New Collection on 1916 by NUI Galway Academic

New Collection on 1916 by NUI Galway Academic-image

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

A major new collection on 1916 has been co-edited by Dr Seán Crosson, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media. Towards 2016: 1916 in Irish Literature, Culture & Society reflects the mul­tiple perspectives and events that are associated with 1916 in Ireland and their con­tinuing relevance to Irish literature, culture and society. Towards 2016: 1916 in Irish Literature, Culture & Society, also co-edited by Professor Werner Huber of the University of Vienna, considers a broad range of cultural forms and soci­etal issues, including politics, theatre, traditional music, poetry, James Joyce, greyhound sports, graph­ic novels, contemporary fiction, documentary, the media, language, political represen­ta­tion, and the Irish economy with contributions from both emerging academics and established scholars. Among the contributors is acclaimed film director and novelist Neil Jordan (in an interview conducted by novelist Patrick McCabe), who provides insight to his life and work, including his biopic Michael Collins (1996), a production which includes one of the most memorable renderings of the Rising and its aftermath. NUI Galway’s Professor Alan Ahearne also contributed to the collection and examines if Irish economic sovereignty (a principle concern of the Rising’s leaders) is a thing of the past: “The sentiments underlining the 1916 proclamation con­tinue to resonate in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland today, and the notion of economic sove­reignty has again been prominent in the national dialogue over recent years as politicians and commentators regularly refer to the loss of sovereignty asso­ci­ated with the country’s EU/IMF programme that began in December 2010 and ended in December 2013. However, the idea that Irish policy­makers can have full control of our economy is delusional. For Ireland, the lar­gest chunks of economic sovereignty were willingly ceded when the country joined the EU and especially when it adopted the single currency.” Among the questions considered in the collection are: What were the formative influences on one of leaders of the Rising, James Connolly? What effect had the Rising on Ire­land’s fledgling labour movement? What impact did the Rising have on the Abbey and Irish theatre? What connects 1916, James Joyce, and the Cuban Revolution? What is the relevance of 1916 to Irish traditional music? What place has 1916 in contemporary Irish fiction and poetry? What are the relations between the Rising, sequential art, popular culture, and memory? A century after the 1916 Proclamation spoke of equality between women and men, could Ireland be finally about to realise equal gender distribution in politics? Does ‘Irish sovereignty’, a central concern of the Rising leaders, have any relevance for Ireland in the contemporary globalised and European Union context? Dr Seán Crosson, co-editor and NUI Galway Lecturer, said: “1916 marked an important moment in the development of modern Ireland. The continuing reso­nance of the Rising to contemporary Ireland was evident in the now much quoted edi­torial of The Irish Times in November 2010, the day after it was announced Ireland was to receive a financial bailout from the EU and IMF. ‘Was it for this?’ the editorial asked, ‘the men of 1916 died’, thus also highlighting the gendering of the com­memo­ration of that event.” “However, the Rising was but one of a range of significant events in 1916. Beyond the political sphere, 1916 marked the publication of James Joyce’s first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and also saw the foundation of Ire­land’s first indigenous film production company, The Film Company of Ireland, whose co-founder James Mark Sullivan was arrested after the Rising and charged with complicity. Our collection is cognisant of the variety of perspectives and areas in which 1916 continues to resonate,” continued Dr Crosson. Towards 2016: 1916 in Irish Literature, Culture & Society is published as part of the prestigious peer-reviewed Irish Studies in Europe publication series, produced under the aegis of the European Federations of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS). Previous volumes in the series have featured prominent writers and academics including (the late poet and Nobel Laurette Seamus Heaney, former Ireland Professor of Poetry Harry Clifton, acclaimed poet Rita Ann Higgins and academics Declan Kiberd, Anne Saddlemeyer, and Ruth Barton. -Ends-

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Applications now open for NUI Galway PhD Scholarships

