Aoife Blowick from EOS heads up newly launched IAWG

The newly formed Irish Association for Women in Geosciences (IAWG) was officially launched at this year’s IGRM on February 24th in UCC School of BEES.

The launch, sponsored by the GSI, featured invited speaker Clare Morgan (Head of Technical Section, Petroleum Affairs Division, DCCAE) followed by screenings of a series of short videos submitted by geoscientists from across the country talking about why, more than ever, it’s important to encourage women into geoscience and continue to support them throughout their careers in order to retain them in the field. A wine reception held by the IGRM committee and a raffle with prizes sponsored by QMEC Hydrogeological and Geotechnical Consultants, Renewable Energy Systems Ltd. and Adman Civil Projects Ltd. closed the event.

Headed up by EOS post-doctoral researcher Dr Aoife Blowick, the IAWG is the first ever European chapter of the Association for Women Geoscientists ( and aims to encourage, promote and support women across the geoscience community at all levels of their careers, from undergraduates to professionals. Membership to the IAWG is free and open to anyone who supports these goals. Simply sign up here.

The newly formed nationwide initiative aims to (1) breakdown stereotypes by showcasing women across geoscience in various roles, (2) encourage secondary school students into geoscience through face to face interactive workshops, interviews and shadowing events, (3) improve overall career outreach including nationwide career days, and (4) foster professional development by setting-up a free nationwide mentoring programme for geoscientists in Ireland.


Geology Students Are The Happiest on College Campus

A recent national student survey in the UK found that Geology students were happiest with their degree programme. Here’s an interesting piece from Forbes in response:

Professor W. Berry Lyons (visiting Fulbright Scholar) joins EOS

Professor W. Berry Lyons from the School of Earth Sciences and the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, The Ohio State University,USA is a Fulbright Scholar visiting the department from January to July 2018. Berry is a geochemist who has worked on low-temperature, aquatic and environmental geochemical and biogeochemical problems all over the world. He has extensive experience working in the polar regions, particularly the Antarctic. His work at NIUG will include examining the geochemistry of waters draining bogs, especially investigating chemical weathering rates and estimating trace elemental fluxes from small watersheds in Connemara, on projects in collaboration with Prof Croot and Dr Henry, and GSI colleagues.

EOS students win awards at IGRM in Cork

Congratulations to EOS PhD students Bebhinn Anders and Jess Franklin who were award winners at Irish Geological Research Meeting (IGRM) held in UCC in February 2018. Bebhinn’s poster Mixed Signals: Cryptic Provenance of Carboniferous Deltas was awarded joint winner and Jess was runner-up for best presentation for her talk Re-evaluating Triassic sand supply to the Slyne Basin: enigmatic sources revealed through a multi-proxy approach.


Maam Valley Fossil

Dr Eamon Doyle is the geologist for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Geopark ( and he completed his undergraduate and postgraduate work in Geology at UCG (as NUIG used to be called). During his PhD fieldwork he found some really interesting fossils in the Maam Valley. His PhD supervisor, Prof Dave Harper, is now in Durham University and has published a paper on Eamon’s more than 400 million year old fossil:

The value of the Irish Geoscience Sector to the Irish Economy.

A newly published report (November 2017) puts a value of nearly €3.3 billion on the overall economic impact of the Irish geoscience outputs for 2016.  This covers Geotourism & Geoheritage, Groundwater, Extractive Industries, Geoscience Research and Geohazards.  For 2016, more than 15,000 people were directly employed in the sector, with a further 9,600 indirectly employed, giving a total of nearly 25,000.

Recent PhD awards

EOS PhD awards

Dr Sarah Blake and Dr Annette Wilson were awarded their PhDs at a ceremony in NUIG on Tuesday November 22, 2016.

Sarah’s study – funded by SFI and DIAS – focused on better understanding the working of warm springs using geochemical and geophysical techniques. She was supervised by Dr Tiernan Henry

Annette studied the physical dynamics that controls the organic matter transport through submarine canyons at the continental margins.  Annette was an NUIG Hardiman fellowship recipient. She was supervised by Dr Martin White and Dr Robin Raine.

QS World University Rankings

In the recently released QS World University Rankings Earth and Ocean Sciences  has retained its high ranking in the top 200 worldwide, reflecting the quality of teaching and research on offer, and it also reflects the quality of the students and the student experience.   You can read more about these rankings at:


Geology Is Dramatic

Dr Tiernan Henry’s short essay (Geology Is Dramatic) appeared on RTE Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany show on November 20, 2016. The piece focuses on some of the oldest rocks in Ireland. The link to the show is:


Dr David McNamara joins EOS

Dr David McNamara

David McNamara graduated with a BA (Mod) in Natural Sciences from TCD in 2005. From there David went on to complete his PhD at the University of Liverpool in 2009 working to understand the micro-deformation processes of high grade eclogite metamorphic rocks in the Italian Alps. After finishing his PhD, David took a position as a scientist in the Natural Resources Division of the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, New Zealand. There David worked on developing an expertise in geothermal borehole logging and geomechanics which he used to assist government agencies and energy companies develop geothermal resources in New Zealand, the USA, Indonesia, and the Philippines. David’s research in subsurface structural characterisation led to his involvement with the New Zealand Deep Fault Drilling Program, drilling into the Alpine Fault in order to understand the architecture and assess the earthquake risk of this large plate bounding structure. In the last few years David’s geomechanics research has also evolved towards understanding the structural nature of New Zealand’s potential unconventional petroleum resources, as well as the mechanics of slow slip earthquakes along the Hikurangi subduction margin in New Zealand. 

In addition to his research David has also worked to highlight and support the development of Early Career Researchers as a previous Chair of the Wellington Early Career Researchers, the Founding Chair of the Royal Society of New Zealand’s ECR Forum, and as a former member of the Royal Society of New Zealand Council. 

William King Medal 2016

William King Medal recipent 2016

This medal is named after Professor William King, the first Professor of Geology at NUI Galway. He was one of the founders of modern paleontology. The medal may be awarded to a student(s) who demonstrate outstanding performances in their final year B.Sc. (Hons.) in Earth & Ocean Sciences. Such performances will include first class standard on written and practical exams, first class standard in field project work and largely first class in semester projects.

The medal was awarded to Eoghan Daly, EOS  graduate 2016, by Professor Peter Croot, EOS  Head of Discipline following the graduation ceremony on Thursday, 13th October 2016.

Barbara Glynn Medal

Barbara Glynn Medal recipient 2016

The Barbara Glynn Medal for outstanding performance on fieldwork in 3rd year goes to EOS student Sean Daly.
In October 2014 many staff members of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the National University of Ireland Galway have been affected by the sudden loss of a friend and former student Mrs. Barbara Smith (nee Glynn). Barbara carried out her undergraduate as well as postgraduate studies in Galway before starting a career in teaching. EOS decided to honour Barbara’s memory and to establish an undergraduate medal in her name. The Barbara Glynn Medal will be given annually to an outstanding 3rd Year student for fieldwork performance.

Acting HOD Dr Martin White awarded the medal for 2016 to student Sean Daly at a reception in the James Mitchell Geology Museum in November.  Barbara Glynn's husband Andrew Smith and their two children attended this inaugural presentation of the medal.