NUI Galway's College of Science Invites Public to Research Day

NUI Galway's College of Science Invites Public to Research Day-image

Monday, 6 April 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway invites members of the public to a Science Research Day on campus on Monday, 20 April. Academics and researchers from the College of Science at NUI Galway will present their latest research in a series of short presentations throughout the day, from 9am to 5.30pm in room IT 125 of the IT Building. The event will showcase some of the cutting edge research being carried out by scientists across several diverse disciplines from chemical, mathematical and physical sciences to the biological sciences. Dr Fawaz Aldabbagh, Vice-Dean of Research, College of Science, NUI Galway, comments: "This is a special day in the University calendar, as scientists across all disciplines in our College will get together to present and debate their research in a forum that is open to the public. Talks will be topical and aimed at a lay-audience. The variety of topics to be discussed will include climate change, marine science, fighting cancer, evolution, genetics and stem cell research. Many of our scientists are leaders in their field and world-renowned. We welcome local industry and the general public to participate in this event". While presentations will take place in the IT Building, a simultaneous Postgraduate Poster Competition will be held in the foyer of the Orbsen Building. For further details and a running order of presentations, check the College of Science website www.nuigalway.ie/science/news or contact Claire Mitchell on 091 493700. Lá Taighde á reáchtáil ag Coláiste na hEolaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh don Phobal (View in English) Ba bhreá le OÉ Gaillimh dá mbeadh an pobal in ann freastal ar Lá Taighde Eolaíochta a bheidh ar siúl ar an gcampas Dé Luain, 20 Aibreán. Tabharfaidh idir lucht acadúil agus thaighdeoirí ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh léargas ar an taighde is déanaí atá ar bun acu i bhfoirm láithreoireachtaí gairide a bheidh ar siúl idir 9am agus 5.30pm i seomra IT 125 san Fhoirgneamh IT. Tabharfar léargas don phobal ar an taighde ceannródaíoch atá ar bun ag eolaithe sna disciplíní éagsúla lena n-áirítear eolaíocht cheimiciúil, eolaíocht mhatamaiticiúil, eolaíocht fhisiceach agus eolaíocht bhitheolaíoch. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Dr Fawaz Aldabbagh, Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde, Coláiste na hEolaíochta, OÉ Gaillimh: "Lá speisialta é seo i bhféilire na hOllscoile mar go dtugann sé deis d'eolaithe as na disciplíní ar fad sa Choláiste teacht le chéile chun an taighde atá ar bun acu a chur i láthair agus a phlé i bhfóram atá oscailte don phobal freisin. Ábhar iontach suimiúil a bheidh dírithe ar an bpobal a bheidh faoi chaibidil i gcaitheamh an lae. I measc na n-ábhar a bheidh faoi chaibidil beidh athrú aeráide, eolaíocht mhuirí, dul i ngleic le hailse, éabhlóid, géineolaíocht agus taighde gascheall. Is ceannródaithe ina réimse saineolais féin iad go leor dár n-eolaithe a bhfuil cáil dhomhanda bainte amach acu dóibh féin. Tá fáilte roimh lucht tionscail agus roimh an bpobal páirt a ghlacadh san imeacht seo". Cé go mbeidh na láithreoireachtaí ar siúl san Fhoirgneamh IT, beidh Comórtas Póstaer Iarchéime ar siúl san fhorhalla in Áras Oirbsean. Má theastaíonn tuilleadh eolais agus clár na n-imeachtaí uait, breathnaigh ar láithreán gréasáin Choláiste na hEolaíochta ag www.nuigalway.ie/science/news nó glaoigh ar Claire Mitchell ag 091 493700. -Críoch-

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First Irish Conference on Forensic Science and Human Rights