Applications now open for NUI Galway PhD Scholarships -image

Monday, 12 October 2015

Scholarships available in five key research areas Applications are being accepted for fully-funded PhD scholarships at NUI Galway. The Hardiman and Dr Tony Ryan Research Scholarships will support students to undertake four-year Structured PhD programmes, by providing a stipend of €16,000 per annum. The deadline for applications is 20 November, 2015. The scholarships are focused on five key areas of research in which NUI Galway offers world-leading expertise: Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy Biomedical Science and Engineering Environment, Marine and Energy Humanities in Context, including Digital Humanities Informatics, Data Analytics, Physical and Computational Sciences Scholarships will be awarded only to those who will engage full-time in research during the period of the award in NUI Galway. NUI Galway Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr Lucy Byrnes, said: “These scholarships provide opportunities for excellent students to complete a doctoral degree at NUI Galway in our priority research areas. Our structured PhD programmes support the development of innovative individuals who will advance our understanding through their research and make valuable contributions to society.” Applications forms and further information are available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/hardiman-scholarships/ with closing date for applications at 5pm on 20 November. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Celebrate Mental Health Week

NUI Galway Celebrate Mental Health Week-image

Monday, 12 October 2015

NUI Galway held a range of events to mark Mental Health Week, which took place nationally last week. The initiative is to encourage and facilitate students and staff to develop and maintain positive mental health.  The events that took place on campus captured a glimpse of the activities and programmes in NUI Galway which support the development of positive mental health. They included information workshops, resources, practical suggestions and proactive ways to cultivate health and wellbeing which have proven beneficial to others. Throughout the week there was a specific focus on the ‘Little Things Campaign’ which is an initiative of the Health Service Executive to promote mental health. The #littlethings campaign focuses on how simple little things can make a big difference on how we feel, such as keeping active, talking about problems, looking out for others, doing things with others, eating healthily, staying in touch, drinking less alcohol and sleeping well. The events for Mental Health Week were organised by NUI Galway’s Student Services and the Students Union in partnership with a number of external agencies. -Ends-

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Roghanna Úra Do Léann Na Cumarsáide in OÉ Gaillimh

