Researchers at UCD


Thomas Bolger

Full Professor of Zoology

School Of Biology & Environment Science
Science Centre
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7162330


Professor Thomas Bolger is a Science graduate from University College Dublin. Having completed a Higher Diploma in Education he gained a Ph. D. in Agricultural Zoology and later studied computer modelling. He  has been a member of staff at UCD since 1981. His primary research interests are in the effects of global change on terrestrial biodiversity and nutrient dynamics in soil systems. He has been involved with EU projects in these areas since 1988 and, in 1997, he was a Fulbright Scholar, at the Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, examining the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function. He also has a particular interest in experimental design and statistical models and has published in these areas. He is a Subject Editor for Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Associate Editor of Insect Conservation and Diversity and a member of the editorial board of four other journals.


Honours and Awards

Year: 1997.
Title: Fulbright Scholar
Year: 1992.
Title: Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society

Other Activities

Subject Editor, Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Associate Editor - Insect Conservation & Diversity
Chairman of Board of Directors and Sectional Editor of Irish Naturalists' Journal plc.
Member of Editorial Board of Biology and Environment, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy Series B
Member of Editorial Board of Fragmenta Faunistica



Book Chapters

Schmidt O., Bolger T., Creamer R., Brennan F., Dobson A.D.W. (2018) 'The Living Soil: Biodiversity and Functions' In: Creamer R., O'Sullivan L (eds). The Soils of Ireland. World Soils Book Series. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. , pp.257-265 [DOI] [Details]
Boland, R. and Bolger, T, (2014) 'What Ireland's soil macroinvertebrate fauna can tell us about postglacial colonisation?' In: Sleeman, D.P., Carlsson, J. and Carlsson, J.E.L (eds). Mind the Gap II: new insights into the Irish postglacial. Belfast: Irish Naturalists' Journal. , pp.100-106 [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Seniczak, A., Seniczak, S., Kaczmarek. S. and Bolger, T (2018) 'Morphological ontogeny of Chamobates pusillus (Acari, Oribatida, Chamobatidae), with comments on some species of Chamobates Hull'. Systematic and Applied Acarology, 23 (2):339-352. [DOI] [Details]
Dirilgen, T., Juceviča, E., Melecis, V., Querner, P. and Bolger, T. (2018) 'Analysis of spatial patterns informs community assembly and sampling requirements for Collembola in forest soils'. ACTA OECOLOGICA-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, 86 (1):23-30. [DOI] [Details]
Koivula, M,. J. Chamberlain, D. E., Fuller, R. J., Palmer, S.C.F, Bankovics, A., Bracken, F., Bolger, T., de Juana, E., Montadert, M., Neves, R., Rufino, R., Sallent, A., Lopes da Silva, L., Leitão, P. J., Steffen, M. and Watt, A.D. (2017) 'Breeding bird species diversity across gradients of land use from forest to agriculture in Europe'. Ecography, . [DOI] [Details]
Arroyo, J., O¿Connell, T. and Bolger, T. (2017) 'Oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) recorded from Ireland: Catalogue, historical records, species habitats and geographical distribution, combinations, variations and synonyms'. Zootaxa, 4328 (1):1-174. [Details]
Dirilgen, T. , Arroyo, J. Dimmers, W. J., Faber, J., Stone, D., Martins da Silva, P., Cavalho, F., Schmelz, R., Griffiths, B.S, Francisco, R., Creamer, R.E., Sousa, J.-P. and Bolger,T. (2016) 'Mite community composition across a European transect and its relationships to variation in other components of soil biodiversity'. Applied Soil Ecology, 97 :86-97. [DOI] [Details]
Griffiths BS, Römbke J, Schmelz RM, Scheffczyk A, Faber JH, Bloem J, Pérès P, Cluzeau D, Chabbi A, Suhadolc M, Sousa JP, Martins da Silva P, Carvalho F, Mendes S, Morais P, Francisco R, Pereira C, Bonkowski M, Geisen S, Bardgett RD, de Vries FT, Bolger T, Dirilgen T, Schmidt O, Winding A, Hendriksen NB, Johansen A, Philippot L, Plassart P, Bru D, Thomson B, Griffiths RI, Bailey MJ, Keith A, Rutgers M, Mulder C, Hannula SE, Creamer R, Stone D (2016) 'Selecting cost effective and policy-relevant biological indicators for European monitoring of soil biodiversity and ecosystem function'. Ecological Indicators, 69 :213-223. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Andriuzzi WS, Schmidt O, Brussaard L, Faber JH, Bolger T (2016) 'Earthworm functional traits and interspecific interactions affect plant nitrogen acquisition and primary production'. Applied Soil Ecology, 104 :148-156. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Andriuzzi, W.S., Ngo, P-T., Geisen, S., Keith, A.M., Dumack, K., Bolger, T., Bonkowski, M., Brussaard, L., Faber, J.H., Chabbi, A., Rumpel, C. and Schmidt, O. (2016) 'Organic matter composition and the protist and nematode communities around anecic earthworm burrows'. Biology and Fertility of Soils, 52 (1):91-100. [DOI] [Details]
