Friday, 29 March 2019

NUI Galway will lead a new €13 million SFI Centre for Research Training in Genomics Data Science. The new Centre will train a generation of 100 highly skilled PhD graduates to harness the collective potential of genomics and data science to have transformative scientific, economic and societal impacts. Announced recently by Minister Heather Humphreys TD Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD and Science Foundation Ireland, the Centre will be led by NUI Galway and will involve partners from UCD, TCD, RCSI and UCC.  A genome is an organisms complete set of DNA or genetic material and it contains all of the information needed to build and maintain that organism. Genomics is the branch of science that studies genomes to see how they direct the growth and function of cells and organisms and it is a key area of fundamental science with real-world impacts in areas from human health to agriculture and food production. In recent years the field of genomics has undergone a revolution, driven by new technologies that generate data on an enormous scale. In order to make sense of the large and complex datasets arising from analysis of genomes we require highly trained data scientists, who can turn this data into useful information that can increase scientific understanding and enable us to harness the power of genomics to drive innovation and create real-world solutions. Professor Cathal Seoighe, Stokes Professor of Bioinformatics, and Director of the SFI Centre for Research Training in Genomics and Data Science, NUI Galway, said: “Genomes are at the heart of all living things. In combination with modern data science techniques, genomics has the capacity both to reveal deep biological insights and to transform applications of the life sciences from health to food and agriculture.”  One of the main areas where genomics is having a real world impact is the study of how mutations and abnormalities in our genome causes diseases such as cancer – this is the main research focus of Dr Eva Szegezdi, lecturer in biochemistry at NUI Galway and one of the 6 lead scientists in the centre. Dr Szegezdi said she is, “working to understand how cancer cells can alter their genome to become resistant to chemotherapy and to find ways to exploit mutations in cancer cells to develop new therapies that only kill the cancer cells.” Genomics has impacts across a broad range of sectors, including human health, industrial biotechnology, food science and agriculture. In health, genomics is already beginning to be used to diagnose rare genetic disorders. It can also predict the risk of common, complex disorders, in which lifestyle plays a role, raising the possibility of interventions targeted towards at-risk individuals. New cancer therapies now target specific genomic mutations found in cancer cells. Genomics is also used to guide improvements in agricultural crops, enabling disease resistance and improving yields. Genomics-guided animal breeding has resulted in large gains in productivity, with further improvements possible.  For more information about the Centre for Research Training in Genomics Data Science, email genomicsCRT@nuigalway.ie and visit: https://genomicsdatascience.ie/. -Ends-

Friday, 29 March 2019

NUI Galway-led Global Energy Management System project empowering Boston Scientific to become the first global medical device company to commit to being carbon neutral by 2030 Researchers from NUI Galway with Boston Scientific have been shortlisted in the ‘Irish Higher Education Institution or Research Centre with US corporate links’ category for their GEMS, Global Energy Management System project. They were shortlisted with other organisations for the 2019 US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards announced recently at the American Chamber of Commerce Transatlantic Conference in Dublin. The US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards are a joint initiative of the American Chamber of Commerce and the Royal Irish Academy. Now in their fifth year, the awards recognise excellence in research innovation, creation and invention by an organisation, as a result of US Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland. NUI Galway with Boston Scientific were shortlisted for GEMS, a Global Energy Management System scientifically developed by Dr Marcus Keane and researchers from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, Boston Scientific and Insight Centre for Data Analytics and Ryan Institute, also based at NUI Galway. GEMS has empowered Boston Scientific to become the first global medical device company to commit to being carbon neutral by 2030. For multi-national companies, assessment of cost-effective energy efficiency projects across a global site base is a complex problem involving multiple multi-level variables such as climate, economics, building type, technologies, culture and product mix, to name a few. Much of the facility management research and practice to date is ’site’ focused with little practical guidance for the global energy manager. The GEMS research project proposes a novel methodology for assessing capital energy-efficiency projects at a global level. The project scope will cover the systematic development and implementation of a methodology that supports sustainable decision making within a ’Global Energy Management System’ based on the following four pillars: Site Characterisation; Performance Evaluation; Shared Learning / Dissemination; Corporate Policy: The implementation will commence with a pilot study in a single Irish site (in BSC Galway) to allow development of the initial methodology, further expanding to a number of facilities in the same region (Cork and Clonmel) to allow analysis of variables such as building type, product mix and management structure. With additional sites across the globe, the variance caused by both climate and economics can next be added as part of a truly global ’Design of Experiments’. Dr Marcus Keane from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “The NUI Galway, Insight, Ryan Institute and Boston Scientific Corporation GEMS project (2013-2018) created a unique academic-industrial partnership that fostered Research and Development innovation underpinned by a high level of commitment of senior personnel from both organisations resulting in publications in high impact journals (Energy & Cleaner Production), Level 8 and level 9 degrees achieved by BSC personnel (Mr Ronan Coffey and Dr Noel Finnerty), and intellectual property and commercial grade Information Technology product development of the GEMS methodology and tool chain.” Dr Noel Finnerty (Director of Global Real Estate & Facilities at Boston Scientific (BSC), said: “Over the past five years the GEMS methodology has steadily embedded itself into the day-to-day running of our Sustainability program. It is now the corner stone of our approach to energy management both at a site level and corporate level, with the maturity model providing a common language to enable this. The rigour and structured approach to GEMS has led to an unpresented level of investment by BSC on energy efficiency. We are experiencing more and more requests from our key customers and the investment community to disseminate our sustainability program. I can safely say GEMS is now well and truly engrained into the BSC culture and is front and centre to any energy related sustainability discussions within BSC and with our external stakeholders.” All shortlisted organisations will make a short presentation followed by a Q&A session with the assessors on Tuesday, 16 April. The overall winner of each category will be announced at the American Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner on Friday, 17 May in Dublin. The awards are sponsored by KPMG and Ulster Bank with media support from The Irish Times. For more information about the GEMS project, visit: http://www.iruse.ie/iruse/projects/gems/. -Ends-      

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

NUI Galway’s Discipline of Speech and Language Therapy are currently hosting the ‘Who Am I?’ photography exhibition. Róisín de Búrca, from Galway and a member of the National Advisory Council of Down Syndrome Ireland, officially opened the exhibition on World Down Syndrome Day on Thursday, 21 March. The ‘Who Am I?’ exhibition is an initiative of the National Advisory Council of Down Syndrome Ireland and present images and stories of the lives of adults with Down Syndrome. The project was devised and curated by the Council members in collaboration with photographer Eric Molimard. The exhibition consists of 12 images which have been taken at a location chosen by each Council member and the image is connected with a lived experience in each person’s life. Dr Clare Carroll, Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy at NUI Galway, said: “This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to observe images and stories of the lives of 12 adults with Down Syndrome. The images and the stories are vibrant and diverse and they share how adults with Down Syndrome are involved in society. The exhibition achieves its goal to challenge perceptions of Down Syndrome in society.” Róisín de Búrca, National Advisory Council of Down Syndrome Ireland, said: “The reason I chose this image for my photograph was to show everyone that it’s important to stand up for yourself and no matter where life takes you, be proud of who you are.” The exhibition, which is open to the public, is running in the Arts Millennium Building from until Tuesday, 30 April. -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

A new lecture series at NUI Galway’s College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway will focus on major research achievements in the College in recent years. Entitled Spotlight on Research, the series will begin on Thursday, 4 April with a lecture from Dr Jacopo Bisagni. Dr Bisagni, based in the Discipline of Classics at NUI Galway, is the leader of the Ireland and Carolingian Brittany: Texts and Transmission (IrCaBriTT) project which was awarded major grant support under the Irish Research Council’s Laureate scheme in 2018. The grant was awareded to examine the impact of the scholarly heritage of early Christian Ireland on the shaping of cultural identity in medieval Britanny Dr Seán Crosson, Vice-Dean for Research in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, said: “The Spotlight on Research series aims to highlight the world leading and ground-breaking research being undertaken across our College. Academics within the College have received national and international recognition for the research they are undertaking, including major awards and research funding. This series provides a platform for us to bring these research achievements to the attention of both the academic community and the wider general public.” The lecture will be held in GO10, Moore Institute at 1pm on Thursday, 4 April. Future lectures in the series include: Dr Maura Farrell, Lecturer in Geography at NUI Galway and Principle Investigator on the Horizon 2020 funded RURALIZATION Project, who present on the topic of ‘Researching the Rural: Going Global and Staying Local’ on Tuesday, 7 May at 1pm. On Thursday, 6 June at 1pm Dr Charlotte McIvor, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, and Dr Pádraig MacNeela, Dr Siobhán O’Higgins, and Kate Dawson of the School of Psychology, will discuss the The Active Consent programme, recently awarded major funding support by the Lifes2good Foundation in partnership with Galway University Foundation and NUI Galway.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway and Galway Film Centre will host the ‘Science on Screen 2019’ Information Day for filmmakers on Friday, 5 April. This year, CÚRAM and Galway Film Centre will partner with the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland and PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway for Science on Screen 2019. A fund of €35,000 is available to create a half-hour documentary on the topic of Public and Patient Involvement (PPI), which means that people who are likely to be affected by new medical treatments or programmes developed through research are directly involved in planning and shaping decisions about the research. PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway aims to bring about a culture change in how health research is conducted across the University, supporting researchers to enable the public and patient voice to guide their research.  In Ireland, many research teams have incorporated Public and Patient Involvement excellently into their research, notably in the areas of intellectual disability, mental health, diabetes, primary care, chronic disease and dementia. This year, filmmakers are being invited to bring the story of Public and Patient Involvement to the big screen.  Science on Screen has been running since 2016 and is a fund for documentaries set in the world of science. To date, four documentaries have been produced and they have been screened throughout the world, received national broadcast and won international awards. The films have reached an audience of over one million people. A Tiny Spark (2018) highlights research of removed blood clots to see what information they may yield; Bittersweet (2017) captures the Irish health system’s fight to treat the rising number of diabetic patients; Feats of Modest Valour (2016) looks at the physical reality of living with Parkinson’s Disease; and Mending Legends (2016), researches the physical and psychological impact of tendon injuries among athletes.  CÚRAM and Galway Film Centre together run the ‘Science on Screen’ project, which aims to facilitate, promote and increase the inclusion of science, technology, engineering and maths content and research in Irish film and TV production. The CÚRAM funded documentary filmmaking provides access to leading scientists and laboratories within CÚRAM, to explore methods of scientific ‘story telling’ and to produce a short film that incorporate aspects of current research being carried out by CÚRAM and its academic partners. These documentaries are available for community and educational screenings nationwide. The Information Day will include speakers from PPI Ignite @ NUI Galway, HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland, CÚRAM and Galway Film Centre. The event will commence at 10.30am on Friday, 5 April and will run for approximately two hours at CÚRAM, Biomedical Sciences Building, North Campus, NUI Galway. Bookings are necessary, visit www.eventbrite.ie and search for (Science on Screen Information Day) and a schedule will be sent to attendees in advance.  PPI Ignite is funded by the Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council. This Science on Screen documentary is funded by the Health Research Board’s Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme 2018 awarded to the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland, and supported by CÚRAM. For more information, contact Mary Deely, CÚRAM, NUI Galway at mary.deely@nuigalway.ie or Jade Murphy, Galway Film Centre at jade@galwayfilmcentre.ie. For more information about Science on Screen, visit: www.curamdevices.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