First Irish Conference on Forensic Science and Human Rights-image

Monday, 6 April 2009

State Pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy, will open Ireland's first conference to examine the link between forensic science and human rights on Friday, April 24 at NUI Galway. During the two-day conference, experts on war crimes, sexual violence, human identification and forensic investigations will draw on examples from countries including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Burma. Entitled 'Human Rights and Forensic Science', the conference aims to explore the current and future applications of various disciplines of forensic science to the field of human rights. Taking an interdisciplinary approach speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds including law, medicine, science and human rights. The event is being co-hosted by NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee. Delegates will be addressed by a range of notable speakers and scholars in addition to State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy. There will be presentations by forensic anthropologist Professor Sue Black, head of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee, and Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Commenting on the upcoming event, Dr Ray Murphy, of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: "The investigation of war crimes and large scale violations of human rights poses significant challenges when compared to ordinary criminal investigations. Analysis of crime base evidence and human remains is a key component in such investigations. Linking remote perpetrators to specific crimes and crime scenes requires a multidisciplinary approach involving forensic science, anthropology, and law. International experts attending this conference will provide a unique insight into the role that each discipline plays in the investigation of atrocities". The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway supports the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law at undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral level. Since its establishment in January 2000, the Centre has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy. The Centre of Anatomy and Human Identification is part of the internationally acclaimed School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. The unit is the most experienced in the UK regarding human identification, forensic anthropology, facial identification and the study of the human body. 'Human Rights and Forensic Science' will be of interest to law enforcement, medical and legal professionals, as well as those with an interest in human rights. For further information or to book a place contact the organisers Ms Éadaoin O'Brien e.obrien9@nuigalway.ie or Ms Niamh Hayes niamh1@gmail.com at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Alternatively online registration is available at www.conference.ie. -ends-

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Mary Robinson Launches New Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway

Mary Robinson Launches New Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 3 April 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Former President of Ireland, Dr Mary Robinson will today (Friday, 3 April) launch a new Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway. The Centre is one of the first of its type in Europe and it is timely given the recent adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which Ireland has signed. The primary purpose of the new Centre is to conduct research on best international practice to assist in the ongoing process of reform taking place here in Ireland and throughout the world. The launch will be followed by a Round Table discussion composed of a panel of distinguished international experts from China, the USA, Hungary, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the European Commission. The experts will discuss the current global challenges in the field of disability followed by commentary from Irish specialists. The advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities was one of the hallmarks of Dr Robinson's presidency and she also played a major role, in her capacity as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in initiating the new UN Convention. According to Dr Robinson: "The Centre for Disability Law and Policy represents the best a university can offer in a democratic society by placing its research assets at the disposal of the process of change. This is nowhere more important than in the field of disability both here in Ireland and abroad". Dr Robinson praised the intention of the new Centre to benchmark Ireland against international best practice as well as for its wide international links, especially with the University of Syracuse and the Harvard Project on Disability. She also noted that the estimated 650 million persons with disabilities are now officially acknowledged as the world's largest minority and that the vast majority of them live in dire circumstances in developing countries. She commended the work done already by the Centre on development aid and disability and urged more efforts by Ireland and other countries in that regard. Dr Robinson gave specific mention to the role played by the Director of the Centre – Professor Gerard Quinn – in helping to negotiate the new Convention and for his longstanding work in this field. The President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, spoke of the broad commitment of the University to 'civic engagement' which includes ensuring that its research prowess assists in the process of change by identifying innovative solutions. He noted that the new Centre will form part of a multi-disciplinary 'lifecycle research alliance' in NUI Galway, dealing with ageing at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology and with families at the Child and Family Research Centre. It is envisaged that the three Centres will work collaboratively to bring their combined strengths to bear on lifecycle policy issues. Dr Browne acknowledged with special thanks the support of Atlantic Philanthropies in establishing the new Centre and indeed the two other Centres involved in the emerging 'lifecycle research alliance'. The current research programme of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy focuses on the individualisation of services as well as the development of a Baseline Study on the state of Irish disability law and policy. It holds important research contracts with the European Commission on eAccessibility for blind people on the internet as well as the mapping of the UN disability Convention in EU law and policy. The Centre already has a vibrant PhD programme and plans a dedicated LLM programme in 2010 as well as an annual Summer School. With its special emphasis on public policy analysis and law, the new Centre will also complement the excellent work of the National Institute on Intellectual Disability at TCD and the UCD Disability Studies Centre. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, says: "This Centre joins a handful around the world. Our aim is to generate research that marks a constructive contribution to the process of change. Ireland was a pioneer in the field of disability discrimination law and its National Disability Strategy shows great promise. Our hope is to make a constructive contribution to the implementation of that strategy to identify policy solutions to current challenges by drawing on a rich vein of comparative experience throughout the world. In this way we hope to enrich policy debates at home and expand the repertoire of policy options available to Government. We will work collaboratively with a wide variety of stakeholders in Ireland and build our international links to ensure access to legislative and policy solutions that offer promise in Ireland". -ends- (View in English) Seolfaidh iar-Uachtarán na hÉireann, an Dr Mary Robinson, an tIonad Nua um Dhlí agus Beartas Míchumais in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Dé hAoine, 3 Aibreán). Tá an tIonad seo ar an gcéad ionad dá leithéid san Eoraip agus tráthúil go leor tá an tIonad á sheoladh go gairid i ndiaidh d Éirinn Coinbhinsiún na Náisiún Aontaithe um Chearta an Duine faoi Mhíchumas a shíniú. Is é príomhchuspóir an Ionaid nua taighde a dhéanamh ar an gcleachtas idirnáisiúnta is fearr d fhonn cur leis an bpróiseas athchóirithe atá ar siúl anseo in Éirinn agus ar fud na cruinne. Reáchtálfar plé Comhchomhairle le painéal saineolaithe aitheanta idirnáisiúnta ón tSín, ó SAM, ón Ungáir, ó Oifig Ard-Choimisinéir na Náisiún Aontaithe um Chearta an Duine agus ón gCoimisiún Eorpach i ndiaidh sheoladh an Ionaid. Pléifidh na saineolaithe na dúshláin dhomhanda atá ann i láthair na huaire sa réimse míchumais agus ansin labhróidh saineolaithe ón tír seo faoin gceist. Ceann de bhuaicphointí uachtaránacht an Dr Robinson ba ea cearta daoine faoi mhíchumas a chur chun cinn agus bhí ról lárnach aici freisin, mar Ard-Choimisinéir na Náisiún Aontaithe um Chearta an Duine, i gCoinbhinsiún nua de chuid na Náisiún Aontaithe a bhunú. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Robinson: "Is ionann an tIonad um Dhlí agus Beartas Míchumais agus an iarracht is fearr is féidir le hollscoil ar bith a dhéanamh i sochaí dhaonlathach trí acmhainní taighde a dhíriú ar phróiseas seo an athraithe. Baineann an oiread tábhachta leis seo i réimse an mhíchumais anseo in Éirinn agus thar lear agus a bhaineann le réimse ar bith eile". Mhol an Dr Robinson an obair atá beartaithe ag an Ionad nua a dhéanamh, is é sin a chinntiú go bhfuil Éire ag cloí go docht le dea-chleachtas idirnáisiúnta mar aon le naisc idirnáisiúnta a chruthú, go háirithe le hOllscoil Syracuse agus Tionscadal Míchumais Harvard. Chomh maith leis sin, thagair an Dr Robinson don 650 milliún duine faoi mhíchumas ar fud na cruinne – an grúpa mionlaigh is mó ar domhan – agus don chúis náire go bhfuil formhór dóibh ag maireachtáil i gcúinsí mífheiliúnacha i dtíortha i mbéal forbartha. Mhol sí an obair atá déanta ag an Ionad go dtí seo ar chúnamh forbartha agus ar mhíchumas agus dúirt sí gur cheart d Éirinn agus do thíortha eile níos mó a dhéanamh sa réimse seo. Thagair an Dr Robinson don ról tábhachtach atá ag Stiúrthóir an Ionaid – an tOllamh Gerard Quinn – in idirbheartaíocht an Choinbhinsiúin nua agus don obair iontach atá déanta aige sa réimse seo. Labhair Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, ar thiomantas na hOllscoile do 'chomhpháirteachas poiblí' a chinntíonn go gcabhraíonn taighde ceannródaíoch atá ar bun in OÉ Gaillimh leis an bpróiseas athraithe trí réitigh nuálacha a aithint. Dúirt sé go n-áireofar an tIonad nua mar chuid de 'chomhfhiontar taighde' a bheidh dírithe ar aosú atá ar bun in OÉ Gaillimh – taighde atá ar bun ag Ionad Sheaneolaíocht Shóisialta na hÉireann i gcomhar le teaghlaigh san Ionad Taighde um Leanaí agus Teaghlaigh. Meastar go n-oibreoidh na trí Ionad i dteannta a chéile chun úsáid éifeachtach a bhaint as an saineolas atá acu maidir le ceisteanna beartais. Ghlac an Dr Browne buíochas as tacaíocht The Atlantic Philanthropies an tIonad nua a bhunú, agus ghlac sé buíochas leis an dá Ionad eile a bhfuil baint acu leis an gcomhfhiontar taighde nua. Tá clár taighde reatha an Ionaid dírithe ar indibhidiúlú seirbhísí mar aon le Staidéar Bonnlíne ar staid dhlí agus bheartas míchumais na hÉireann a fhorbairt. Tá conarthaí tábhachtacha taighde eAccessibility bunaithe ag an Ionad leis an gCoimisiún Eorpach do dhaoine dalla agus tá iniúchadh déanta ar Choinbhinsiún Míchumais na Náisiún Aontaithe mar atá i ndlí agus i mbeartas an Aontais Eorpaigh. Tá clár PhD forbartha ag an Ionad cheana féin agus tá sé beartaithe tús a chur le clár ainmnithe LLM in 2010 mar aon le Scoil Samhraidh bhliantúil. Díreoidh an tIonad nua go speisialta ar anailís a dhéanamh agus ar an dlí a bhaineann le beartas poiblí, ach chomh maith leis sin cuirfidh an tIonad nua leis an obair iontach atá ar bun ag an National Institute on Intellectual Disability i gColáiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath agus ag Ionad an Staidéir ar Mhíchumais sa Choláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Gerard Quinn, Stiúrthóir an Ionaid um Dhlí agus Beartas Míchumais: "Is beag Ionad den chineál seo atá bunaithe ar fud na cruinne go dtí seo. Is é atá mar aidhm againne taighde fiúntach a dhéanamh a chuirfidh le próiseas an athraithe. Ceannródaí ba ea Éire i réimse an dlí idirdhealaithe míchumais agus tuar dóchais a bhfuil scríofa sa Straitéis Náisiúnta Míchumais. Is é atá mar aidhm againn cur i bhfeidhm na straitéise sin a éascú agus réitigh bheartais a aithint le déileáil le dúshláin reatha trí leas a bhaint as taithí grúpaí eile ar fud an domhain. Ar an tslí seo, tá súil againn a bheith in ann cur le díospóireachtaí beartais in Éirinn agus na deiseanna beartais atá ar fáil don Rialtas a fhorbairt. Oibreoimid i gcomhar le páirtithe leasmhara in Éirinn agus cuirfimid lenár naisc idirnáisiúnta lena chinntiú gur féidir linn rochtain a fháil ar réitigh reachtacha agus bheartais a rachaidh chun tairbhe na hÉireann". -críoch-