Roghanna Úra Do Léann Na Cumarsáide in OÉ Gaillimh-image

Monday, 12 October 2015

Beidh dhá rogha úra ag mic léinn céim trí Ghaeilge i Léann na Cumarsáide a bhaint in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh ó Mheán Fómhair 2016. Cuirfear céim ainmnithe BA (Cumarsáid & Gaeilge) ar fáil, céim a bhféadfaí a bhaint in imeacht ceithre bliana; nó staidéar a dhéanamh ar Léann na Cumarsáide mar ábhar roghnach sa chéim ghinearálta sna Dána (GY101) in imeacht trí bliana. Céim dhá ábhar a bheidh sa BA (Cumarsáid & Gaeilge) feasta, a chuirfidh le deiseanna fostaíochta chéimithe OÉ Gaillimh i dtionscail na meán agus in earnáil na Gaeilge. Beidh blianta 1, 2, agus 4 den chéim seo ar siúl ar champas na hOllscoile i nGaillimh, agus beidh an tríú bliain (seimeastar Gaeltachta agus taithí oibre sna meáin) lonnaithe in Ionad na hOllscoile ar an gCeathrú Rua i nGaeltacht Chonamara. Beidh an clár á thairiscint ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge i gcomhpháirt le Roinn na Gaeilge san Ollscoil. An dara rogha a bheidh ag mic léinn ná Léann na Cumarsáide a roghnú mar ghnáthábhar sa BA (Dhá Onóracha) san Ollscoil (GY101), agus beidh teacht acu ar chuimse ábhar eile. Ina measc siúd tá Gaeilge, Béarla, Fraincis, Stair, Léann an Aistriúcháin, Iodáilis, Spáinnis, Teicneolaíocht na Faisnéise, Síceolaíocht agus Léann na Socheolaíochta agus na Polaitíochta. Ag brath ar a gcuid torthaí sa chéad bhliain, beidh deis ag na mic léinn a roghnaíonn Léann na Cumarsáide aistriú sa dara bliain go dtí an chéim ainmnithe BA (Cumarsáid & Gaeilge), más maith leo. Den chéad uair beidh cáilíocht aitheanta sa Ghaeilge ag céimithe an chúrsa ainmnithe nua a chuirfidh ar a gcumas dul le múinteoireacht freisin. Cuirfear tús le Seimeastar Gaeltachta a thairiscint do mhic léinn OÉ Gaillimh i Meán Fómhair 2016. Beidh mic léinn an BComm le Gaeilge ag gabháil de chúrsa iomlán lánaimseartha seimeastair ar an gCeathrú Rua agus beidh socrúchán oibre teangabhunaithe acu ina dhiaidh sin in Earrach 2017. Tá sé i gceist go mbeidh suas le 150 mac léinn páirteach sa Seimeastar Gaeltachta in aghaidh na bliana in Ionaid na hOllscoile sa Ghaeltacht faoi 2020. “Forbairt thráthúil é seo ar Léann na Cumarsáide in OÉ Gaillimh, agus cuideoidh meascán den iniúchadh acadúil agus den oiliúint phraiticiúil san iriseoireacht, sa léiriú teilifíse agus raidió, sa chraoltóireacht, sna hilmheáin agus i réimse ábhar eile lenár gcuid mac léinn barrthaitneamh a thabhairt don chúrsa úr," a deir Riarthóir Léann na Cumarsáide, Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill. Dúirt Dónall Ó Braonáin, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge: "Clár acadúil téagartha é seo a chuirfidh sároiliúint ar mhic léinn i Léann na Cumarsáide agus sa Ghaeilge. Beidh scoth na ndeiseanna fostaíochta acu dá bharr agus cuirfidh muid fáilte roimh mhic léinn a bhfuil spéis acu sa chruthaitheacht agus in ardscileanna teanga.”  CRÍOCH New Choices for Media Studies through Irish at NUI Galway NUI Galway has announced two new choices for students wishing to study media through Irish at the University from September 2016. The BA (Cumarsáid & Gaeilge) is a dual-honours programme taught over four years, including work experience in media organisations and a Gaeltacht semester in third year, while students will also have the option of taking Léann na Cumarsáide (Communications Studies) as a choice on the general three-year arts degree. The BA (Cumarsáid & Gaeilge) will enhance graduates’ employment opportunities in the growing media and Irish-language sector. Years 1, 2 and 4 will take place on the main campus in Galway, while third year (work experience in the media and Gaeltacht semester) is based at NUI Galway’s Gaeltacht campus in An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway. It is being offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in conjunction with the University’s Irish Department. Students who opt to take Léann na Cumarsáide as a subject in the dual-honours general arts programme (GY101), will be able to pair this choice with a broad range of other subjects. These include Irish, English, French, History, Léann an Aistriúcháin (translation studies through Irish), Italian, Spanish, Information Technology, Psychology and Sociological & Political Studies. Depending on their first year results, students who take Léann na Cumarsáide as part of the general arts degree will also have the option of switching to the specialised BA (Cumarsáid & Gaeilge) after first year, should they wish. For the first time graduates of this programme will have a recognised qualification in Irish which will enable them to become Irish teachers following postgraduate study. Students at NUI Galway will also have enhanced opportunities to study in the Gaeltacht as part of expanded choices from September 2016. Students on the BComm with Irish will undertake a full-time semester-long course in An Cheathrú Rua, and they will also be given work placements in Irish-language organisations during the following spring. Up to 150 students will be enrolled in various semester programmes at the University’s Gaeltacht campuses by the year 2020. “This is a timely development of media studies through Irish at NUI Galway, and students will enjoy the broad mix of academic study and practical training in journalism, television and radio production, broadcasting, multimedia and other subjects,” according to the course director, Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill. “This is a robust academic programme that will give students a top-class education in media and Irish. It will give them excellent job opportunities, and we welcome students who want to develop their creativity and achieve a high standard of fluency in Irish,” said Head of the Acadamh, Dónall Ó Braonáin. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway SFI Research Team Reveals Epigenetic Contribution to Hybrid Vigour in Plants

NUI Galway SFI Research Team Reveals Epigenetic Contribution  to Hybrid Vigour in Plants-image