The School of Education at NUI Galway recently organised and hosted the inaugural computer science education summit, CSforAll. The Summit was supported by Google and marked the first time CSforAll was hosted outside of the United States, with attendees from across Ireland, Europe and the US. This coincided with the announcement that the School of Education at NUI Galway will commence a new BA Education (Computer Science and Mathematical Studies) undergraduate initial teacher education programme in September 2019. CSforAll is a large-scale global movement to mobilise and promote computer science education among all students and teachers. Initiated and championed by President Barack Obama when he hosted the inaugural CSforAll Summit in the White House. Key stakeholders such as National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, Professional Development Service for Teachers, and the Department of Education attended along with international speakers from Michigan State University, Munich University, industry and James Whelton, the co-founder of Coderdojo who delivered the keynote address. Gaelscoil Riabhach, Loughrea, Co. Galway, Castleblayney College Monaghan, Presentation Secondary School Warrenmount, Dublin, Coláiste Chiaráin Limerick and Scoil Bhríde Mercy Secondary School, Tuam were the selected Showcase Schools at the event. A key message and conversation topic of the day was about the equity in Computer Science – reiterating the message that one can be a great programmer no matter background, gender or race. What is important is increasing baseline Computer Science knowledge amongst all and providing everyone with the opportunity to learn – computer science is about equity, fun, transformation, digital literacy, and so much more. There was discussion also regarding the mental health issues around computing and social media. Dr Cornelia Connolly, event organiser and Lecturer with NUI Galway’s School of Education, said: “As the first CSforAll outside of the US, NUI Galway's event marks an historic development in Computer Science education in Ireland, bringing together the key educational stakeholders and partners in celebrating and exploring the potential of coding and computational thinking in Irish classrooms and schools. At a time when Irish schools are piloting Computer Science as a Senior Cycle subject, we were delighted to host CSforAll and the watershed initiatives taking place around the country and internationally, including the inspirational work of Irish pupils and teachers working creatively with a range of innovative technologies, including micro-controllers, coding applications and software.”    The Summit website, including photos from the day, are available at https://sites.google.com/view/csforallirelandsummit/home.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Researchers from Earth and Ocean Sciences and the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway have carried out a study on seaweed blooms that occur in Irish estuaries on an annual basis as a result of nutrient enrichment. Nitrates and phosphates from the land flow into the sea, which can lead to the growth and proliferation of green seaweeds, commonly known as Sea Lettuce (mainly Ulvoid species). In affected bays and estuaries the shore becomes so green that these seaweed blooms are referred to as “green tides”. In Ireland, The Tolka Estuary in Dublin Bay and Courtmacsherry and Clonakilty Bays in west Cork are heavily affected by these green tides. In this study, Dr Liam Morrison and Dr Ricardo Bermejo sampled several seaweed blooms on a seasonal basis, assessing the two types of sea lettuce morphologies present and extracting the DNA to identify the range of species present. Nutrient enrichment in our marine waters has increased worldwide as a consequence of the growing human population, especially in urban centres along the coastal zone. Nutrient enrichment in European coastal waters has been identified as a key pressure on water under the Water Framework Directive (WFD), and the reduction of nutrient loads from agricultural practices and wastewater treatment are the main restoration measures. Although green tides are not generally toxic to humans their occurrence, by virtue of their sheer size, impacts shore-based activities including navigation, tourism, fisheries and the recreational use of our coastal amenities. Lead researcher of the study, Dr Liam Morrison from Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway, said: “Ireland is famous for its green countryside but this should not include our beaches too. Green tides present a large and costly problem for humans and coastal ecosystems. We need to work harder on trying to keep nutrients out of the water achieving a good balance between agronomic and environmental gains, especially with the removal of milk quotas and increased intensifciation in dairy farming in Ireland.” Dr Morrison, added: “In terms of the circular economy, more research is needed into the re-use of this seaweed biomass for example as potential fish meals or for energy production. This could create the potential to consider these blooms as a resource.” This research was part of an Environmental Protection Agency funded ‘Sea-MAT Project’ (http://www.seamatproject.net) and was carried out over two years. These results were recently published in the journal Harmful Algae. Results revealed that these seaweed blooms contain several different species, with Ulva prolifera, Ulva compressa and Ulva rigida the most frequent species. The species composition changes over the year and this species succession was common to both estuaries. The blooms are dominated by anchored species during spring and early summer, changing to more floating morphologies during late summer and autumn. Nutrient enrichment of estuarine and coastal waters (e.g. from direct discharges such as wastewater treatment plants and diffuse sources such as agricultural runoff) is considered a key factor for the development of green tides. While different locations can have similar nutrient inputs, the way the green tides form and develop can be quite different. This complicates the ability to predict these events based on information about nutrient status alone. This research has provided key information on the development of these blooms over their growing season and gives managers better information for understanding their scale and impacts. The results showed that the amount of green seaweed in the Tolka Estuary in Dublin Bay appeared to have increased over the last 20-30 years. These findings should be considered for the development of management and monitoring strategies since the different types of seaweed may play an important role in the balance of nutrients and biomass in the estuary or determine the response to pollutant exposure. Furthermore, the presence of different seaweed species with different ecological requirements could favour the duration and extension of the bloom. The EPA Research Programme is a Government of Ireland initiative funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. To read the full study in journal Harmful Algae, visit: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1568988318301859?via%3Dihub

Monday, 25 March 2019

Students to highlight their investigations into wrongful convictions Monday, 25 March, 2019: The NUI Galway Innocence Clinic will host an onstage-conversation with Paddy Armstrong, wrongfully convicted as part of the Guildford Four, and journalist Mary-Elaine Tynan in their first ever appearance in the west of Ireland on Tuesday, 2 April, 2019 at the Aras Moyola Large Lecture Theatre. As part of the programme, NUI Galway students, who have been investigating wrongful convictions with the NUI Galway Innocence Clinic, will also highlight their work in a panel discussion moderated by Mary-Elaine Tynan.  Armstrong and Tynan collaborated on Life After Life: A Guildford Four Memoir, which was published two years ago, the book is a nakedly honest and compelling exposure of Armstrong’s experience being wrongfully convicted, its crushing aftermath and the ultimate restoration of his life. The NUI Galway Innocence Clinic is a fledgling initiative launched in September 2018 with the cooperation of the School of Law, Journalism Programme and Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway under the guidance of Anne Driscoll, a visiting US Fulbright Scholar and award-winning journalist. During the first semester, Driscoll taught students about wrongful convictions, how they happen and why, as well as how to use journalism techniques and skills to investigate wrongful conviction cases. In the second semester, the students have been applying those lessons in an investigation of the Maamtrasna murders case. Myles Joyce, who was wrongfully convicted and hanged in 1882, received the second posthumous presidential pardon in Irish history by President Michael D. Higgins on 4 April, 2018. Students have been looking at the claims of innocence made by four other men who falsely pleaded guilty in the case – Myles’ brothers Martin, Patrick, and Patrick’s son Thomas Joyce, along with John Casey. Anne Driscoll, US Fulbright Scholar at NUI Galway, said: “We are thrilled that Paddy Armstrong and Mary-Elaine Tynan have agreed to share their story with the students of the NUI Galway Innocence Clinic, the greater NUI Galway community and the public at large. There is an important role for both law and journalism in addressing the injustice of a wrongful conviction and we hope this programme will explore that very idea. This special event is the culmination of a year of extraordinary exploration and learning by the law, journalism and human rights students who have participated in the Innocence Clinic. And as my Fulbright scholarship comes to a conclusion, I want to express how profoundly grateful I am to NUI Galway for having the vision and commitment to offer students this unique and valuable learning opportunity. Having an Innocence Clinic is both good for students and good for society.” The event is free and open to the public but registration is required at Eventbrite here https://innocenceclinic.eventbrite.ie.  Life After Life: A Guildford Four Memoir will be available for sale and for signing by Paddy Armstrong and Mary-Elaine Tynan beginning at 5pm outside the Aras Moyola Large Lecture Theatre. The programme will begin at 5:30pm followed by a reception afterwards.  For more information visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/business-public-policy-law/school-of-law/innocenceclinic/.  -Ends-