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Acting US Ambassador visits NUI Galway to meet Fulbright Award Winner

Acting US Ambassador visits NUI Galway to meet Fulbright Award Winner -image

Friday, 3 April 2009

Pictured (centre) is the Acting Ambassador of the United States of America, Chargé d'affairs Mr Robert Faucher on a visit to NUI Galway with (left) President of NUI Galway, Dr James J Browne and Ms Jacqueline Hynes. Originally from Drum, Athlone, Co. Roscommon, Ms Hynes is a recent Science graduate from NUI Galway, specialising in anatomy, and recipient of the 2009-10 Fulbright International Science and Technology Award. The Award is one of the most valuable and prestigious in the State Department's scholarship portfolio. Ms Hynes will be on a fully-funded PhD program in neuroscience at one of the top institutions in the US. Since graduating in 2007, Jacqueline has acted a research and teaching assistant in the Department of Anatomy at NUI Galway. Jacqueline carries out her research with Dr Siobhan McMahon in collaborative projects with NUI Galway's Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and the Mayo Clinic of the US. She has presented her work in the area of spinal cord regeneration at a number of scientific meetings and has co-authored a number of recently submitted papers. Jacqueline also dedicates a large portion of her time to the teaching element of her job, where she assists in the education of medical and science students in a range of subjects, from cellular histology and neuroanatomy to microscopy techniques. She is also a registered learning disability worker for students of Anatomy at NUI Galway. The area of research that Jacqueline hopes to pursue for her doctoral studies is one that looks at the interface between the nature of the physical world and mind – human perception, awareness and attention. In the long-term, Jacqueline hopes that her work may also shed light on functional disorders such as Autism, ADD and Aspergers Syndrome. -Ends-

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Obama Administration Using Technology Developed at NUI Galway

Obama Administration Using Technology Developed at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 2 April 2009