Monday, 12 October 2015

SFI-funded study provides new insights to the understanding of hybrid vigour and opens up new approaches for boosting crop yields through harnessing epigenetic effects that are driven by genome dosage increases  Hybrid vigour is an elusive property that has contributed to major yield gains in agriculture for crops and livestock. Offspring of some combinations of parents display hybrid vigour when their characteristics (e.g. height, weight, yield) exceed those of their parents. The Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research team at NUI Galway led by Professor Charles Spillane screened the growth patterns of hundreds of different plant offspring, in collaboration with colleagues in Wageningen University, recently published in plant research journal New Phytologist. Hybrid vigour is also known as heterosis. Both terms were coined in the early 1900s by George Schull (1914) and Donald Jones (1918). Over the past century, multiple theories have been proposed to explain the genetic basis of heterosis. Most such theories are based on an assumption that offspring displaying heterosis have to be genetic hybrids generated from genetically different parents. Professor Spillane’s SFI research team in the Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) at NUI Galway have demonstrated that genetically identical parents can generate genetically identical offspring that display hybrid vigour. This was achieved by generating offspring ‘triploid’ plants that contained three sets of chromosomes by crossing together parents that either had two sets or four sets of chromosomes.  Remarkably, the team discovered that a triploid plant that contained two sets of chromosomes from the father and one from the mother displayed a major boost in plant yields. The lead lab researcher on the SFI project Dr Antoine Fort indicated that, “Our research opens up exciting new variety combinations possibilities, a potential often overlooked in plant breeding, by simply crossing plants of different ploidies (number of copies of the genome) to potentially increase yield and/or biomass.” Professor Spillane said: “Our SFI-funded study provides new insights to the understanding of hybrid vigour and opens up new approaches for boosting crop yields through harnessing epigenetic effects that are driven by genome (chromosome) dosage increases. Our next steps are to work with partners in Ireland and internationally to determine whether our approach can be translated to increase yields in the world’s major crops to help meet the rapidly growing planetary demand for crop biomass derived products (food, feed, fibre, fuel and chemicals).” View New Phytologist on http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.13650/full For further information contact Professor Charles Spillane, Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC), NUI Galway at charles.spillane@nuigalway.ie or visit www.plantagbiosciences.org -Ends-  

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€3.7 Million European Research Project on Disease Causing Effects of Cell Stress Led by ARC/CÚRAM Researcher

€3.7 Million European Research Project on Disease  Causing Effects of Cell Stress Led by ARC/CÚRAM Researcher-image

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Professor Afshin Samali, Director of the Apoptosis Research Centre (ARC) and Investigator with CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, has secured €3.7million to lead a consortium of researchers called the TRAIN-ERS network, on a new project to research endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress). ER stress is an emerging feature in the pathology of numerous diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, metabolic syndromes and inflammatory diseases that affect millions of people worldwide each year and pose an enormous cost to the health sector. The funding award has been made through the Horizon 2020 grant programme, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Networks action. ER stress represents a potential therapeutic intervention point that can be exploited to develop novel new therapies for a wide range of diseases. To date, the development of such therapies has been hampered by the shortage of scientists with interdisciplinary training, who can navigate between academic, industrial and clinical sectors with skills to convert research findings into commercial and clinical applications. The TRAIN-ERS Network will address this by providing 14 early stage researchers (ESRs) with the knowledge and the cutting edge scientific and technical skills that will drive our understanding and exploitation of the ER stress response for therapeutic purposes. The programme will utilize the unique skill sets, infrastructure and expertise of consortium partners to gain a global, mechanistic and quantitative understanding of the ER stress response, establish the contribution of the ER stress response to disease development and progression, and exploit the potential of targeting the ER stress response as a therapeutic strategy for diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration and inflammation. “Our project will bring young researchers together with world-leading academics, clinicians and industry personnel who are united in their goal of forming a network of excellence aimed at understanding the ER stress response, and applying this understanding to identify and validate the most suitable intervention points for the treatment of ER stress-associated diseases”, explains Professor Afshin Samali. This will provide the ESRs with a unique training experience and equip them with a toolbox of transferable skills that will significantly benefit them in their future careers and which will facilitate Europe’s 2020 ‘Innovation Union’ flagship initiative by producing researchers with the skills to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services. Speaking about the award, Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM said: “This is one of a number of current projects funded under this programme that are being carried out by CÚRAM researchers. CÚRAMs key strength lies in our ability to create unique, synergistic networks across academic, industry and clinical institutions. Because of this, our research and output capabilities in the medical device sector span a much wider spectrum than ever before. The TRAIN-ERs Network consortium will further expand the possibilities for conceptualization, discovery, development and clinical translation of novel, ‘smart’ solutions to bring about a better future for sufferers of chronic illnesses.” ARC, a well-established research centre focusing research on aspects of cellular stress and cell death and its relevance to human disease, works closely with CÚRAM, the National Centre for Research in Medical Devices which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Industry partners. Its goal is to radically improve health outcomes for patients with chronic and degenerative disease through the development of ‘smart’ implantable medical devices. The TRAIN-ERS network research consortium, led by Professor Samali includes academic groups from Austria, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, France and the UK. Industry partners of the programme include Randox Teoranta and Optimata. -Ends-

