant health and coupled biogeochemical cycles)
  • Biotechnological potential of aerobic methane-oxidising bacteria (MOB)

Dr Deepak Kumaresan

  • Interface of behaviour and ecology

Dr Hansjöerg Kunc

  • Effects of agricultural practices and urbanization on water quality in freshwater and coastal ecosystems

Prof Peter Leavitt


Prof Alberto Longo


Prof Ian Montgomery

  • Ecology
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Macroecology
  • Climate change and conservation

Dr Daniel Pincheira-Donoso

  • Biodiversity
  • Population genetics
  • Fishery management
  • Aquaculture

Prof Paulo Prodöhl

  • Policy-relevant evaluation of conservation strategies
  • Conservation ecology 
  • Applied ecology of farmland species 
  • Ecology of invasive species 
  • Statistical advances in terrestrial mammal abundance estimation 
  • The impact of hunting wild mammals with dogs

Dr Neil Reid

  •  Energy expenditure, metabolism and resting metabolic rate
  • Behavioural Ecology, cooperative breeding and the evolution of breeding systems
  • The physiology and evolutionary ecology of organisms, with particular emphasis on thermoregulatory adaptations to the environment
  • Interactions between energetics, life history strategies and disease
  • Use of physiological techniques for implementing practical conservation

Dr Michael Scantlebury

  • Evolution of species diversity
  • Development of tools that guide sustainable fisheries

Dr Julia Sigwart

Food Safety and Nutrition

Research Opportunities



Prof Paul Brereton


Dr Katrina Campbell

  • Analysis of dietary intake data within large cohorts and RCTs
  • Development of interventions to promote long term behaviour change
  • Nutrition intervention studies examining clinically relevant endpoints
  • Developing evidence based guidelines through systematic reviews and meta-analyses of dietary intake and cancer risk/progression
  • Collaboration with NI Biobank to examine the relationship between nutrition/obesity related molecular markers in tumour tissue and cancer progression

Dr Marie Cantwell

  • Synthesis and fabrication of optically-active materials using both top-down and bottom-up approaches to provide high quality plasmonic nanomaterials for biosensing 
  • Development of nanoplasmonics-based biosensing platforms, including but not limited to SPR, LSPR, SERS, and particle-based detections
  • Development of point-of-care analyses: we aim to incorporate and transfer molecular diagnostic techniques and nanoplasmonic transducers on to compact lab-on-a-chip formats

Dr Cuong Cao


Dr Lisa Connolly


Prof Tim Day

  • Global food integrity
  • Nutrition and health

Prof Moira Dean


Dr Susan Doherty

  • Identifying and finding solutions to the accidental and deliberate contamination of the world’s feed and food supply systems

Prof Chris Elliott

  • Public Health Nutrition
  • High resolution LC-MS/MS metabolite profiling of novel animal model of ageing and dementia
  • Discovery of novel metabolomic biomarkers indicating risk of delirium or cognitive decline
  • Food and plant bioactives with therapeutic actions in diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease


Dr Brian Green

  • Systems Biology
  • Endocrine Disruption
  • Contaminants of Emerging Concern
  • Long term space flight and human health risks
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Genotype to phenotype

Prof Gary Hardiman

  • Novel preservation technologies
  • Developing robust and rapid analytical platforms using vibrational spectroscopy
  • Chemometics to predict the chemical parameters of plant-based foods, including their composition and origin

Dr Tassos Koidis

  • Mycotoxins and other secondary metabolites of fungi, plants and bacteria
  • Novel LC-MS based methods for the rapid and accurate quantification of these biotoxins and their modified forms in food and feed
  • Determination of appropriate biomarkers to assess the exposure of humans
  • Metabolomics based approaches to study plant-fungi- interactions
  • Integrated strategies to mitigate the issue of mycotoxins along the entire food chain in coop. with China.

Professor Rudi Krska

  • Citizen-centered approaches that enable delivery of accessible and impactful solutions which positively impact population health and wellbeing

Dr Danielle McCarthy

  • Pollutant fluxes into & out of ecosystems
  • How organisms are exposed to contaminants
  • How those contaminants are assimilated & metabolized
  • Adaptive strategies to avoid/detoxify contaminants

Prof Andy Meharg

  • Understanding host-microbial interactions in the context of food security

Dr Caroline Meharg

  • Development of techniques for emerging chemical contaminant monitoring
  • Detection in the food supply chain and food-producing animals
  • Development of new technologies to enhance the efficacy of disease diagnosis and screening in animal production systems.