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

The Irish Centre for Human Rights recently launched the LLM in International Migration and Refugee Law and Policy. Conducting the launch was Gráinne O'Hara, Head of the Department of International Protection at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, who spoke on her experience of working with refugees in Mexico, the former Yugoslavia, Burundi, Sudan (Darfur), the US, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.  The LLM in International Migration and Refugee Law will commence in September, 2019 and is the only course of its kind on offer in an Irish university. The Irish Centre for Human Rights, as one of the world’s premier university-based institutions for the study and promotion of human rights, is uniquely placed to deliver this course.  Ms O’Hara also spoke to the need for highly qualified postgraduates in the area of migration and forced displacement, both at the policy level and in the fields, saying: “At a time when human mobility, and forced displacement in particular, is to the forefront of so many highly charged political discussions, the value of academic discipline on the distinct but related issues of migration and refugee flight comes into its own. The LLM in International Migration and Refugee Law and Policy on offer from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway is a case in point. A clear understanding of the relevant legal frameworks, coupled with evidence-based analysis on field realities, is critical to good policy making.” The programme enables the development of expertise in international, regional and domestic law, policy and practice in the areas of migration, human trafficking and refugee law. There is the opportunity to combine the study of international migration with specialised courses in international humanitarian law and peace operations, gender and law, child rights, and international criminal law. The core-teaching programme is supplemented with a programme of guest seminars, workshops and conferences engaging with leading experts and practitioners in the field of refugee protection, human trafficking, international migration, human rights law and public policy. For more information on the LLM programmes at NUI Galway visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/business-public-policy-law/school-of-law/courses/postgraduatetaughtcourses. -Ends-

Monday, 25 March 2019

Over 5% increase in CAO first preference applications by 1st February 2019 NUI Galway has seen a substantial increase in demand for its courses this year, with over 5,000 students making it their university of choice for the 2019-2020 academic year. This marked a year-on-year increase of over 5% in first preference applications, against a national picture which saw the number of applications received by the CAO by 1 February grow by 0.5% on last year’s levels. The increased demand for places was experienced across traditionally popular subject areas including business, law, engineering, biomedical science, nursing and medicine and also resulted from applications to three new arts degrees and a new law degree enrolling in September 2019 for the first time. The much anticipated Law and Human Rights degree is an innovative and unique programme and will be the first of its kind in Ireland. Building on the Irish Centre for Human Rights’ global reputation, graduates will be well positioned for work in international human rights law, policy or legal practice and will also pursue professional legal training as a solicitor or as a barrister. College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies are launching three new degrees in 2019. The BA (History and Globalisation Studies) and the BA Government (Politics, Economics and Law) are two new inter-disciplinary degrees that will give graduates unique knowledge and understanding across a range of related subjects, whilst the BA Education (Computer Science, and Mathematical Studies) is a four-year concurrent initial teacher education programme which will prepare graduates for eligibility to teach computer science and mathematics. According to Registrar and Deputy President, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “Our young people are socially conscious and looking to tackle the most pressing issues facing society, from climate change to social justice.  We can see this in the course choices of CAO applicants, who are opting for courses and preparing for fulfilling careers where they can have a powerful and positive impact on the world around them. The new Law and Human Rights degree has attracted strong interest from Ireland and Europe from students who are choosing NUI Galway for its global reputation for excellence in the field. We look forward to supporting this next generation as they further develop their skills and make their mark in the world. “Employability prospects remain an important consideration for students choosing a course and the current buoyant graduate jobs market is giving confidence to students to choose courses which will allow them to follow their passions, develop expertise and transferable skills, gain experience abroad and in the workplace and prepare for highly flexible and rewarding careers.” Students and parents are invited to find out more at NUI Galway’s upcoming undergraduate open day is taking place on Saturday, 6 April, 9am-3pm. Register now at https://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Ag searmanas speisialta in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Déardaoin, 21 Márta), bhronn Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Dochtúireacht san Fhealsúnacht (PhD) ar bhreis agus 70 mac léinn. Bronnadh céimeanna Máistreachta agus Dochtúireachta Leighis ar roinnt mac léinn. Bronnadh Dochtúireacht Eolaíochta ar an Ollamh James P. O’Gara, Ollamh Pearsanta le Micribhitheolaíocht in OÉ Gaillimh as Saothar Foilsithe ag searmanas an lae inniu chomh maith. Bhí céimithe ó gach Coláiste san Ollscoil i measc na gcéimithe sin ar bronnadh PhD orthu, Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh; Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí & an Dlí; Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; agus Coláiste na hEolaíochta. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le gach céimí as a gcáilíocht dochtúireachta a bhaint amach ar an lá mór seo, mar thoradh ar a gcumais, a n-iarrachtaí agus a ndúthracht le blianta fada. Tá OÉ Gaillimh bródúil go mbíonn ár gcuid céimithe ina gceannairí a mhúnlóidh an todhchaí agus a mbeidh tionchar dearfach acu ar fud an domhain - go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta. Is é misean na hOllscoile seo domhan níos fearr a chruthú tríd an teagasc, taighde agus an tionchar atá againn agus déanaimid é seo go follasach leis an méadú mór atá tagtha ar líon na gcéimithe PhD le blianta beaga anuas.” Beidh an chéad searmanas bronnta eile ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh i rith an tsamhraidh ar an Máirt, an 11 Meitheamh. -Críoch-

Friday, 22 March 2019

CÚRAM researchers recently took part in the launch of an international, €15 million, 20-partner project titled iPSpine (Induced pluripotent stem cell-based therapy for spinal regeneration) held in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices based at NUI Galway will participate in the five-year project which falls under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme to fund research that improves knowledge, testing, and exploitation platforms that address the future of advanced therapies in Europe. The project is being coordinated by Professor Marianna Tryfonidou at Utrecht University. The iPSpine research project aims to address chronic lower back pain, which is the leading cause of disability and morbidity worldwide. It impacts more than 700 million people globally of all ages, each year. Lower back pain is a major cause of reduced activity and work absence and imposes an economic burden of nearly €240 billion every year in the EU. IPSpine will use state-of-the art technology to design a novel therapy for lower back pain that will be closer to clinical translation after completion of the project in 2023. The treatment will use advanced stem cells and smart biomaterials that can be injected into the degenerated discs in the spine to help re-populate regions that have deteriorated, with the goal of returning spinal function. Professor Abhay Pandit who is the lead of one of the work packages in iPSpine and the Scientific Director at CÚRAM in NUI Galway, said: “The iPSPine research project addresses a critical patient need. Partnering in this unique consortium provides CÚRAM the opportunity to see our therapeutic design contribution through to implementation stage. This will enable an accelerated translation of our research to therapy and produce real solutions for those who urgently need it.” Professor Marianna Tryfonidou, head of the research project at Utrecht University, said: “The success of this innovative project will be possible by mobilization of our unique consortium. The network is rich in diverse expertise that ranges from the basic science to the development and implementation of a working treatment for chronic lower back pain. I am delighted and ready to kick-off the project and begin working with this talented network.” The iPSpine consortium includes 20 partners across Europe, the United States of America, and China. Their expertise includes Fundamental Science, Therapeutic Design and Final Implementation. Follow the iPSpine research project on Twitter @iPSpine -Ends-

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Over 70 students were recognised by NUI Galway today (Thursday, 21 March) at a special ceremony when they were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh. A number of students were conferred with Masters and Doctor of Medicine degrees. Professor James P. O’Gara, a Personal Professor of Microbiology at NUI Galway, was also conferred with a Doctor of Science for Published Work at today’s ceremony. All Colleges of the University were represented at the ceremony, with graduands from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, the College of Business, Public Policy and Law; the College of Engineering and Informatics; the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; and the College of Science. NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I would like to congratulate each graduate on their achievement in earning their doctoral degrees on what is a milestone day in their lives, marking the culmination of their talent, effort and commitment over many years. NUI Galway is proud of our record of developing graduates as leaders who will create the future and make a positive impact in the world - and for the world - nationally and internationally.  It is the mission of this university to make the world a better place through our teaching, research and impact and we do this tangibly through the increased number of PhDs graduating in recent years.” The next conferring to take place at NUI Galway will be the summer conferring on Tuesday, 11 June. -Ends-