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Irish Delegation Meet Al Gore at Climate Change Training in USA

Irish Delegation Meet Al Gore at Climate Change Training in USA-image

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Nine Irish environmental communicators recently met former U.S. Vice President Al Gore as part of his global movement to increase climate change awareness and action. The Irish delegation joined more than 1,200 other Climate Leaders from 85 countries in Miami, Florida to receive training on how to communicate the climate crisis and solutions to the public. Mr. Gore agreed to a brief private meeting with the Irish delegation where they discussed the challenges of climate communication in Ireland. Among the group was Elizabeth O’Reilly, a Research Assistant for the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) at NUI Galway: “It was a privilege to meet the former Vice President and I hope I can do his message justice. It is one I believe in and hope I can highlight to an Irish and Galway audience.”   Irish film maker, Raja Nundlall, participated in the Climate Leader training and documented the trip as part of a film project. Raja explained; “It was an honour to come to Miami to participate in the Climate Reality initiative and meet the former Vice President, Academy award winner, and Nobel Peace prize recipient. His film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, was the first movie that explained climate change in a way I could relate to.”   The delegation was joined by Ireland’s first Climate Leader, Dr Cara Augustenborg, who participated as a mentor with the Climate Reality team. Cara became a Climate Leader in 2013 and has since given over 25 public climate talks to more than 1,500 people in Ireland.   Upon reflecting on meeting Al Gore, Cara explained: “I was amazed at Mr. Gore’s generosity in agreeing to meet the Irish delegation in the midst of his busy schedule. With the United Nation’s climate negotiations only nine weeks away, now is a critical time to improve public understanding of climate impacts and solutions. That urgency for climate action was reflected in the amount of attention Mr. Gore gave these new Climate Leaders. It was a thrill to watch the Irish delegation develop into effective climate communicators over the course of the training.” To date, Al Gore has trained more than 9,000 people to become Climate Leaders and over 19,000 climate presentations have been delivered as a result. In return for receiving the Climate Reality training, Climate Leaders agree to give at least ten climate talks in their local communities based on Al Gore’s own climate presentation, which featured in his Oscar-winning documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.   The new Climate Leaders are now available to give presentations based on Al Gore’s own climate presentation. The talks are expected to be particularly well received in the lead up to the United Nation’s climate negotiations in Paris this December. Irish Climate Leaders can be contacted through their new website, www.ClimateTalkIreland.com.   The Irish delegation was sponsored in part by the Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency and through their own personal fundraising efforts. -Ends-

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Compact Imaging and NUI Galway Announce Second Extension of Innovative Research Collaboration

Compact Imaging and NUI Galway Announce Second Extension of Innovative Research Collaboration-image

