Participate In Climathon Galway 2017!

(All are welcome!)

Free 1 day event Friday 27th October

Galway city needs your problem solving skills!

Date/Time: 09:00 - 14.00 Oct 27th 2017
Location: The Cube, Aras na Mac Leinn, NUI Galway

Hosted by @RyanInsttute

Galway joins 110 cites globally on climate change challenge

Join a Climathon team to identfy innovaTons & solutons to meet the climate change challenges faced by Galway city & its citzens


Ryan Institute – Invited Seminar 2017

(All are welcome!)

Knowing the Unknown Unknown:
Ecosystem Research in a Changing World


Prof. Steven McNulty
USDA Regional Climate Hub,
North Caroline State University

Date/Time: 11.00 - 12.00 Tuesday Sept 12th 2017
Location: Orbsen Seminar Room 214, NUI Galway

Abstract: There are things we know, and things we do not know. Then there are things we do not know we do not know and those are the most worrisome. Non-antecedent events are by definition unprecedented in recorded history, and therefore unknown. If such events have never previously occurred, how can the impact of such events become known? This is possibly the most challenging question in ecosystem research. Although the study of the unobservable is impossible, the extrapolation of observed phenomena beyond the observed is common practice (e.g., atmospheric CO2 impact studies). Therefore, knowledge of ecosystem response to current extremes can provide guidance as to ecosystem response to events beyond the observed. Once a unknown unknown, becomes just an unknown, conventional methods of ecosystem study can be applied. This lecture will explore the process for identifying the potential for non-antecedent ecosystem events and methods making such event impacts known using an ecosystem case study.

Biography: Steven McNulty is the Director of the USDA Southeast Regional Climate Hub, and a USDA Professor of Natural Resource Management on the campus of North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has a Ph.D. In Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire. Steve has authored over 200 papers on environmental stress impacts on ecosystems, and on improving adaptive management options for forests, agriculture, and rangelands. He has led or contributed to many national and international assessments of climate change and variability impacts on ecosystems. Steve has served as a US Congressional Fellow and is the recipient of US Forest Service Distinguished Scientist Award among other awards and recognitions of accomplishment. He is currently on a one-year sabbatical, and (as a short-term visiting scientist in the Ryan Institute) is interested in establishing collaborative research with Ryan Institute Principal Investigators.

Ryan Institute Host: Prof. Charles Spillane. Steven McNulty will be a visiting scientist in the Ryan Institute between the 8th -14th Sept 2017. Any members of the Ryan Institute interested in scheduling a meeting with Prof. McNulty should contact and to arrange.


Spring Lunchtime Series 2017



European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy What is ENERGISE?

ENERGISE is an innovative pan-European research initiative to achieve a greater scientific understanding of the social and cultural influences on energy consumption. Funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme for three years (2016-2019), ENERGISE develops, tests and assesses options for a bottom-up transformation of energy use in households and communities across Europe. What is the issue?

Scientific research and public policy in the field of energy consumption has primarily focused on drivers towards greater carbon efficiency. However, such an approach does not consider the long-term success of such measures within existing energy cultures where short-term efficiency gains may be wiped out by increasing overall consumption over time.

ENERGISE recognises that cultural change is a key ingredient in successful energy transitions. Individual energy consumption is a function of who we are, where we come from, and the socio-cultural and material contexts in which we live. Societal norms and routines with regard to work, education, family life, consumption and recreation greatly determine our patterns of energy use as well as our ability and/or willingness to change those patterns. Without a comprehensive understanding of these energy cultures, public policy measures to reduce energy consumption at the individual or household levels are likely to fail.

Research Strategy – A Living Labs Approach

ENERGISE adopts a Living Labs approach to directly observe existing energy cultures in a real-world setting and to test both household and community-level initiatives to reduce energy consumption. A comprehensive review and classification of household and community energy initiatives from 30 European countries provides the foundation for the development of two prototype ‘ENERGISE Living Labs’ designed to capture influences on individual and collective energy consumption. Data collection before, during and after the roll-out of 16 living labs to eight partner countries will be instrumental in contributing to the design and assessment of future energy consumption initiatives across Europe.

Summary of Objectives

ENERGISE’s primary objectives are to:

  1. Move beyond existing sustainable consumption research by developing an innovative theoretical framework that fuses social practice and energy cultures approaches,
  2. Assess and compare the impact of European energy consumption reduction initiatives,
  3. Advance the use of Living Lab approaches for researching and transforming energy cultures,
  4. Produce new research-led insights into the role of routines and ruptures in shifting energy use towards greater sustainability,
  5. Enhance multi-way engagement with actors from society, politics and industry and effectively transfer ENERGISE’s outputs to further the implementation of the European Energy Union.