Thursday, 21 March 2019

20 bliain ag ceiliúradh céimithe ar fud na cruinne D'fhógair OÉ Gaillimh buaiteoirí Ghradaim Alumni 2019 agus bronnfar na gradaim orthu ag an 20ú Mórfhéasta Alumni Dé Sathairn, an 13 Aibreán 2019. Tugann Gradaim Alumni OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas d’fheabhas agus d’éachtaí breis is 100,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile atá scaipthe ar fud an domhain. Agus clár na nGradam seo fiche bliain ar an bhfód, tá gradaim bronnta ar bhreis is 100 céimí den scoth a bhfuil tionchar suntasach acu ina réimsí féin, agus a bhfuil a n-alma mater fíorbhrodúil astu.  I measc na ndaoine mór le rá ar bronnadh gradam Alumni orthu tá Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUigínn, na craoltóirí, Seán O'Rourke agus Gráinne Seoige, na ceannairí gnó, Tara McCarthy (Bord Bia), Adrian Jones (Goldman Sachs) agus Aedhmar Hynes (Text 100), daoine ón saol poiblí cosúil le Pat Rabbitte, Eamon Gilmore (Tánaiste) agus Máire Whelan (an tArd-Aighne), agus pearsaí spóirt cosúil leis an imreoir rugbaí idirnáisiúnta, Ciarán FitzGerald agus Olive Loughnane (a bhfuil bonn Oilimpeach buaite aici). Léiríonn buaiteoirí na bliana seo an tionchar domhanda atá ag OÉ Gaillimh agus ag a alumni agus an Ollscoil ag ceiliúradh 20 bliain de na gradaim bhliantúla seo.  Seo a leanas buaiteoirí na seacht ngradam alumni atá le bronnadh ag Mórfhéasta 2019: Gradam Alumni do na Dána, an Litríocht agus an Léann Ceilteach – urraithe ag Deloitte An tIriseoir & comhfhreagraí Londan le RTÉ, Fiona Mitchell – BA 1993 Gradam Alumni don Ghnó agus an Tráchtáil – urraithe ag Banc na hÉireann An fiontraí eitlíochta, Dómhnal Slattery - BComm 1988 Gradam Alumni don Dlí, Beartas Poiblí agus an Rialtas – urraithe ag Ronan Daly Jermyn An t-abhcóide sinsearach agus saineolaí dlí, Grainne McMorrow - BA 1980, LLB 1983 Gradam Alumni don Innealtóireacht, an Eolaíocht agus an Teicneolaíocht – urraithe ag Merc Partners An t-eolaí ailse, an Dr John Lyons - BSc 1979 Gradam Alumni don Leigheas, an tAltranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte – urraithe ag Medtronic An máinlia agus oideachasóir cliniciúil, an Dr Ronan Waldron - MB BCh BAO 1976, MMedSc 1984 Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge – urraithe ag OÉ Gaillimh An t-iriseoir agus craoltóir, Póilín Ní Chiaráin - BA 1965 Gradam Alumni don Rannpháirtíocht sa Spórt – urraithe ag Banc na hÉireann An ceannródaí leighis spóirt, an Dr Mick Molloy - MB BCh BAO 1968 Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, nuair a fógraíodh buaiteoirí na nGradam: “Is é an misean atá ag ollscoileanna an domhan a fheabhsú trínár dteagasc, taighde agus tionchar. Tugann clár na nGradam Alumni aitheantas d’alumni a dhéanann difríocht dhearfach ar fud an domhain agus atá ina gceannairí ina réimsí roghnaithe. Tríd a gcuid iarrachtaí déantar ár misean a léiriú. Táim thar a bheith sásta i mbliana gur féidir linn aitheantas a thabhairt do ghrúpa éagsúil alumni atá ag dul i bhfeidhm go dearfach ar an domhan mór – agus ar son an domhain mhóir – go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta. Tréaslaím le gach duine ar a bhfuil gradam le bronnadh agus táim ag súil le fáilte ar ais a chur rompu chuig a n-alma mater don Mhórfhéasta i mí an Aibreáin.” Chun breis eolais a fháil agus chun áit a chur in áirithe téigh i dteagmháil leis an Oifig Alumni ar 091 494310 nó seol ríomhphost chuig alumni@nuigalway.ie. Áirithintí ar líne ag www.guf.ie CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Dr Keith Williams, a leading expert in the treatment of paediatric feeding problems in the US, will host a talk for parents on Wednesday, 27 March from 6-8pm in the School of Psychology, NUI Galway. Dr Williams is visiting NUI Galway as part of the Fulbright Specialist Program as a guest of The Applied Behaviour Research Clinic at NUI Galway. In his talk entitled ‘Eating Problems in children with Autism: What they are and what to do!’ Dr Williams will focus on the eating problems common in children with autism, what they are, why they occur, and practical strategies that can be used to address some of these problems.  Dr Williams has been the Director of the Penn State Children’s Hospital Feeding Program for 21 years where he works directly with families to support them with feeding problems. He is a Professor of Paediatrics at the Penn State College of Medicine and a licenced Psychologist. Dr Williams is widely published in the area of childhood feeding disorders and child nutrition. He is the author of numerous books including Broccoli Boot Camp and Treating Eating Problems of Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities. As well as working with children with special needs and complex medical issues, also has expertise in developing school-based interventions. Dr Helena Lydon, Co-Director of the Applied Behaviour Research Clinic at NUI Galway said: “We are delighted to have the internationally recognised expert Dr Williams give a public talk on eating problems for children with autism. His talk will be of interest to parents of children who are picky eaters and will also be of interest to clinicians who support families of children with autism.”  The talk is free of charge but pre-registration is required. Further details on the talk can be found at https://bit.ly/2Fn3Orc. -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

On Thursday, 28 March, NUI Galway will host a day-long online discussion called ‘Imagine NUI Galway’ to inform its strategy over the next five years. Students, staff, alumni and members of the public are invited to log on and join in the discussion and share their views on how the University can best serve the city and region. A series of sessions will look at how the University’s research, teaching and public engagement can evolve to address the challenges facing society.  President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “NUI Galway is your University and we’re keen that you also have a stake and a voice in its future. We would particularly welcome comments from people who don’t currently have contact with the University, as we are keen to open our horizons to new ideas and perspectives.” NUI Galway’s new strategy will be led by five key values that emerged through consultation with staff and students. It will seek to ensure that the University is distinctive, respectful, accessible, expert and sustainable. The discussions on Thursday, 28 March will focus on each of these values and invite participants to share their input and ideas on how the University should develop in these areas over the next five years. The public is asked to visit the Imagine NUI Galway website at http://imagine.nuigalway.ie on Thursday, 28 March and join in the discussion from 11am onwards. ENDS Iarrann OÉ Gaillimh ar an bpobal dul i bhfeidhm ar thodhchaí na hOllscoile  Ar an Déardaoin, an 28 Márta, cuirfidh OÉ Gaillimh fóram plé dar teideal ‘Samhlaigh OÉ Gaillimh’ ar siúl ar líne ar feadh an lae chun cuidiú leo straitéis na hOllscoile a chumadh don tréimhse cúig bliana atá romhainn. Tugtar cuireadh do mhic léinn, comhaltaí foirne, céimithe agus an pobal i gcoitinne logáil isteach agus páirt a ghlacadh sa chomhrá agus a gcuid tuairimí a roinnt maidir leis na bealaí is fearr leis an Ollscoil freastal ar an gcathair agus an réigiún. Beidh sraith seisiún dírithe ar thaighde, teagasc agus rannpháirtíocht phoiblí na hOllscoile agus pléifear an fhorbairt atá ag teastáil chun dul i ngleic leis na dúshláin atá roimh an tsochaí.  Dar le hUachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Is linne ar fad í OÉ Gaillimh agus teastaíonn uainn go mbeidh deis ag gach duine dul i bhfeidhm ar thodhchaí na hOllscoile. Cuirimid fáilte speisialta roimh thuairimí ó dhaoine nach bhfuil teagmháil acu leis an Ollscoil faoi láthair, mar teastaíonn uainn a bheith oscailte roimh smaointe agus dearcthaí nua.” Beidh straitéis nua OÉ Gaillimh bunaithe ar chúig mórluach a tháinig chun cinn i bpróiseas comhairliúcháin leis an bhfoireann agus na mic léinn. Teastaíonn uathu a chinntiú go mbeidh an Ollscoil sainiúil, oscailte, saineolach agus inbhuanaithe, agus go mbeidh meas ar phobal na hOllscoile ar chách. Beidh na díospóireachtaí ar an Déardaoin, an 28 Márta, dírithe ar na luachanna seo. Iarrtar ar rannpháirtithe a gcuid ionchuir agus smaointe a roinnt maidir leis na bealaí is fearr leis an Ollscoil na téamaí seo a chur chun cinn sna cúig bliana atá romhainn. Iarrtar ar an bpobal dul chuig suíomh gréasáin Samhlaigh OÉ Gaillimh http://samhlaigh.oegaillimh.ie ar an Déardaoin, an 28 Márta, agus páirt a ghlacadh sa chomhrá ann ó 11am ar aghaidh. CRÍOCH