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Silicon Valley Startup Compact Imaging and NUI Galway’s TOMI Lab Successfully Co-Developing Miniature, Low-Cost Optical Sensor Technology Compact Imaging, Inc. and NUI Galway today (14 October, 2015) jointly announced the second extension of their innovative research collaboration in MRO™ (Multiple Reference OCT), Compact Imaging’s miniature low-cost optical sensor technology. Multiple Reference OCT brings the powerful non-invasive imaging and biometry capabilities of optical coherence tomography (OCT) to high volume non-clinical applications, such as mobile health monitoring, identity verification and non-destructive testing (NDT). The original collaboration agreement was signed in 2012 and first extended in 2014. The new extension between both organisations runs through to 2017. “Compact Imaging’s MRO technology is highly disruptive, offering greater than 100 times reduction in size and cost compared to conventional OCT systems,” said Don Bogue, CEO of Compact Imaging. “Ultimately, MRO photonic modules will be consistent in size, cost and operating power with integration into mobile monitoring devices.” Compact Imaging’s multiple reference OCT, or MRO, technology addresses the size, cost, complexity and operating power limitations of conventional clinic-scale OCT systems. Conventional OCT was first commercialised in the early 2000’s and its noninvasive, non-ionizing imaging capabilities have revolutionized diagnostic imaging in clinical and research settings. MRO, by contrast, is designed for use in high volume mobile monitoring applications. The Company’s IP centres on its MRO system. Professor Martin Leahy, Chair of Applied Physics at NUI Galway and Director of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) Laboratory, will continue to direct the collaboration’s research efforts in Galway. Professor Leahy said: “This further substantial cash investment is a very welcome endorsement of our work by the board of Compact Imaging and its investors. The collaboration has been very successful because both sides understand the need to align our interests. Our interest in providing substantial research topics for our PhD students and publishing our results has always been wholeheartedly supported by Compact Imaging, not least through their rapid assessment and protection of generated intellectual property. In turn, together we have been able to deliver substantial advances of the technology and its applications which are clearly valued by Compact Imaging.” The research collaboration combines NUI Galway’s globally-recognised expertise in OCT and other advanced biological imaging techniques with Compact Imaging’s engineering development and intellectual property in OCT and MRO. Compact Imaging and NUI Galway researchers have been working together since 2012, leading to the successful demonstration of several new MRO applications, creation of significant IP and publication of numerous research papers. The original two-year research collaboration successfully demonstrated the application of MRO technology in areas such as creating subdermal fingerprint images and production testing of industrial materials. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Leads Research into Marine Virus Interactions with Phytoplankton and Climate Change

NUI Galway Leads Research into Marine Virus Interactions with Phytoplankton and Climate Change-image

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Irish and Italian scientists reveal new link between oceanic plankton, viruses, clouds and climate, published today in Scientific Reports An international team of researchers led by Professor Colin O’Dowd from NUI Galway’s School of Physics and Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies have found that the release of plankton-produced organic matter, which leads to a global-cooling effect that could partially off-set the warming caused by greenhouse gases, is triggered by marine virus attack. The results were published today (14 October, 2015) in leading journal Scientific Reports. Plankton plays an important role in the global carbon budget and biogeochemical cycling of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), the dominant greenhouse gas. The ocean contains 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere, and at least half of the oxygen we breathe comes from the photosynthesis of marine plants such as plankton. Currently, 48% of the carbon emitted to the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning is sequestered into the ocean. However, the future fate of this important carbon sink is quite uncertain because of potential climate change impacts on ocean circulation, biogeochemical cycling, and ecosystem dynamics, the latter often determined by marine viruses. Recent research has suggested a trophic predator-prey dance between phytoplankton, viruses and climate change as the growth of plankton blooms not only responds to temperature change but also acts as a Carbon Dioxide sink, ultimately leading to a reduction in global warming. This new study, led by NUI Galway, finds that the demise of the plankton blooms, or the bloom’s death disco, also has the potential to counteract global warming through the release of organic matter which becomes concentrated at the ocean surface and enters into sea-spray produced by bursting bubbles. This spray forms haze and cloud layers that block out some of the sun’s heat, leading to a cooling effect. This cooling effect partially off-sets the warming caused by greenhouse gases. The organic matter enriched in the sea-spray effectively increases the cooling effect of the spray’s haze and cloud layers, but, to date, it has proven elusive to find the underlying reasons for the production of organic matter from the blooming plankton. The team of Irish and Italian scientists found that the release of the organic matter is triggered by an attack from marine viruses, the most abundant biological particles in the world, leading to the demise of the bloom. And in doing so, releasing massive amounts of organic matter much more so than if the bloom was to die more naturally, leading to more abundant haze and cloud layers. The team was led by Professor Colin O’Dowd from NUI Galway’s School of Physics and Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, and included Dr Dagmar Stengel from Botany and Plant Science at the School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway. The Italian contributions were led by Dr Maria Cristina Facchini, Institute for Studies of Atmosphere and Climate and Professor Roberto Danovaro, University of Marche. Professor O’Dowd said: “This represents a major breakthrough in our understanding of the coupling between the climate system and the marine biosphere. The breakthrough could only have been achieved through the collaboration within a multi-disciplinary team comprising world-leaders in atmospheric physics, atmospheric chemistry, ocean chemistry and ocean biology, utilising state-of-the-art technology to quantify aerosol particles and viruses on the nano-scale, to Earth Observation satellites on the global scale.” To view Scientific Reports paper visit: www.nature.com/articles/srep14883  -Ends-