Project Partners

The ENERGISE consortium includes seven partner universities as well as research institutes, enterprises and NGOs from Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The project is further supported by agencies such as Energy Cities, SCORAI Europe, the Hungarian Business Council for Sustainable Development, Community Energy England, E.ON Hungary and the Sustainable Energy Agency in Ireland.

Contact and further information:

  • GreenDependent Institute, Hungary // Edina Vadovics,

ENERGISE Coordinator:

  • National University of Ireland, Galway // Frances Fahy,
  • Aalborg University, Denmark // Charlotte Louise Jensen,
  • Applied Research and Communication Fund, Bulgaria // Zoya Damianova,
  • Focus Association for Sustainable Development, Slovenia // Tomislav Tkalec,
  • Kingston University, London // Audley Genus,
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich // Henrike Rau,
  • Maastricht University, The Netherlands // Julia Backhaus,
  • University of Helsinki, Consumer Society Research Centre // Eva Heiskanen,
  • University of Lausanne, Switzerland // Marlyne Sahakian,
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727642. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

New generation of Intelligent Efficient District Cooling Systems

INDIGO is a Horizon 2020 EU-funded project carried out by 6 partners from across Europe that aims to develop a more efficient, intelligent and economical generation of District Cooling (DC) systems by improving the existing system planning, control and management tools. This will be achieved through two specific objectives:

    • The first one is to widen the use of DC systems and motivate the competitiveness of European DC market by the development of two open-source tools: 1) a planning tool for DC systems with the aim of supporting their optimal design; and 2) a modelling library with thermo-fluid dynamic models of DC System components which will provide the designers detailed information about their physical behaviour.
    • The second objective is to reduce primary energy consumption. This will be addressed by a ground breaking DC system management strategy focused mainly on energy efficiency maximization and on energy cost minimization.

The main characteristic of this strategy is a predictive management capability. However, it will also address other challenges, such as the integration of different types of Energy Sources (including Renewables) and suitable coupling between generation, storage and demand. Intelligent and innovative component controllers (Predictive Controllers) will also be developed at all DC system levels. Some of them include embedded self-learning algorithms, allowing components to respond properly to the established set-points. In addition, open source tools and guidelines will be developed within the project in order to provide more confidence and, consequently, more openness when developing and using DC systems.

INDIGO developments will be validated in a real District Heating and Cooling installation with appropriate conditions for testing the new functionalities.

The project, coordinated by the Spanish institution VEOLIA, started in March 2016 and will last three and a half years.


Ryan Institute Research & Open Day 2016

Download Flyer (571k)


Seabed Habitats Short Documentary


The Royal Meteorological Society presents the Mason Gold Medal to Professor Colin O’Dowd of NUI Galway

08 July 2016

The Royal Meteorological Society is delighted to announce that Professor Colin O’Dowd has been awarded the Mason Gold Medal 2015.

Throughout Colin’s career, he has provided international leadership in the field of atmospheric aerosol particles. His work has focused on making detailed and careful observations of particles, particularly in the marine atmosphere, and providing novel insight into the advancement of our knowledge of many key processes.

Of Colin’s many important contributions, he is probably best known for establishing a physical basis for the formation of new particles in the marine atmosphere, first observed by John Aitken in 1898. Colin has also played a leading role in the establishment of the role of organic matter in new particles formation over terrestrial forests. These findings of new particle formation have provided a firm basis for explaining the re-population of small particles in the atmosphere and the role they subsequently play in cloud formation. He has made many contributions to the production of sea spray aerosol into the atmosphere and has shown that small sea spray particles are not composed solely of salts but are greatly enriched in organic matter resulting from natural biological detritus on the sea surface. These advances have greatly improved our understanding of the role aerosols play in the atmospheric system.

In addition to his many major scientific contributions, Colin has been responsible for developing the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station on the west coast of Ireland into one of the best equipped and scientifically important WMO Global Atmospheric Watch stations in the world. He has given considerable service to the international community through his editorship of Journal of Geophysical Research and his leadership on numerous international committees and organisations, including on the executive committee of IAMAS and as a member of the International Scientific Steering Committee of the IGBP-WCRP Joint Initiative Aerosols-Cloud-Precipitation-Climate. In 2013 he was awarded the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Environment and Geosciences.

The Mason Gold Medal is awarded to a Fellow of the Society for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the fundamental processes that determine the variability and predictability of weather and climate.


Our Ocean Wealth Conference 2016

Anneke Ten Doeschate (PhD student, AirSea Research Group, NUIG), Leonie Esters (PhD student, AirSea Research Group, NUIG), Minister Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, & Local Government, Dr Martina Prendergast, Strategic Development Manager Ryan Institute.