An internet technology developed at NUI Galway is to be used by President Obama's administration in its new website devoted to the $800 billion economic stimulus package. The administration's 'Recovery.gov' site will employ a web standard, created at NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the US Government. Researchers at DERI focus on the Semantic Web, which is the next incarnation of the internet which will be more intuitive because data will be defined and linked. One of the outputs of DERI's research is called Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities or SIOC. Aimed at connecting online community sites and internet-based discussions, SIOC is set to be utilised by 'Recovery.gov'. Creator of SIOC and lecturer in Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway, Dr John Breslin, said: "The possibilities afforded by deploying semantic technologies such as SIOC for government transparency are very exciting. Semantic technology allows the linking of government funding data, fed in from spreadsheets or forms, to contributions from the public, private organisations or the government themselves. This can be done not just within a single site but with external linked data from other public sources. You could imagine using this to discover the effect of how and where tax dollars and Euros are being spent on statistics for crime, education or innovation in a set of geographic regions". As announced by George Thomas, Chief Architect with the US General Services Administration, the Recovery.gov effort will bring transparency to the government towards allowing citizens and activists to access semantic data about everything from contracts and schedules to training and infrastructure costs. Since 2003, DERI has been supported by Science Foundation Ireland with a Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology grant. During this time, DERI has grown to over 120 members. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI, says: "This is another example showing that investment in science and research has truly propelled Ireland into the forefront of technology. Our technology can bring a greater level of transparency and trust to governments as well as financial institutions - something that becomes increasingly important. The US Government has recognised this already". The SIOC project from DERI at NUI Galway is already being used by a range of applications including Yahoo! SearchMonkey and Drupal. -ends-

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NUI Galway Alumni Host Lisbon Debate with Pat Rabbitte and Declan Ganley

NUI Galway Alumni Host Lisbon Debate with Pat Rabbitte and Declan Ganley-image

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Former Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte T.D. and founder and Chairman of Libertas, Declan Ganley will debate the second Lisbon Referendum on Wednesday, 8 April, in the Davenport Hotel, Merrion Square, Dublin at 7pm. The debate will be hosted by the NUI Galway Alumni Association and moderated by alumni member and Irish Times Political Correspondent Harry McGee. RTÉ Radio presenter and NUI Galway alumni member Sean O'Rourke said of the event: "We're delighted to have these two distinguished speakers; it should make for a very interesting debate". Businessman Declan Ganley is the founder of the Libertas movement which lobbied against the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon in Ireland in 2008. Mr Ganley recently launched his campaign to contest the European elections in June in the Connacht-Ulster constituency. Referring to the Lisbon Treaty, he said: "We are giving up an enormous amount of control over our own affairs and we are getting nothing in return". Pat Rabbitte T.D., who will speak in favour of the Treaty at the event, recently spoke on the danger of the economic situation and noted that early ratification of the Treaty would help to restore international confidence in Ireland. The NUI Galway Dublin Alumni Group runs several events annually, aimed at bringing together graduates of NUI Galway. Tickets for the event will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis to graduates of NUI Galway who apply via email to colm.odwyer@nuigalway.ie or by phone on 091 493750. -ends-

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May 2009

Record Numbers Participate in Schools Art Competition

Record Numbers Participate in Schools Art Competition-image

Friday, 29 May 2009

A record number of over 430 students from 14 Galway secondary school schools participated in this years' NUI Galway First Year Schools Competition. The competition is part of the University Trail Access Programme designed to encourage an interest in third-level education among students in selected Secondary Schools in Galway City and County. The programme is supported by the HEA targeted funding for special initiatives. For the competition, students were asked to express through Art, Music, Drama and Writing why they believe they would like to study at university and what it would mean to their future. Ashla Ward, of NUI Galway's Access office, commented, "The Access programme is all about enabling secondary school pupils to envisage their future at third-level and to support their studies in secondary school. One of the reasons for the competition's success over the last seven years has been the commitment of the teachers. We also need to thank the NUI Galway students who have volunteered on the schools programme down through the years by meeting with secondary school pupils and encouraging them in their education choices". NUI Galway's University Trail starts with the First Year School Competition and continues in second, third, fifth and on to the Leaving Certificate year, with a series of activities such as campus tours, mentoring and Study Skills Workshops. The main objective is to promote regular interaction between the students and the University. The effectiveness of this initiative has been greatly enhanced by the ongoing support of management and staff in the participating schools. -Ends-

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New and Spectacular Deep-water Coral Province Discovered off the West Coast of I

New and Spectacular Deep-water Coral Province Discovered off the West Coast of I-image