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

20 years of celebrating graduates across the globe  NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2019 Alumni Awards to be presented at the 20th annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 13 April, 2019. The NUI Galway Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 100,000 graduates worldwide. Now in its twentieth year, the Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of more than 100 outstanding NUI Galway alumni who have gone on to make an impact in their chosen field, and in so doing honour their alma mater.  Among the distinguished honorees are President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, broadcasters, Seán O’Rourke and Gráinne Seoige, business leaders, Tara McCarthy (Bord Bia), Adrian Jones (Goldman Sachs) and Aedhmar Hynes (Text 100), figures from public life such as Pat Rabbitte, Eamon Gilmore (Tánaiste) and Máire Whelan (Attorney General), and sports figures such as rugby international, Ciarán FitzGerald and Olive Loughnane (Olympic medallist). This year’s awardees highlight the global impact of NUI Galway and its alumni as the University celebrates 20 years of these annual awards.  The winners of the seven alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2019: Alumni Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies – Sponsored by Deloitte Journalist & RTÉ London correspondent, Fiona Mitchell – BA 1993 Alumni Award for Business and Commerce - Sponsored by Bank of Ireland Aviation entrepreneur, Dómhnal Slattery - BComm 1988 Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government - Sponsored by Ronan Daly Jermyn Senior counsel and jurist, Grainne McMorrow - BA 1980, LLB 1983  Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology - Sponsored by Merc Partners Cancer scientist, Dr John Lyons - BSc 1979 Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences - Sponsored by Medtronic Surgeon and clinical educator, Dr Ronan Waldron - MB BCh BAO 1976, MMedSc 1984 Gradam Alumni don Gaeilge - Urraithe ag OÉ Gaillimh Journalist and broadcaster, Póilín Ní Chiaráin - BA 1965 Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport - Sponsored by Bank of Ireland Sports medicine pioneer, Dr Mick Molloy - MB BCh BAO 1968 Speaking on the announcement of the Award recipients, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “It is the mission of universities to make the world a better place through our teaching, research and impact. Our Alumni Awards programme recognises alumni who make a positive difference in the world and who are leaders in their chosen fields. Through their endeavours our mission is made manifest. I’m particularly pleased this year that we can honour a diverse group of alumni who have made a positive impact in the world – and for the world - both nationally and internationally. I congratulate each awardee and I look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet in April.” For ticket and booking information contact Alumni Relations on 091 494310 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.guf.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Tá suirbhé seolta ag OÉ Gaillimh chun tuairimí an phobail a bhailiú faoin bPlean Teanga atá beartaithe do Chathair na Gaillimhe 2019-2026. Tá an taighde á dhéanamh ar son Chomhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe agus Ghaillimh le Gaeilge mar chuid d’ullmhú Phlean Gaeilge don chathair.  Beidh an suirbhé ar líne ar oscailt go dtí Dé hAoine, an 12 Aibreán 2019 agus tá sé d’aidhm aige measúnú a dhéanamh ar mhianta agus ar riachtanais an phobail maidir le forbairt na Gaeilge i nGaillimh.  Faoi Acht na Gaeltachta 2012, ainmníodh Gaillimh mar Bhaile Seirbhíse Gaeltachta agus mar thoradh air sin is gá plean a chur le chéile chun cur le húsáid na Gaeilge sa chathair.  Anuraidh cheap Comhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe agus Gaillimh le Gaeilge an Dr John Walsh ó Roinn na Gaeilge agus an Dr Dorothy Ní Uigín ó Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh chun an plean a fhorbairt. Bunaíodh Grúpa Stiúrtha nua, Coiste Stiúrtha Pleanála Teanga Gaillimh chun tacaíocht, treoir agus maoirseacht a dhéanamh ar dhul chun cinn agus ar chur i bhfeidhm an phlean teanga. Is grúpa ionadaíoch iad baill an Choiste de na hearnálacha poiblí, príobháideacha, pobail agus deonacha i gcathair na Gaillimhe. Dúirt an Dr John Walsh ó Roinn na Gaeilge in OÉ Gaillimh agus an Dr Dorothy Ní Uigín ó Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge: “Tá áthas orainn an suirbhé seo ar líne a sheoladh mar chuid dár dtaighde ar thuairimí mhuintir na Gaillimhe i leith na Gaeilge. Chomh maith leis seo, tá agallaimh agus grúpaí fócais á reáchtáil againn le réimse leathan daoine, ina measc cainteoirí Gaeilge agus daoine ar mian leo a bheith níos gníomhaí ó thaobh na Gaeilge.” Dúirt Brendan McGrath, Príomhfheidhmeannach Chomhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe: “Tá tiomantas láidir déanta ag Comhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe le blianta beaga anuas maidir le Gaillimh a fhorbairt mar chathair dhátheangach. Tá an-ríméad orainn a bheith ag obair le OÉ Gaillimh i gcomhar le Gaillimh le Gaeilge agus le heagraíochtaí comhpháirtíochta Choiste Stiúrtha Pleanála Teanga na Gaillimhe sa chéim seo de dhul chun cinn an Phlean Gaeilge. Tá áthas ar an gComhairle Cathrach go háirithe a bheith in ann leas a bhaint as an saineolas Gaeilge atá ar fáil dúinn go háitiúil san Ollscoil.”  Dúirt Bernadette Mullarkey, Cathaoirleach Ghaillimh le Gaeilge: “Tá Gaillimh le Gaeilge ag súil go mór le tuairimí mhuintir na Gaillimhe a fháil maidir le Plean Teanga na Cathrach (2019-2026).  Beidh an t-eolas seo lárnach chun plean inmharthana agus éifeachtach a fhorbairt dár gCathair.  Dá bhrí sin, tá sé ríthábhachtach go mbainfidh siad leas as an deis seo chun a gcuid tuairimí a nochtadh ionas go mbainfidh an plean amach a chuspóirí maidir le húsáid na Gaeilge sa saol laethúil a chur chun cinn, a thacú agus a mhéadú mar aon le stádas na Gaillimhe mar Chathair Dhátheangach a threisiú agus a neartú.” Tá an tionscadal seo cómhaoinithe ag Foras na Gaeilge tríd an Roinn Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta agus ag Comhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe. Tá sé i gceist go seolfar Plean Teanga na cathrach san fhómhar. Tá an suirbhé ar fáil ag: http://www.nuigalway.ie/gaeilgebheo/.  -Críoch- Public’s Views on Irish Language Plan Sought for Galway City  NUI Galway has launched a survey to gather the views of the public on the proposed Irish Language Plan for Galway City 2019-2026. The research is being conducted on behalf of Galway City Council and Gaillimh le Gaeilge as part of the preparation of an Irish language plan for the City. The online survey will run until Friday, 12 April 2019 and aims to assess the desires and needs of the community in relation to the development of the Irish language in Galway. Under the Gaeltacht Act of 2012, Galway has been nominated a Gaeltacht Service Town and is required to develop its own plan to increase the use of Irish within the city.  Last year, Dr John Walsh of the Department of Irish and Dr Dorothy Ní Uigín of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway were appointed by Galway City Council and Gaillimh le Gaeilge to develop an Irish Language Plan for the city. A new steering Group, Coiste Stiúrtha Pleanála Teanga Gaillimh was established to support, guide and oversee the progress and the delivery of the language plan. Members of the Coiste represent a broad cross-section of the public, private, community and voluntary sectors in Galway city.  Dr John Walsh of the Department of Irish at NUI Galway and Dr Dorothy Ní Uigín of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, said: “We are delighted to launch this online survey as part of our research into the views of those living in Galway towards the Irish language. We are also conducting interviews and focus groups with a broad range of people including Irish speakers and those who are interested in becoming more active in their use of the language.” Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, said: “Galway City Council has made a strong commitment in recent years to the development of Galway as a bilingual city. We are extremely pleased to be working with NUI Galway and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in association with Gaillimh le Gaeilge and the partner organisations of Coiste Stiúrtha Pleanála Teanga Gaillimh in this phase of the Irish Language Plan’s progression. City Council is particularly pleased to be able to draw on the Irish language expertise available to us locally in the University.”   Cathaoirleach of Gaillimh le Gaeilge, Bernadette Mullarkey, said: “Gaillimh le Gaeilge is looking forward to hearing the views of the people of Galway in relation to the Irish Language Plan for the city (2019-2026). This information will be key to developing a sustainable and an effective plan for the Irish language in our city. Therefore, it is very important that they avail of this opportunity to voice their opinions so that the plan will achieve its objectives to further promote, support and increase the communicative use of the Irish language in everyday life as well as strengthening Galway’s status as a bilingual city.” This project is co-funded by Foras na Gaeilge through the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Galway City Council. It is intended that the city’s Irish Language Plan will be launched in the autumn. The survey is available at: http://www.nuigalway.ie/gaeilgebheo/.  -Ends-  

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

: NUI Galway has introduced a number of new initiatives to celebrate and support the visibility and inclusion of the LGBT+ community in higher education. GigSoc, the LGBT+ student society, held the first Pride March through NUI Galway campus as part of a slew of activities for Rainbow Week. This coincided with the launch of the LGBT+ Ally Programme by the NUI Galway LGBT+ Staff Network. Rainbow Week is an annual event organised by GigSoc and this year’s celebration of the LGBT+ community on campus included several new events, such the Pride March and the launch of GigSoc’s first book which features contributions from NUI Galway students. GigSoc has also recently launched the ‘T fund’, with support from the Office of the Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. This project recognises the extra financial burden faced by transgender and non-binary students by providing funding to students of NUI Galway for financial costs related to social transition. Maeve Arnup, Co-auditor of GigSoc and student in the College of Arts, said: “Rainbow week is the biggest week of the year for GiGSoc. This year we had two huge successes. The first being the launch of our first small publication ‘The Queer Book’ which is a collection of LGBTQIA+ writings, artwork and photography made by the community and for the community, with all proceeds from the sale of the book going to support Teach Solais, Galway’s LGBT+ Resource Centre. The second success was hosting the first Pride March to ever take place on a university campus in Ireland.” Oissíne Moore, Co-auditor of GigSoc and student in the College of Arts added: “It’s amazing to see staff getting involved in the Pride March as it makes people feel that little bit safer knowing that staff are willing to march with us and support us.” Rainbow Week also provided the NUI Galway LGBT+ Staff Network with an opportunity to launch the LGBT+ Ally Programme. The LGBT+ Ally Programme at NUI Galway is a member-based initiative working towards increasing the knowledge, awareness, and support of LGBT+ colleagues and students. Staff who sign up to be allies are provided with resources and visible symbols of their support for the LGBT+ community. Dr Chris Noone, lecturer at the School of Psychology and Chair of the NUI Galway LGBT+ Staff Network, said: “The LGBT+ Ally Programme makes visible the support that exists at NUI Galway for students and staff who are members of the LGBT+ community. It shows that this is a welcoming place for people of all sexual and gender identities and that there is a community to connect with on our campus.” More information about the LGBT+ Ally Programme at NUI Galway can be found at: https://www.nuigalway.ie/equalityanddiversity/lgbt/ally/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Access Office are calling on past students and graduates to participate in Alumni Working Group NUI Galway’s Access Office will celebrate 20 years of the Access Programmes in May and are calling on all past students, graduates, staff and tutors to who would like to take part in the celebrations to participate in an Alumni Working Group. The primary focus for the celebrations will be to acknowledge the impact of the programme on individuals, families and community, including the University community. Celebratory events will include the publication and official launch ceremony of a souvenir journal, celebrating twenty years of memories from ‘Access’ students, a university forum and an alumni event for past students, tutors and staff. NUI Galway’s Access Programmes commenced in 1999 with the delivery of the first pilot ‘Access Course for School Leavers’. Since then, thousands of students have been supported and enabled to successfully progress into higher education on completing the University’s Access Course. NUI Galway is committed to promoting wider and more equitable access to higher education, especially within its regional vicinity. The programmes provide educational opportunities and professional services to students from under-represented, disadvantaged and minority groups, mature students and students with disabilities. The Access Programmes create conditions which support engagement, performance and progression for non-traditional students throughout their university experience and into employment. Imelda Byrne, Head of Access Programmes at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to have reached this milestone; all of us on the Access Programmes team have had the privilege over two decades to meet wonderful individuals and their families who, in spite of very challenging and constraining previous life circumstances and experiences have higher education, successfully   participated, graduated and progressed to employment. Access now wishes to honour you and your achievements; we are encouraging all of our alumni to join the Access Alumni group and look forward to working with you all as we celebrate our anniversary and work towards the next twenty years.” The Access Alumni will be involved in the production of the celebratory souvenir journal, an oral archive and the development of a new mentoring system to support access undergraduate students at NUI Galway and with Access Mentoring projects in a community setting. The next Access Alumni meeting will take place on Tuesday, 2 April at 7pm. Those interested in becoming an Access Alumni member can get more information at www.nuigalway.ie/access/accessalumni, email Access20@nuigalway.ie or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NUIGaccess. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