Dr Sean McCarthy (Postdoctoral Fellow in bioadhesives, Ryan Institute ) Dr. Martina Prendergast, Strategic Development Manager Ryan Institute. Minister Simon Coveney, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, & Local Government looking at aquarium with barnacles


Irish Farmers Journal - Early Nutrition Benefit of Wolf Trax Treatment

"Having essential micro nutrients available in the seedbed helps prevent trace element yield potential, writes tillage editor" by Andy Doyle

Download full article.


Visit from U.S ambassador

August 20, 2015

At the start of June this year the US ambassador visited NUI Galway. The people from the Ryan Institute gave him a tour. Below is photos of him meeting Dr. Colin Brown and Dr. Liam Morrison.


The Ecoscience Writers In Schools Project

August 20, 2015

The Ecoscience Writers in Schools Project: Where 29 children’s books, written and illustrated by this year’s sixth class students of Galway Educate Together N.S., will reach global audiences through the EcoScience Writers in Schools project.


IEOS 2015 Symposium

July 21, 2015

October 21st/October 22nd

The 9th national symposium for earth observation and remote sensing, will be hosted by the Ryan Institute at the National University of Ireland Galway.


IEOS 2015 will take place over a day and a half, on Wednesday (full day) and Thursday (half-day). The symposium will showcase several sessions of oral presentations, as well as workshops and poster sessions. Posters will be displayed in university’s Art Gallery, also located in the Quadrangle Building.


The symposium will be held in the Aula Maxima, in the Quadrangle Building. The Quadrangle first opened its doors to 63 students on 30th October 1849 and the University in Galway, then known as Queen’s College was born. Built in local limestone in a Tudor Gothic architectural style, the ‘Quad’ is modelled on Christ Church at the University of Oxford.


First call for abstracts – closing date 5pm, Friday September 11th 2015

Abstracts (maximum 300 words) can be submitted as a word document or PDF to the conference organising committee at

Presentation format – oral/poster

Please indicate whether you wish to be considered for an oral or poster submission, and include your full contact details. Postgraduate students are particularly encouraged to attend, and there will be prizes for the best oral and poster presentations from postgraduate students.

Getting here

The GIS Centre Training Suite is located in Room 104 in the Orbsen Building (ground floor).


NUI Galway is a 15 minute walk from Galway City centre. There are several hotels located in the city centre, including Jurys Inn, House Hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel, Harbour Hotel, Hotel Meyrick, Park House Hotel, Imperial Hotel.

NUI Galway is a 30 minute walk, or 10 minute drive by car from Salthill. There are several hotels located near Salthill, including the Salthill Hotel, Galway Bay Hotel, and Ardiluan Hotel.

There are numerous good B&Bs and guesthouses in throughout Galway City.

Further Event Information

IEOS 2015 will take place concurrent to the conferring of degrees at NUI Galway in October 2015. Symposium attendees are advised that parking on campus may be restricted. Use of the Park & Ride Dangan Carpark facility is recommended.

Dangan Park & Ride Map

Ryan Institute

The Ryan Institute is the National University of Ireland, Galway’s hub for Environmental, Marine and Energy research. The Ryan Institute is based on the NUI Galway Campus in the Orbsen Building and the Martin Ryan Building, and in four off-campus facilities: the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station, the Carna Aquaculture Research Facility, the Carron Field Research Station, and Finavarra Field Research Station. These facilities provide an essential platform for effective terrestrial, marine, and atmospheric studies.


Seminar: Agriculture & Environment – 14th May 2015


Ryan Institute Travel Support Scheme Launched

February 11, 2015

The Ryan Institute Travel Support Scheme has been launched. It is intended to facilitate the participation of Ryan Institute researchers in attending and participating in international conferences, workshops, summer schools or research visits to laboratories.


NEW! Ryan Institute Radio

December 19, 2014

Check out the Ryan Institute’s iTunes channel!

Here you can listen to Podcast Series 1, where 12 of our researchers from a broad range of research areas talk to Dr. Sarah Knight and Dr. Martina Prendergast.

Audio recordings of seminars too including:

Prof. Andrew Cooper, Professor of Coastal Studies at the University of Ulster and co?founder of the Centre for Coastal and Marine Research and Centre, “Human Response to Coastal Climate Change”

Professor Kim Juniper, Professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria in Canada, “From Sensors to Decision”.

Subscribe to the channel and receive updates as new seminars are added!


December 7th: Trash Gnash Monster and Video Game to be Unveiled at Galway Atlantaquaria

December 5, 2014


SeaScience @ Galway City Museum is OPEN!

September 25, 2014

SeaScience is the result of a collaboration between the Galway City Museum and researchers with the Ryan Institute. Located on the second floor of the Galway City Museum, SeaScience is a space that invites you to learn and discover a little bit more about everyday marine topics & issues, and how Ryan Institute research fits into these.

Oct 13th: Finalists Present Innovations in Environmental, Marine & Energy Research

September 23, 2014