Ecology and Evolution Conference to discuss current global challenges

Thursday, January 03, 2019 Press Office
Press Release

GMIT and NUI Galway host conference (10-12 Jan) led by Irish Ecological Association (HEA)

170 ecologists will be jointly hosted by NUI Galway and GMIT as part of the second ‘Ecology and Evolution’ conference of the Irish Ecological Association (IEA) from Thursday 10 January to Saturday 12 January (2019). Conference delegates represent both academic and professional ecologists and students working in higher education and research institutions, as well as non-governmental organisations, ecological consultancies and other professionals in ecology.

Sponsored by the Marine Institute, Environmental Protection Agency and British Ecological Society, the conference features talks, workshops and other events covering topics from microbes to arctic breeding birds, marine predators and woodlands. There is also a focus on training and upskilling, in particular for early-career researchers, with workshops on data analysis, career mentoring and translating ecology into policy and action.

There will be a free, public lecture by Professor Richard Thompson from the School of Biological and Marine Sciences at Plymouth University entitled ‘Marine Litter: Are there solutions to this global environmental challenge’ which takes place at 7pm on Thursday, 10 January, at GMIT’s Galway campus. No registration is required. For more information about this lecture, visit: GMIT will also host a series of talks and presentations on a variety of topics on the 10 January.

NUI Galway will host two full days of events on 11 and 12 January in the Human Biology Building. Four invited plenary speakers from Ireland and the UK will give keynote talks on microplastics in the oceans, the evolution of ageing in bats, conservation of biodiversity on farmland, and tagging and tracking birds and fish.

Dr Heather Lally of the GMIT School of Science and Computing, says: “The IEA conference is an opportunity for local Galwegians, national and international researchers, NGOs, consultants and industry to come together to share their passion for Irish ecology. It has never been so important to work together to ensure its long-term conservation.”

Dr Gesche Kindermann, Applied Ecology Unit, School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, says: “Understanding the environment and processes within it is vital if we want to address current environmental problems. There is a lot of exciting research going on in relation to ecology and evolution, and this conference is an opportunity to showcase this.”

Dr Dara Stanley, UCD and Adjunct Lecturer, School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, says: “Ecology is such an important discipline in our current world, and can be part of the solution to many of our major environmental and climate related issues. And Galway, situated in the beautiful west of Ireland, is a hotspot for Irish ecology.”
Delegates will also have a chance to take the NUI Galway Biodiversity Trail on campus, see:

For more details about the conference visit: and enter ‘Ecology and Evolution Conference Ireland’ and follow on Twitter and Facebook @irish_ecology

Founded in 2015, the IEA is a society for ecologists in Ireland. It provides a forum for an international group of Irish-based ecologists and professionals interested in ecological science to meet, collaborate and solve ecological problems. With a focus on Ireland, the work of the IEA also draws on global themes relevant to ecosystems around the world. Ecology, the study of organisms and how they interact with each other and the environment, has many practical applications in terms of climate change, sustainable water, biodiversity conservation, soil health and many other global problems.

For more information about the conference contact:
Dr Gesche Kindermann, NUI Galway at or 091 493863
Dr Dara Stanley, UCD at
Dr Heather Lally, GMIT at or 091 742484
Dr Luca Mirimin, GMIT at

For press, contact Gwen O’Sullivan, Press and Information Executive, NUI Galway, at / 00 353 91 495695 or
Regina Daly, GMIT Communications Officer, at / 00353 91 742826 (office) / 00 353 87 9618355 (m)