NUI Galway Drama and Theatre Studies students frankly address themes of sexuality, consent and mental health for contemporary audiences Third Year Drama and Theatre Studies students will perform the world premiere of a newly devised adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s classic ground-breaking 19th century coming-of-age play Spring Awakening from 21-24 March at NUI Galway’s O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance.    Initially banned from the stage and censored throughout the 20th century in Europe and North America, Spring Awakening’s frank and haunting treatment of adolescent sexuality, depression, suicide and academic pressure has been an artistic and social lightning rod since its early 20th century German premiere.    Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play transposes the action of the play to a contemporary Irish context and follows three young people, Dougie (Daniel Granahan), Alex (Conor Gormley) and Clara (Aine Cooney), and their immediate circle of friends and family during an eventful spring. The pressures of academic study and sexual discovery overwhelm the three friends’ ability to navigate the challenging circumstances that they each find themselves in, leading to individual and collective tragedy. Has Ireland come as far as we think it has? How should we understand the ongoing mental health crisis among young people? And if someone commits an unforgivable act, how should their story end? Devised entirely by Third Year Drama and Theatre Studies students, and directed by Dr Charlotte McIvor from NUI Galway, with movement direction by Jérèmie Cyr-Cooke, Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play tests the boundaries between the real world, our imagination, and somewhere beyond while asking what it means to face up to the issues which define young people's discovery of self over generations.   Dr Charlotte McIvor, Drama and Theatre Studies lecturer and SMART Consent researcher, says that she was moved to do this play because: “Unfortunately, Spring Awakening has never stopped feeling contemporary, particularly with the epidemic rates of mental health struggles that I’ve observed as an educator within this generation of young people over the last decade. However, as a member of the SMART Consent research team at NUI Galway, recently funded by the Lifes2good Foundation to undertake a four-year programme which targets young people from 16-23 years of age in order to promote a positive approach to the important issue of sexual consent, I am optimistic about the role of the arts as a powerful tool in encouraging dialogue around sexuality in particular.”  Dr McIvor adds: “Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play explores the experience and aftermath of a sexual assault from the perspective of not only the young people involved, but their community. However, our adaptation of this play also portrays positive sexual explorations by members of the young ensemble, particularly through a storyline of two young women who fall in love for the first time.  Our play hopes to portray young people’s experiences of negotiating consent for the first time in all its complexity, and from not only dark but also hopeful perspectives.” The student ensemble collaboratively reimagined the theatrical text together between January and February 2019 by studying and responding to translations and adaptations of the play from throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. These ensemble members take on acting, design and technical roles in the production. The ensemble group says: “Being involved in Transitions has been the biggest undertaking of our degree, but also the most rewarding. There is only so much you can learn as a drama student by studying those who came before you; there comes a point where you have to put yourself out there and make your own theatre. Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play truly belongs to the ensemble. The play is littered with pieces of ourselves, our experiences, and our shared beliefs. We have fallen in love with this play and we are all beyond proud of the standard we have achieved across the board in terms of writing, acting, and production. To be given the opportunity to work in a professional capacity, with the expert guidance of Charlotte McIvor and Jérèmie Cyr-Cooke, has been such a valuable experience. Being able to say ‘we made this’ is something we will forever treasure, no matter where our future careers may take us.” Ensemble members include Coralie Blanchard, Cadhla Boyle, Aoife Maynard Collins, Aine Cooney, Alice Cunningham, Megan-Jane Devlin, Ross Gibbons, Claudia Glavey, Conor Gormley, Delia Keane, Emily-Jane MacKillop, Ailish McDonagh, Danielle McElroy, Daniel Murray, Shannon O'Flynn, Lucy Pollock, Molly Underwood. Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play will be performed at 8pm on the 21, 22, and 23 of March with a 2pm matinee on 24 March. General admission tickets are €5 (with additional handling fee). There will be a post-show discussion with members of the ensemble on Thursday, 21 March following the 8pm performance.    Bookings at: www.eventbrite.ie (search for Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play) or https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/transitions-a-spring-awakening-play-tickets-58050986062. Keep up with preparations and rehearsals of Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play: https://www.instagram.com/transitions_odc/. Behind the scenes video footage of the play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgkhdMfjlP0 -Ends-

Friday, 15 March 2019

NUI Galway and Music for Galway team up once again to commemorate one of the most remarkable alumnae of NUI Galway, Emily Anderson, with a concert featuring the Emily Anderson Prize winner violinist Benjamin Baker with pianist Daniel Lebhardt as well as young, promising Irish pianist Joe O’Grady. The concert will take place at the Kevin Barry Room, NCH, Dublin on Tuesday, March 19 at 7.30 pm, and again at the Emily Anderson Concert Hall, NUI Galway on Thursday, March 21 at 8pm. Emily Anderson: Anderson is a most remarkable individual. As the daughter of the then president of the university of Galway Alexander Anderson, she grew up in the Quadrangle, the iconic original building of NUI Galway. She studied German and became the first professor of German at the university. Recent, soon to be published research by Jackie Úi Chionna, unveils an extraordinary woman in many fields. What drew Music for Galway’s attention was the fact that she edited and translated the full correspondence of Mozart, and ten years later of Beethoven, thus opening the minds and thoughts of these giants of the classical music world to the English speaking world. Her works, published in the mid-20th century have remained to this day the go-to works for musicians, musicologists, documentary film-makers, writers, film-makers and lovers of music. For nearly two decades NUI Galway and Music for Galway have been celebrating the memory of Emily with a concert featuring the music of the composers she spent so much time researching. This year audiences can look forward to hearing three sonatas for violin and piano, two by Mozart and one by Beethoven.  The Performers: Born in 1990 in New Zealand, Benjamin Baker studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music where he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl. He won the Emily Anderson Prize at the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2013 and went on to win 1st Prize at the 2016 Young Concert Artists auditions in New York and 3rd Prize at the Michael Hill Competition in New Zealand, establishing a strong international presence. Born in Hungary, Daniel Lebhardt won 1st Prize at the Young Concert Artists auditions in Paris and New York in 2014 aged 22. A year later he was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust in London and in 2016 won the Most Promising Pianist prize at the Sydney International Competition. We continue presenting young promising artists this year with  (13) who opens the concert with Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata. Joe, from Dublin, has been winning awards and praise for his impressive technique and natural musicality since a very young age. Tickets are €20/€18  Students (full time): €6 and can be booked through the website www.musicforgalway, by calling the Music for Galway office 091 705962 or at O’Maille’s House of Style on Shop Street. For the performance at the NCH tickets can be booked by calling 01 471 00 00 or on-line: www.nch.ie Music for Galway is a proud recipient of the Arts Council’s Strategic Funding. -Ends-

Friday, 15 March 2019

Research highlights gender and health implications of Extended Working Life policies in western countries  Members of the COST Action research network chaired by Dr Áine Ní Léime from the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, presented five policy briefs that represent the culmination of four years’ collaborative research into the gender and health implications of policies designed to extend working life, at the European Parliment on Wednesday, 6 March. The COST Action research network has 140 members from 34 countries across Europe and beyond from a range of disciplines including social policy, sociology, business, gender, economics and health research. The policy briefs cover: Age Management (2); Health, Employment and Care; Inclusion and Gender; and Pensions and Pension Planning. Dr Áine Ní Léime, Chair of COST Action and Principal Investigator of the research at NUI Galway, said: “With increased life expectancy comes the challenge of an ageing population and the associated increases in pension and healthcare costs. Governments are taking action in this area, for example raising the state pension age. In Ireland it will rise to 67 in 2021 and 68 by 2028. Changes in working life policy can have gender or health specific implications. Working longer in labour intensive jobs such as cleaning or construction can have negative health implications at an earlier age than for workers in other occupations. Older workers in precarious employment may find it challenging to find alternative employment as they grow older. “Women can be more heavily impacted than men by changes to working life policy. Women today often have lower pensions than men for a number of reasons: lower salaries, part-time work or taking time for caring responsibilities for family or children.” Introductory remarks at the event were given by Vice President of the European Parliament, Mairead Mc Guinness, MEP, Mr Lambert va Nistlerooij, MEP, Chair of the Subgroup on Active Ageing, European Parliament and Ronald De Bruin, Director of COST. The network presented key messages from six policy briefs led by Dr Jonas Radl, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain and Dr Nata Duvvury from the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway. This was followed by a policy roundtable involving European policy-makers and stakeholders affected by Extended Working Life from a gender and age perspective. Each roundtable participant spoke briefly about the gender and/or health implications of Extended Working Life policy from the perspective of their organisation. Policy messages from approximately 18 countries from the COST Action network highlighted the key policy priorities related to Extended Working Life in each country. Vice President of the European Parliament, Mairead Mc Guinness, MEP, said: “I am very pleased to have invited COST and NUI Galway to the European Parliament to share their research into gender and health implications of extended working life - an important and timely topic. The contribution of women is sometimes overlooked, particularly in rural areas and on farms, where their work is not always recognized or counted. A special thank you to Dr Áine Ní Léime, who is the principal investigator into the implications of extended working life and I wish her continued success in her research.” The research network was funded by COST Action IS1409 ‘Gender and health impacts of policies extending working life in western countries’, supported by COST. See: http://genderewl.com/.  COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation. See: www.cost.eu. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

