Environ: Showcasing Irish environmental research

As the abstract deadline for Environ 2019 (@ESAI_Environ) is fast approaching, we thought we should post this blog by former Research Assistant Ciaran Nash ( @CiaranNash ) who describes his impression of the meeting in 2017.

The 27th Irish Environmental Researchers Colloquium, Environ 2017, was held at Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT), 10 – 12 April. Environ is organised yearly by the Environmental Science Association of Ireland and aims to bring together environmental scientists from across the island of Ireland and showcase Irish environmental research. The conference offered a relaxed atmosphere designed to support Early Stage Researchers and generate a friendly, inquisitive environment.

Environ 2017 showcased a vast range of research topics from across the spectrum of environmental sciences. I attended presentation sessions on water quality and resources, biodiversity and ecosystems, and marine and coastal studies. These sessions were only a fraction of the total sessions organised! Stand out presentations included vegetation and eco-morphological relations in a coastal dune-fen system by Ray Tighe (Dublin Institute of Technology), sediment transport dynamics in the River Bandon by Laurence Lomasney (Cork Institute of Technology), and biodiversity offsetting in Columbia by Jane Feeney (Trinity College Dublin). Poster sessions were organised alongside these presentation sessions, where researchers could present more informally and one-to-one discussions were encouraged. These posters displayed the full range of topics within the environmental sciences.

View_of_Athlone_ESAI

I had the opportunity to present results from my Masters dissertation in a talk entitled ‘Monitoring internal moisture and salinity changes in Irish coastal sand dunes’. The focus of my presentation was the geomorphology of coastal sand dunes and the effect of infiltrating rainfall on internal dune water and salt content. Environ 2017 offered a wonderful opportunity to describe my research to a group of people outside the field of geomorphology, and to highlight the importance of coastal zone studies.

The conference was organised successfully by the Faculty of Science and Health at AIT, and everyone I met over the couple of days was incredibly welcoming and offered great insights into environmental research.

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