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NUI Galway Honour Leaving Certificate Excellence

NUI Galway Honour Leaving Certificate Excellence-image

Friday, 16 October 2015

NUI Galway recently celebrated the success of a select group of first-year students with a special ceremony on Thursday, 15 October, in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate Examination. As part of the University's annual Excellence Scholarships, 61 students received €1,500 each. Each year the Excellence Scholarships are given to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. For Medical students 10 Scholarships were awarded certificates, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). The Excellence Scholarships are designed to recognise and reward Leaving Cert success for the highest-achieving students, and encourage their ongoing commitment to academic excellence during their time at NUI Galway. The awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's Postgraduate Scholarships, Mature Student Scholarships, Sports Scholarship Scheme and schemes specific to individual colleges for those who excel in their University exams. Speaking in advance of the Awards presentation, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, said: “I am delighted to present the scholarships to these 60 outstanding individuals in recognition of their academic talent. NUI Galway constantly strives to support and promote academic excellence across all disciplines. The purpose of these Awards is to encourage each student to develop his/her academic potential to the fullest, by setting a realistic threshold of excellence and rewarding every student who attains that level. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and teachers for their important contribution to such success.” This year Excellence Scholarships were awarded to students from 40 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 13 counties including Clare, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Limerick, Longford, Mayo, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary, and Wicklow. -Ends- Ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh ar Scothmhic Léinn a rinne Éacht san Ardteistiméireacht Rinneadh ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh le gairid ar ghrúpa ar leith mac léinn chéad bhliana ag searmanas speisialta Déardaoin, an 15 Deireadh Fómhair, mar aitheantas ar na pointí arda a ghnóthaigh siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Mar chuid de shearmanas bliantúil na hOllscoile le Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin a bhronnadh, bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar fiú €1,500 an ceann iad mar aon le scrolla speisialta ar 61 mac léinn. Bronntar na Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin gach bliain ar mhic léinn atá díreach tosaithe ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh agus a fuair 560 pointe, ar a laghad, i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta, seachas mic léinn leighis. Sa Leigheas, bronntar deich Scoláireacht bunaithe ar thorthaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus na Tástála Iontrála nua (H-PAT Ireland) araon. Tá na Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin ann chun luach saothair a thabhairt do na daltaí is fearr a n-éiríonn leo san Ardteistiméireacht, agus chun a dtiomantas leanúnach i sárchaighdeán acadúil a spreagadh le linn a dtréimhse in OÉ Gaillimh. D’fhéadfaí go mbeadh scoláireachtaí nó deontais eile ag an té a fhaigheann na scoláireachtaí seo, Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime na hOllscoile, Scoláireachtaí do Mhic Léinn Lánfhásta, Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na hOllscoile agus scéimeanna a bhaineann go sonrach le coláistí agus iad siúd a n-éiríonn thar barr leo sna scrúduithe Ollscoile san áireamh. Ag labhairt dó roimh bhronnadh na ngradam, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is cúis áthais dom na scoláireachtaí seo a bhronnadh ar an 60 duine den scoth seo mar aitheantas ar a gcumas acadúil. Déanann OÉ Gaillimh iarracht i gcónaí tacú le sárchaighdeán acadúil i ngach uile dhisciplín agus é a spreagadh. Tá na Gradaim seo ann le gach mac léinn a spreagadh le lántairbhe a bhaint as a gcumas mar mhic léinn, trí thairseach réalaíoch sárchaighdeáin a leagan amach agus luach saothair a thabhairt do gach mac léinn a bhaineann an leibhéal sin amach. Deis atá ann freisin le haitheantas a thabhairt don tsárobair atá déanta ag a dtuismitheoirí agus ag a múinteoirí.” I mbliana bronnadh na Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin ar scoláirí ó 40 scoil ar fud na hÉireann. Bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar mhic léinn as na 13 chontae seo a leanas – an Clár, Dún  na nGall, Gaillimh, Ciarraí, Cill Dara, Cill Chainnigh, Maigh Eo, Luimneach, Tiobraid Árann, Ros Comáin, Longfort, Uíbh Fhailí, agus Cill Mhantáin. -Críoch-

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