The University has already surpassed the 2020 energy improvement target of 33% NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh recently welcomed the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) CEO Jim Gannon to campus to sign the SEAI Public Sector Energy Partnership agreement. The programme commits the University to lead by example to meet and exceed the public sector energy efficiency improvement target of 33% energy reduction by 2020. NUI Galway is one of the first Irish universities to surpass the 33% target by recently achieving energy savings of over 34%. This result has been achieved with assistance from SEAI through funding for LED lighting projects, solar photovoltaic, energy efficient mechanical plant and electric vehicle charging points around campus. SEAI has also assisted with knowledge sharing and Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) schemes in association with  theHSE and other community groups. The University is continuing its efforts with an internal target of 40% by 2020. NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Since 2006 the University has been very proactive in reducing energy consumption across the campus. I would like to acknowledge the University’s staff and students who have assisted with our Buildings and Estates department in exceeding the 33% target through ongoing energy awareness campaigns and energy upgrade projects on campus, thus helping NUI Galway lead by example to achieve greater energy reductions by 2020 on campus.” Jim Gannon, Chief Executive of SEAI, commented: “I’d like to congratulate NUI Galway, who have shown real leadership surpassing their 2020 energy saving targets and by setting even more ambitious plans for the future. Collectively, our public sector energy bill remains at over €600 million. But through energy efficiency and upgrade projects over the past few years, like those demonstrated by NUI Galway, the public sector has made recurring annual energy savings of €191million. We need to build on these successes as we look to not only reduce our consumption, but also move away from more carbon intensive energy sources.” Dr Frances Fahy,  Senior Lecturer in Geography at NUI Galway, will be one of the speakers at SEAI’s event 'Engaging People' in PortLaoise on Thursday, 14 March. The event will explore energy saving practices in the workplace and the target is the public sector and industry leaders. -Ends- 

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Minister Bruton Announces US-Ireland tripartite center-to-center research between CÚRAM, Queens University Belfast and North Carolina State University Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton TD, today announced that CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway, will partner in a tripartite collaboration worth €1.7 million to conduct research into smart cardiovascular repair technologies, through the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership Programme. The project will be led by Dr Manus Biggs, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, and CÚRAM researcher.   Speaking at a Science Foundation Ireland event in MIT, Boston, in the US, Minister Bruton welcomed the announcement of the US-Ireland Partnership, saying: “Ireland continues to be an excellent location for collaborative research. I am delighted to welcome this US-Ireland partnership which further strengthens the strong and historic relationship between both countries. It is a testament to Ireland’s scientific prowess, that we are working closely with top institutions across the world, generating valuable discoveries and innovations that can benefit societies and economies across the globe.”   The US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership, launched in July 2006, is a unique initiative that aims to increase the level of collaborative Research and Development amongst researchers and industry professionals across three jurisdictions: USA, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.   This tripartite center-to-center (C2C) research collaboration will be conducted in conjunction with the National Science Foundation-funded centre for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST), led by North Carolina State University and the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queens University Belfast. Its’ goal is to use combined expertise in advanced sensor systems, microanalytical systems, biomaterials, energy harvesting, and systems biology to transform current medical interventions and standards of care to research and develop externally-powered implants for continuous cardiovascular health monitoring.   Dr Manus Biggs will lead the research programme in Ireland in conjunction with collaborators Dr Martin O’Halloran and Professor Stewart Walsh at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, CÚRAM’s primary objective is to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing innovative implantable ‘smart’ medical devices to treat major unmet medical needs.   Commenting on the award, Dr Manus Biggs from CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said:“This US-Ireland R&D Partnership award will facilitate exciting multi-disciplinary research between three centres of excellence in science and engineering. We look forward to working with our partners in the US and Northern Ireland on this critical healthcare need.”   Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death globally, resulting in close to 20 million deaths in 2018. However, despite evidence-based medical and pharmacologic advances the management of cardiovascular disease remains challenging, whether in the ambulatory setting where periodic disease monitoring has failed, or in the inpatient setting where readmission rates and morbidity remains high. It is estimated that 90% of cardiovascular diseases are preventable, yet there is an urgent need to develop strategies to reduce hospitalisations and readmission rates.   Rebecca Keiser, head of NSF's Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE), said: “As our global community grows even more interwoven, we are presented with exciting opportunities and new challenges. We know the benefits of global cooperation, and we are proud to have supported some of the breakthroughs those collaborations have inspired. This partnership between the NSF ASSIST ERC, the DfE CCRCB Center, and CURAM SFI Research Centre will work on principles and technologies that are essential to develop revolutionary implantable sensors and monitoring devices to address cardiovascular disease and is an excellent example of the sort of breakthroughs that can come from our trilateral partnership with Science Foundation Ireland and the Department for the Economy.”   Addressing the award, Dr Darragh McArt from QUB, said: “The Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast is delighted to be involved is such a significant programme and connected to key partners in Ireland and in the US. Our abilities to harness cutting-edge technologies to monitor and alleviate diseases is paramount to our ambition to offer new paradigms for precision medicine.” Professor Mark Lawler, Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics, QUB, added: “QUB has invested heavily in infrastructure and people to address the big data challenges in health. This programme will employ an innovative patient-centered data driven approach that will improve cardiovascular health and will also have relevance for other diseases.”   The invention of various cardiac sensors based on i.e. electrocardiograph (ECG) and blood pressure monitoring, offers new opportunities in cardiovascular diseases prevention through long-term monitoring of vital physiological signals. Work is currently aimed at improving these devices with a view to making the electronic–biological interface as seamless as possible, providing continuous monitoring of patients following surgery, revealing signs of surgical recovery or disease progression. This allows doctors to record physiological performance and deliver treatment, should the patient require urgent life-saving medical attention. Critically, bio-monitoring approaches that identify the synergy among electrophysiological, biochemical, and mechanical markers have been proposed by Dr Biggs as disruptive technologies for next generation solutions to cardiovascular disease.   Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “The US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme is a unique, cross-jurisdiction initiative, which fosters excellent scientific discovery. I congratulate Dr Biggs and his collaborators on this award, which highlights the benefit of scientific collaboration between researchers on the island of Ireland and across the Atlantic.”