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway researchers, during a recent deep-water expedition, have confirmed the existence of a major new coral reef province on the southern end of the Porcupine Bank off the west coast of Ireland. The province covers an area of some 200 sq.km and contains in the order of 40 coral reef covered carbonate mounds. These underwater hills rise as high as 100m above the seafloor. The deep-water research expedition took place earlier this month aboard the Marine Institute research vessel, the RV Celtic Explorer*. The research used the new national Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Holland I** to survey the seafloor and capture unique video footage. The expedition, led by Dr Anthony Grehan, was a collaboration between NUI Galway and the Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER) and involved researchers and students from both institutions. Dr Anthony Grehan, NUI Galway, said: "These are by far the most pristine, thriving and hence spectacular examples of cold-water coral reefs that I've encountered in almost ten years of study in Irish waters. There is also evidence of recent recruitment of corals and many other reef animals in the area suggesting this area is an important source of larvae supply to other areas further along the Porcupine Bank". Dr Grehan suggested that given the rugged terrain, its unsuitability for trawling and its well defined boundaries, that the area would be an excellent additional candidate to the four existing off-shore coral Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). He said that NUI Galway's Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences would in due course provide a copy of all video footage to the National Parks and Wildlife Service to facilitate them in their work of further SAC designations to comply with the European Union s Habitat Directive. The expedition began in French waters with a series of ROV dives in previously unexplored canyons in the Bay of Biscay which confirmed the presence of coral and geogenic reefs that will be notified to the new French Marine Protected Area Agency. Dr Brigitte Guillaumont from the newly established agency, said: "The video and images obtained from the high definition video camera of the Irish ROV are very impressive and will greatly assist us in our work of designating areas for the protection of corals". Moving into Irish waters, the use of high resolution bathymetry charts, provided by the Irish National Seabed Survey, a collaboration between the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute, enabled the identification of new areas likely to support coral reefs. The ROV was then used to dive on one of these areas, the Archipelagos Mounds (or Arc Mounds), to reveal a seascape of spectacular coral reefs. Anna Rensdorf, a Griffith Geoscience PhD student in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway, who had previously worked on tropical corals, said: "I can't believe that coral reefs like these can be found in the cold waters of Ireland. On many of the mounds surveyed, living coral thickets stood up to 2m high where ordinarily they are less than half a metre in height". The NUI Galway study is part of a larger pan-European project funded by the European Commission's 7th research Framework Programme, called 'CoralFISH' that is studying in detail the interactions between corals, fish and fisheries. Dr Grehan, coordinator of the European study, said: "At the recent International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) deep-sea symposium delegates expressed increasing concern about the level of bottom fishing related damage sustained by vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) in the High Seas (i.e. areas beyond national jurisdiction). Because cold-water corals remain the best example of VMEs, much research is focused on them. One of the key areas in the management of fisheries now appears to be improving our understanding of how fish use habitat. We need to understand what effect damage or removal of that habitat will have on fish stocks and communicating that knowledge to fishermen". Dr Grehan noted that vulnerable marine ecosystems such as coral reefs represent one of the last untapped reservoirs of potentially useful bio-compounds that might support the development of new anti-viral or anti-bacterial pharmaceuticals. Currently, there is a major biodiscovery programme underway at NUI Galway funded through the Marine Institute under Sea Change – A Marine Knowledge, Research and Innovation Strategy for Ireland 2007-2013. For more information on the Celtic Explorer survey and the CoralFISH project please visit the project website: http://eu-fp7-coralfish.net Coiréal domhainmhara aimsithe amach ó chósta thiar na hÉireann (View in English) Le linn do thaighdeoirí ó OÉ Gaillimh a bheith ar thuras taiscéalaíochta domhainmhara le déanaí, dhearbhaigh siad go bhfuil limistéar iontach nua de sceir choiréil aimsithe acu ó dheas de Bhanc an Torcáin amach ó chósta thiar na hÉireann. 