David Bellamy celebrates 10 Years of the Martin Ryan Institute

Monday, 16 February 2004

David Bellamy, one of the world's best-known marine biologists and broadcasters, will visit NUI Galway in March to kick off a series of events marking the 10th anniversary of the University's Martin Ryan Institute. Bellamy will deliver an illustrated public lecture entitled "The Life Giving Sea: from Kelp to Coral - a trip around earth s own inner space and a look into a sustainable future," on Friday, 5 March, in the Kirwan Theatre, at 7.00pm.

Admission to the lecture is free but by ticket only. Tickets will be available from Áras Fáilte, the University's Information Office from Friday, 20 February. (Tel. 091-750418).

David Bellamy will also be the guest speaker the following evening (Saturday), at NUI Galway's annual Gala Banquet, in the Radisson SAS Hotel, Galway.

The Martin Ryan Institute serves as a regional, national and international centre of excellence for the study of marine and freshwater resources. Through its research programmes it -

  • Promotes exploration and development of marine physical resources
  • Increases understanding of aquatic biodiversity
  • Analyses effects of environmental change on aquatic ecosystems
  • Facilitates sustainable development of aquatic biological resources and aquaculture

Professor Michael Guiry, Director of the Institute, says that NUI Galway's strategic location at the centre of Ireland's western marine area, allows researchers ready access to a broad area of the continental shelf and the deep ocean. "On any given day in the Institute, there are close to 150 staff and students engaged in teaching and research in marine science," he says.

According to Professor Guiry, the Martin Ryan Institute has firmly established itself as a premier marine research facility in the relatively short period since it foundation ten years ago. "This positioning has resulted in the Institute receiving funding of €21.5 million under the Higher Education Authority's initiatives to support research in third-level institutions and over €10 million from national and EU sources."

Looking to the future, Professor Guiry says that the main areas of development at the Martin Ryan Institute include marine modelling, marine law, ecological and environmental investigation, marine biotechnology and marine information technology. As a result of an agreement with the Geological Survey of Ireland, (GSI), to share the results of the National Seabed Survey, Professor Guiry says that the Institute will shortly be helping to produce "the most stunning maps of our deep-water territories."

Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said, "The Martin Ryan Institute has been a beacon of cutting-edge marine research for a decade and is now poised to enter a new phase of research activity using the latest technologies to investigate, monitor and conserve Ireland's rich marine heritage."

Further events planned to celebrate 10-years of the Martin Ryan Institute include a public lecture series to be launched shortly; the co-hosting of two international marine conferences; and a marine biotechnology workshop at which a number of eminent US scientists will advise NUI Galway on its strategy in this critical economic area.

It is also planned to launch the MRI Laboratories in Carna, Connemara in the autumn, to mark the occasion of Ireland's first production of cod.

The Martin Ryan Institute is named after the father of Dr. Tony Ryan, Chairman of Guinness Peat Aviation and Founder of Ryanair, who made a major donation towards the founding of the Institute in the mid-1990s.

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