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Launch of First Descent, a series of pioneering expeditions to scientifically explore and conserve the world’s most at risk ocean, the Indian Ocean Professor Louise Allcock, Head of Zoology in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway has embarked on a ground breaking multidisciplinary scientific research Mission to the Seychelles to investigate the unexplored depths of the Indian Ocean. Professor Allcock is second-in-command with Nekton’s Principle Scientist, Lucy Woodall along with 18 crew members and 33 scientists on board the six-week Mission, which ends on the 17 April. The British-led Nekton ‘First Descent’ Mission began on (Thursday, 7 March). This unique mission will explore the depths of the Indian Ocean, one of the planet’s last great unexplored frontiers where the scientists intend to fully explore the deep seas around the Seychelles. The Mission expects to discover new species, as well as document evidence of climate change and of human-driven pollution. (See footage from the first ever live descent from the deep ocean today 12, March 2019 at: https://nektonmission.org/). Nekton, is an independent, non-profit research institute that works with the University of Oxford to increase scientific understanding of the oceans. It has chartered the Ocean Zephyr, a Danish-flagged supply ship, to explore the waters around the Seychelles, a collection of islands about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) east of the African coast, over a seven-week period. This is the first of a half-dozen regions the Nekton Mission plans to explore before the end of 2022, when scientists will present their research at a summit on the state of the Indian Ocean. Scientists on board the Seychelles Mission will survey underwater life by diving below depths of 30 meters (98 feet) that the tropical sun barely reaches. Using two crewed submarines and a remotely operated submersible they’ll be able to document organisms and habitats up to 500 meters (1,640 feet) deep, while sensors will offer a glimpse of depths of up to 2,000 meters (6,560 feet). At least 50 ‘first descents’ are planned on this expedition where Nekton will be working on behalf of the Seychelles Government and partners. First Descent will contribute to establishing a base line of marine life and the state of the ocean in the Seychelles, which will provide important data for policy decisions on ocean conservation, climate change and fishing. This data will be used to support the Seychelles in the successful implementation of its Marine Spatial Plan in support of a sustainable blue economy. Seychelles has committed to protect 30% of their ocean territory (equivalent of twice the size of the entire UK) by 2020 and is a bellwether for marine conservation in the Indian Ocean. Nekton’s Principle Scientist Lucy Woodall says: “I am delighted to share this opportunity with the Seychelles government and citizens to document unexplored waters to create a baseline for future generations and be a beacon for future marine conservation and management globally.” Professor Louise Allcock, Head of Zoology, Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “It’s very exciting to be deploying so many different pieces of equipment and doing such a thorough survey of the ocean.” Nekton and Associated Press will syndicate daily live newsfeeds, images and live underwater dive footage from the Mission. See @nektonmission, #FirstDescent, https://nektonmission.org/ and https://apnews.com/SeychellesOceanMission and @AP. Sky News and Sky Atlantic will film live documentaries onboard from 14-20 March and daily live coverage from the Mission. See Sky’s ‘Deep Ocean Live: The Mission’ at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7Bb0HdEVLU&feature=youtu.be and @skynews.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Members of the public are invited to participate in a Citizen Science survey, and record their sightings of red squirrels, grey squirrels and pine martens Zoology researchers from the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway have teamed up with Ulster Wildlife and Vincent Wildlife Trust in seeking to determine the latest distribution of red and grey squirrels and the pine marten in Ireland. The group are inviting members of the public to participate in a Citizen Science survey, and record their sightings of the three mammal species during 2019. The results will allow the team to compare the current status of the animals with previous surveys conducted in 1997, 2007 and 2012. Since their introduction in 1911, the grey squirrel has spread throughout a large area of the island of Ireland. The red squirrel, although still quite widespread, has disappeared from many forests as a result of competition and disease spread by the greys. In the most recent survey in 2012, however, there were indications that the grey squirrel had retreated in certain areas, and this has been attributed to the recovery of another native species, the pine marten. The pine marten has made a considerable recovery in Ireland, since it became protected under the Irish Wildlife Act of 1976 and the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985. In the midlands of Ireland and Fermanagh, where pine martin densities are highest, grey squirrels have disappeared. It seems the grey squirrels are not able to cope with this predator, either because they are naïve to the dangers, or are becoming stressed when the pine marten is present. The native red squirrel on the other hand has lived alongside the pine marten for centuries, and although occasionally eaten, they can co-exist quite happily. In fact, with the loss of their competitor the grey squirrel, red squirrel numbers have increased and they have returned to woods where they had previously disappeared.   Dr Colin Lawton from Zoology in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway explains how the public can help: “We are hoping people all over the island of Ireland will take part in this conservation project. We have seen changes in the ranges of the red and grey squirrel and the pine marten in the previous surveys and it is vital that we keep recording their progress. This is a fascinating story where the recovery of one native species, the pine marten, has slowed the progress of an invasive species, the grey squirrel. The red squirrel, another native species, has shown signs of recovery as a result.” Conor McKinney, from Ulster Wildlife, added: “The public are absolutely critical for data collection on this scale and indeed for conservation efforts for red squirrels, pine marten and other species right across the island of Ireland. This is a superb opportunity for people to contribute to exciting new research by uploading their squirrel and pine marten photos and letting us know where they saw the animal, how often they see it and what it was doing.” This survey is being conducted with the support of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.  Members of the public can record their sightings using the 2019 All-Ireland Squirrel and Pine Marten Survey pages hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre in the Republic of Ireland and CEDaR in Northern Ireland.  More information can be found on the survey Facebook and Twitter pages (both @squirrelsurvey) and the online survey can be found at www.biodiversityireland.ie.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Students from the College of Engineering and Informatics and Ryan Institute at NUI Galway will host Ireland’s second annual student-led, Galway Energy Summit 2019, with this year’s event focusing on the themes ‘Changing for our Climate and Can Technology Save Us?’ The summit is the only one of its kind in Ireland and shows that young people are driving this initiative and leading the way for change in Ireland. Companies such as ESB, Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi Electric and Gas Networks Ireland will participate in the event, which takes place on Tuesday, 12 March in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway. Dr Rory Monaghan from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Galway Energy Summit continues to put our students on the map of the Irish energy community. They really are leaders when it comes to engaging academic, industry and the public in this hugely important challenge our society faces. We see student movements springing up all over the world inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg and her School Strike for Climate. To have any hope of not only coping with climate change, but continuing to grow and thrive into the future, we need highly motivated and passionate young people like those behind the Galway Energy Summit.” Panel Discussions and Events ‘Can Technology Save Us?’ – John Byrne, Head of ESB smart meter roll out. ESB plan to roll out a smart meter in every home this year. Ian Kilgallon, Gas Networks Ireland and Russel Vickers, Jaguar Land Rover will discuss the role of electric vehicles and connected autonomous vehicles in our future. Each industry will play a huge role in our future day-to-day lives. The discussion will be moderated by Kate Kerrane, former Energy Society Auditor at NUI Galway. ‘Changing for our Climate’ - Environmental scientist and Newstalk’s ‘Down to Earth’ co-presenter, Dr Cara Augustenburg will discuss the environmental aspects; Dr Mary Greene, NUI Galway will focus on social and community aspects; Tom Short will speak on behalf of the Irish Farmers Association; and researcher, Dr Paul Deane, MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, UCC will speak about the technical aspects and facts of climate change. The discussion be moderated by George Lee, Agricultural and Environment Correspondent for RTÉ News. A keynote speech by Niall O’Hara, ChangeX, hosted by Climate Cocktail Club. ChangeX partners with the world’s top social entrepreneurs to bring countless ways to improve communities. A truly inspiring organisation, their projects include ‘Plastic Free 4 School’ which helps schools avoid single use plastics, reduce waste and maximise recycling, and the ‘GreenPlan’ a new system that uses behavioural change to tackle climate change providing a clear framework outlining practical actions across several themes.   An Innovation, Energy and Careers Fair will provide delegates with the opportunity to speak to industry and organisations. The fair will bring together several energy experts, companies, start-ups, students and academics. Companies include ESB, Gas Networks Ireland, Mitsubishi Electric, and a number of organisations such as An Taisce Climate Ambassadors and Trocaire. Conor Deane, Director and Founder of Galway Energy Summit from NUI Galway, said: “Last year’s event was a huge success as we welcomed over 400 delegates to Galway ranging from students, industry, academics and the general public. The goal this year is to build on that success. This year’s theme ‘Changing for our Climate’ has never been as relevant, especially with the challenges Ireland faces for the future. The day provides a unique opportunity to gain knowledge in the area while networking with companies such as ESB and Mitsubishi. We welcome everyone to the West on the 12 March.” Caoimhe Culhane, a student at the Ryan Institute and Director of Galway Energy Summit: There was no doubt that the topic of climate change would feature heavily in this year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report last October. I hope that this event will encourage people to make changes as we move towards a just energy transition. As an engineering student I realise it is important that a holistic approach is taken to combat climate change which is why I am looking forward to meeting people from many different disciplines and walks of life at Galway Energy Summit.” Galway Energy Summit’s main sponsors are ESB, Gas Networks Ireland, Mitsubishi Electric, MaREI and the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. For full event details and free registration, visit: www.galwayenergysummit.ie. Refreshments will be provided and music from NUI Galway’s Medical Orchestra. Follow on Twitter @GES_2019.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Dr Heidi K. Gardner, Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession, will deliver a masterclass entitled ‘Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos’. Organised by NUI Galway’s MBA Alumni Association, the masterclass will take place on Tuesday, 12 March, at 6pm in the Human Biology Building, NUI Galway.   During the masterclass Dr Gardner will discuss how collaboration is not just a buzzword, but a business necessity. As the commercial, technological, competitive, and regulatory environments become increasingly complex, knowledge workers must collaborate across disciplinary and organisational boundaries to tackle those sophisticated issues. By teaming up to integrate expertise, workers can address problems more effectively and efficiently.  Otherwise, collaboration can be costly, risky, time-consuming, and painful.    During this event, findings from the research and how it applies specifically to attendees will be discussed. The masterclass aims provoke dialogue, raise and answer questions, and generally make the session as interactive as possible.   Martin Hughes MBA Director at NUI Galway said: “The defining feature of future knowledge work will be smart collaboration and we are delighted to welcome the highly acclaimed Heidi Gardner to address Galway Business and Law community.  We see this as a unique opportunity for Galway enterprise to explore the complexity and challenges of understanding and facilitating smart collaboration.”   Dr Gardner is author of the recently-released book Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos. Dr Gardner also serves as a Harvard Lecturer on Law, and Faculty Chair of the school’s Accelerated Leadership Program and Sector Leadership Masterclass executive courses. Previously she was a Professor at Harvard Business School.   Gardner’s research received the Academy of Management’s prize for paper with Outstanding Practical Implications for Management. She has authored or co-authored more than fifty book chapters, case studies, and articles in scholarly and practitioner journals, including several in Harvard Business Review. Her first book, Leadership for Lawyers: Essential Strategies for Law Firm Success was published in 2015. She was recently named by Thinkers 50 as a Next Generation Business Guru.   To register for the event visit https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/de38U95GL4337l.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Professor Mark Ebell, a leading general practitioner and researcher in the US, recently delivered a seminar on cancer screening, organised by the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland, a collaboration between NUI Galway, RCSI and the Irish College of General Practitioners. Entitled ‘The potential benefits and harms of cancer screening – perspectives from the US Preventive Services Task Force’, Professor Ebell spoke about the potential benefits and harms of screening, an overview of how the US decides what cancers should be screened for, compared the national cancer screening recommendations of Ireland and the US and finally reviewed in some detail the key issue of over diagnosis as a harm. Professor Andrew W Murphy, Director of the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland and Established Professor of General Practice at NUI Galway, said: “Professor Ebell’s seminar was a great introduction to leading edge research internationally into ensuring that our cancer screening programs cause more good than harm. He provided practical advice onto how to achieve this. He highlighted that Irish cancer screening recommendations are currently congruent with best international practice – but need to be constantly reviewed.” During the seminar Professor Ebell noted that while there are many kinds of cancer, for only a few is there evidence that the potential benefits of screening outweigh the potential harms. While potential benefits are substantial for a small number of those screened (a death averted), all patients experience some degree of inconvenience, and many are subjected to the harms of biopsies and other follow-up tests. A new kind of harm, increasingly recognised and present with most kinds of cancer screening, is over diagnosis. As our technology has evolved, we are able to detect smaller and smaller lesions that may appear cancerous, actually do not behave like a cancer. About 1 in 5 persons who have a breast or lung cancer detected by screening would have lived a full life with the cancer never causing any symptoms (“overdiagnosis”). Professor Mark Ebell is currently a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia, and Editor-in-Chief of Essential Evidence and Deputy Editor of the journal American Family Physician. He is author of over 350 peer-reviewed articles and is author or editor of seven books, with a focus on evidence-based practice, systematic reviews, medical informatics, and clinical decision-making. Professor Ebell served on the US Preventive Services Task Force from 2012 to 2015, and in 2019 will be a Fulbright Scholar at RCSI in Dublin, Ireland. The seminar can be viewed at https://primarycaretrials.ie/resources/prof-markebell/.