200 ciliméadar cearnach atá sa limistéar agus tá thart ar 40 mullóg carbónáite faoi chumhdach sceir choiréil ann. Tá cuid de na mullóga fomhuirí seo beagnach 100 méadar os cionn ghrinneall na farraige. Thug taighdeoirí ó OÉ Gaillimh faoin turas taiscéalaíochta taighde domhainmhara níos túisce an mhí seo ar bord bhád taighde Fhoras na Mara – an RV Celtic Explorer*. Nuair a bhí an taighde ar bun baineadh úsáid as an bhFeithicil Chianoibrithe nua náisiúnta (ROV) – Holland I** – chun grinneall na farraige a scrúdú agus na híomhánna a thaifeadadh. Ba é an Dr Anthony Grehan a bhí i gceannas ar an turas taiscéalaíochta seo, comhfhiontar idir OÉ Gaillimh agus an Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), agus ghlac idir thaighdeoirí agus mhic léinn ón dá institiúid páirt sa turas taiscéalaíochta spéisiúil seo. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Anthony Grehan: "Tá beagnach deich mbliana caite agam anois i mbun staidéir ar uiscí na hÉireann agus níl dabht ar bith faoi ach gurb iad seo na samplaí is glaine, is rafaire, agus is spéisiúla de sceireacha coiréil fuaruisce atá feicthe agam in imeacht deich mbliana. Tá fianaise ann freisin de choiréil nua agus go leor ainmhithe sceire eile, rud a thugann le fios gur foinse thábhachtach larbhaí é an limistéar seo le haghaidh limistéir eile atá suite feadh Bhanc an Torcáin". Bhí an Dr Grehan den bharúil ó tharla an tír-raon a bheith chomh garbh, deacrachtaí a bheith ag baint le trálaeireacht agus teorainneacha dochta daingne, go mbeadh an limistéar seo rífheiliúnach mar iarrthóir breise le cur leis na ceithre Limistéar Caomhantais Speisialta coiréil amach ón gcósta atá ann cheana féin. Dúirt sé go mbeadh Roinn Domhaneolaíochta agus Aigéaneolaíochta OÉ Gaillimh in ann cóip den fhíseán a rinneadh i rith an turais a thabhairt don tSeirbhís Páirceanna Náisiúnta agus Fiadhúlra d'fhonn cabhrú leo Limistéir Chaomhantais Speisialta nua a ainmniú. Cuireadh tús leis an turas seo in uiscí na Fraince nuair a rinneadh roinnt tumthaí ROV i gcainneoin i mBá na Bioscáine, cainneoin nach raibh mórán taiscéalaithe déanta orthu. Aimsíodh sceireacha coiréil agus geoigineacha agus cuirfear sonraí na sceireacha seo in iúl do Ghníomhaireacht Limistéir Chaomhantais Mhuirí na Fraince. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Brigitte Guillaumont ó IFREMER: "Tá an físeán agus na híomhánna atá ar fhíscheamara ardghléine ROV na hÉireann iontach ar fad agus is cinnte go gcabhróidh an t-ábhar seo linn leis an obair atá ar bun againn limistéir a ainmniú agus coiréil a chosaint". Le linn don bhád a bheith ag tarraingt ar uiscí na hÉireann, baineadh úsáid as léarscáileanna bataiméadracha, a fuarthas ó Shuirbhé Náisiúnta Grinnill Farraige na hÉireann Shuirbhéireacht Gheolaíochta na hÉireann agus Fhoras na Mara, chun limistéir nua ar dócha go mbeadh sceireacha coiréil iontu a aimsiú. Baineadh úsáid as ROV ansin le turas tumtha a thabhairt ar cheann de na limistéir seo, Mullóga Archipelagos (mullóga Arc), limistéar ina bhfuil sceir choiréil iontach le feiceáil. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Anna Rensdorf, mac léinn PhD Griffith sa Gheo-Eolaíocht ó Roinn Domhaneolaíochta agus Aigéaneolaíochta OÉ Gaillimh, a chaith seal ag obair ar choiréil thrópaiceacha: "Is deacair a chreidiúint go bhfuil sceireacha coiréil cosúil leis na cinn seo le fáil i bhfuaruisce na hÉireann. Ar fhormhór na mullóg a ndearnadh suirbhé orthu, bhí mothair choiréil bheo a bhí suas le 2 mhéadar ar airde; is gnách go mbíonn mothair choiréil níos lú ná leathmhéadar ar airde". Áirítear staidéar OÉ Gaillimh mar chuid de thionscadal mór uile-Eorpach atá á mhaoiniú trí 7ú Clár Creata an Choimisiúin Eorpaigh, clár ar a dtugtar 'CoralFISH' agus a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leis mionstaidéar a dhéanamh ar an idirghníomhaíocht a bhíonn idir coiréil, éisc agus iascaigh. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Grehan, comhordaitheoir an staidéir Eorpaigh: "Ag an gComhairle Idirnáisiúnta um Thaiscéalaíocht na Farraige (ICES) léirigh toscairí ón earnáil dhomhainfharraige a bhí i láthair ag an siompóisiam imní maidir leis an leibhéal damáiste a rinne iascaireacht ghrinnill d'éiceachórais mhuirí shomhillte sa Mhórmhuir (i.e. limistéir nach n-áirítear sa dlínse náisiúnta). De bhrí gurb iad na coiréil fhuaruisce na samplaí is fearr d'éiceachórais mhuirí shomhillte, déantar go leor taighde orthu. Tá an chosúlacht ar an scéal anois gurb é ceann de na príomhréimsí a bhaineann le bainistíocht na n-iascach an tuiscint atá againn ar an úsáid a bhaineann éisc as an ngnáthóg a fheabhsú. Ní mór dúinn tuiscint a bheith againn ar an éifeacht a bheidh ag damáiste a dhéanamh don ghnáthóg nó go deimhin scriosadh na gnáthóige ar stoc éisc agus an méid sin a chur in iúl do na hiascairí". Tharraing an Dr Grehan aird ar an bpointe go n-áirítear éiceachórais mhuirí shomhillte, dála sceireacha coiréil, i measc ceann de na foinsí bith-chomhdhúile a d'fhéadfaí a úsáid i bhforbairt cógaisíochtaí nua frithbhaictéaracha nó frithvíreasacha. I láthair na huaire, tá clár suntasach bithfhionnachtana ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh, clár atá á mhaoiniú ag Foras na Mara faoi Sea Change – Straitéis Eolais, Taighde agus Nuálaíochta Mhuirí d'Éire 2007-2013. Tá tuilleadh eolais faoi shuirbhé an Celtic Explorer agus tionscadal CoralFISH le fáil ar láithreán gréasáin an tionscadail: http://eu-fp7-coralfish.net . -Críoch-