Dr Mark Mooney

  • Understanding how foods, nutrients, food ingredients and food borne chemicals can influence health

Dr Anne Nugent

  • Improving farm animal welfare

Professor Niamh O'Connell

  • Precision Nutrition
  • Nutrigenomic

Professor Helen Roche


Prof Nigel Scollan


Dr Chen Situ

  • Decipher the molecular mechanisms linking nutritional signalling (e.g. high-fat and high-carbohydrate diet) with the onset of chronic metabolic disease 

Dr Qiaozhu Su


Dr Katerina Theodoridou

  • Biofluid metabolomics for discovering biomarkers for diet-related conditions
  • Tissue metabolomics and DNA adductomics to unravel the link between meat consumption and Western diseases
  • Environmental metabolomics to study environmental contamination
  • Food metabolomics as a means to determine food safety and quality

Professor Lynn Vanhaecke

  • Risk management and prevention strategies
  • Physics-based detection strategies
  • Foods and social corporate responsibility

Professor Saskia van Ruth

  • Plant-soil interactions and improving soil health 

Dr Paul Williams


Microbes and Pathogen Biology

Research Opportunities



Prof Gordon Allan

  • Cross-disciplinary microbiology

Prof Chris Allen

  • Molecular parasitology
  • Functional genomic
  • Parasite ‘omics’/bioinformatics

Dr Louise Atkinson

  • Quantitative analysis proteins and protein complexes by mass spectrometry and/or host pathogen/microbe interactions.

Dr Ben C Collins

  • Computational biology
  • Applying ecological and evolutionary principals to microbial communities

Prof Chris Creevey

  • Molecular aspects of plants
  • Molecular aspects of parasites

Dr Johnathan Dalzell

  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Parasitology
  • Helminthology
  • Parasitology

Dr Geoffrey Gobert

  • Microbiology
  • Pathogens
  • Parasitology
  • Pharmacology
  • Biotechnology
  • Human health 

Dr Robert Graham

  • Mycobacterium bovis
  • The cause of bovine tuberculosis, and other foodborne pathogens

Prof Irene Grant


Dr John Hallsworth


Dr Sharon Huws


Dr Edel Hyland

  • Understanding the structure-mechanism relationship of membrane proteins
  • Exploiting knowledge of fundamental protein biochemistry for novel applications in elite sports

Dr Chris Law


Dr Fuquan Liu

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious disease
  • Animal health/welfare
  • Disease epidemiology
  • Parasite ecology

Dr Nikki Marks

  • Infectious disease
  • Parasitology
  • Functional genomics
  • Exploitation and development of new ‘omics’ technologies for drug discovery/disease control

Prof Aaron Maule

  • Biogeochemistry of microbial phosphorus and organophosphorus cycling in the marine, freshwater, terrestrial, agri-food and engineered (anaerobic digestor and activated sludge) environments
  • Development of biological and chemical approaches for the removal and/or recovery of high-value compounds from waste eg. phosphorus, ammonia, volatile fatty acids, formaldehyde, herbicides etc)

John McGrath

  • Exploitation of microorganisms and their metabolic capabilities

Geoff McMullan

  • Building and testing predictive models of parasite infection patterns in grazing animals
  • Selective intervention against parasites in livestock to support production and livelihoods
  • Parasite transmission at the wild-domestic interface
  • Lungworm and ascarid infections in dogs, cats and wild canid

Prof Eric Morgan

  • Identification and priortisation of novel control targets within the neuropeptidergic system of nematodes
  • The development of functional genomics platforms for control-target validation

Dr Angela Mousley


Dr Kostya Panov


Dr Jeanette Robertson

  • Helminth parasites and how they interact with their hosts at a molecular level
  • Peptidases, immunomodulators and extracellular vesicles secreted by trematodes such as liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) and rumen fluke (Calicophoron daubneyi) 

Dr Mark Robinson

  • Infectious disease
  • Parasitology
  • Functional genomics
  • Exploitation and development of new ‘omics’ technologies for drug discovery/disease control   

Dr Linda Stewart