>> Read full story about New and Spectacular Deep-water Coral Province Discovered off the West Coast of I

NUI Galway Lecturer wins Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award

NUI Galway Lecturer wins Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award-image

Monday, 25 May 2009

Dr David Finn, Lecturer in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator and co-director of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, has received an award from Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ireland as one of Ireland's Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) of the year aged 18-40. He was awarded winner of the Scientific Development category on the basis of academic and scientific achievements and community service/civic engagement in his research. Dr Finn will now represent Ireland in this category in the World JCI TOYP competition. By recognising the achievements of young people, JCI encourages them and others to seek excellence and serve others. It's just one way that JCI contributes to preparing better leaders, who will create better societies. Awards are made in ten categories, which also include personal accomplishment; cultural achievement; political, legal and/or governmental achievement; and voluntary leadership. Dr Finn, originally from Ballycahill, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, was nominated by JCI Galway for his contribution to neuroscience and pain research. Local JCI president, Brenda Gannon says: "We are delighted to nominate a high calibre scientist and researcher from NUI Galway, and we have great hopes for Dr Finn to succeed at the international event". On receiving the award in Dublin, Dr Finn addressed the audience about his work and gave significant note of thanks to past and present mentors, to NUI Galway colleagues and collaborators, and the members of his research team. Dr Finn also acknowledged research funding received from Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board, the Higher Education Authority, the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology and the International Association for the Study of Pain. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "On behalf of NUI Galway, I extend warmest congratulations to David Finn on this wonderful distinction. David is a very talented researcher and is committed to sharing his knowledge and skills with the wider community, reflecting NUI Galway's strong ethos of civic engagement. This Junior Chamber Ireland Award is a tremendous recognition of David's work and service to society". -Ends-

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Lecturer wins Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award

NUI Galway Calls Out to Classes of 1999 and 2004

NUI Galway Calls Out to Classes of 1999 and 2004-image

Monday, 25 May 2009

NUI Galway invites graduates from the classes of 1999 and 2004 to attend a Reunion BBQ on Saturday, 6 June. The Reunion BBQ will begin at 7pm in the Students' Union Bar overlooking the River Corrib, with entertainment provided by DJ Brick Flanders. JB Terrins, Director of Alumni Relations at NUI Galway, encourages alumni to come along: "Reunions are a wonderful opportunity for graduates to revisit NUI Galway and renew old acquaintances. Many alumni from the classes of 5 and 10 years ago have already booked their places. You never know who you will meet, so our reunion attendees never regret making the effort". The Alumni Association at NUI Galway serves 70,000 alumni worldwide with an extensive range of programmes administered by the Alumni Office. These include national and international clubs, publications, reunions and alumni awards. Graduates interested in any of these programmes, or those who want to reconnect with their old classmates, are encouraged to contact the Alumni Office for further details. For further information please contact Colm O'Dwyer in the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie or visit the reunion website www.nuigalway.ie/alumni/reunion09.html -Ends-

>> Read full story about NUI Galway Calls Out to Classes of 1999 and 2004

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