Creamer, R.E., Hannula, S.E., van Leeuwen, J.P., Stone, D., Rutgers, M., Schmelz, R.M., de Ruiter, P.C., Bohse Hendriksen, N., Bolger, T., Bouffaud, M.L.1, Buee, M.1, Carvalho, F.1, Costa, D., Dirilgen, T., Francisco, R., Griffiths, B.S., Griffiths, R., Martin, F., Martins da Silva, P., Mendes, S., Morais, P.V., Pereira, C., Philippot, L., Plassart, P., Redecker, D., Römbke, J., Sousa, J.P., Wouterse, M., and Lemanceau, P. (2016) 'Ecological network analysis reveals the inter-connection between soil biodiversity and ecosystem function as affected by land use across Europe'. Applied Soil Ecology, 97 :112-124. [DOI] [Details]
Martins da Silva, P., Carvalho, F., Dirilgen, T.,Stone, D., Creamer, R.,Bolger, T and Sousa, J. P. (2016) 'Traits of collembolan life-form indicate land use types and soil properties across an European transect'. Applied Soil Ecology, 97 :69-77. [DOI] [Details]
Arroyo, J., O'Grady, A., Vance, H. and Bolger, T (2015) 'The mite (Acari:Oribatida, Mesostigmata) assemblages associated with Lasius flavus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nests and surrounding soil in an Irish grassland'. Biology and Environment-Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 115 (1):17-28. [Details]
Minogue, D., French, P., Bolger, T. and Murphy P.N.C. (2015) 'Characterisation of dairy soiled water in a survey of 60 Irish dairy farms'. Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research, 54 (1):1-16. [DOI] [Details]
Schmelz, R.M., Wisdom, R. and Bolger, T. (2015) 'Phreodrilidae in Irish peatlands: Invasion from down-under or ancient relict?'. Irish Naturalists' Journal, 34 (2):101-103. [Details]
Arroyo, J., O´Gara, N. and Bolger, T. (2014) 'Zygoribatula connexa Berlese, 1904 (Acari, Oribatida): a new Irish record with comments on its biology and the genus status in Ireland'. Irish Naturalists' Journal, 33 (2):134-136. [Details]
Bolger, T., Arroyo, J., Kenny, J. and Caplice, M. (2014) 'Hierarchical analysis of mite community structures in Irish forests - a study of the relative contribution of location, forest type and microhabitat'. Applied Soil Ecology, 83 :39-43. [DOI] [Details]
Arroyo, J., Keith, A.M., Schmidt, O. and Bolger, T. (2013) 'Mite abundance and richness in an Irish survey of soil biodiversity with comments on some newly recorded species'. Irish Naturalists' Journal, 33 (1):19-27. [Details]
Piotrowska, K., Connolly, J, Finn, J., Black, A. and Bolger, T. (2013) 'Evenness and plant species identity affect earthworm diversity and community structure in grassland soils'. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 57 :713-719. [DOI] [Details]
Bolger, T., Kenny, J. and Arroyo, J (2013) 'The Collembola fauna of Irish forests - a comparison between forest type and microhabitat with the forests'. Soil Organisms, 85 :61-67. [Details]
Arroyo, J., Kenny, J. and Bolger, T. (2013) 'Oribatid and gamasid mite assemblages occurring in aerial and floor habitats of native forestry at Killarney National Park (Ireland)'. Irish Naturalists' Journal, 32 (2):121-131. [Details]
Bolger, T., Coll, M. and Anderson, R. (2013) 'The arrival of Leistus rufomarginatus (Duftschmid, 1812) (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in Ireland earlier than previously recorded'. Irish Naturalists' Journal, 32 (2):151-151. [Details]
Connolly, J,Bell, T,Bolger, T,Brophy, C,Carnus, T,Finn, JA,Kirwan, L,Isbell, F,Levine, J,Luscher, A,Picasso, V,Roscher, C,Sebastia, MT,Suter, M,Weigelt, A (2013) 'An improved model to predict the effects of changing biodiversity levels on ecosystem function'. Journal of Ecology, 101 :344-355. [DOI] [Details]
Arroyo,J.; Baars, J-R., O'Driscoll, L., Blackmore, M., Bolger, T. (2013) 'First records of Heminothrus (Capillonothrus) thori(Berlese, 1904) and Perlohmannia (Perlohmannia) dissimilis (Hewitt, 1908) (Arachnida: Acari: Oribatida) in Ireland'. Bulletin of the Irish Biogeographical Society, . [Details]
Andriuzzi WS, Bolger T, Schmidt O (2013) 'The drilosphere concept: Fine-scale incorporation of surface residue-derived N and C around natural Lumbricus terrestris burrows'. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 64 :136-138. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Arroyo, J., Kenny, J. and Bolger, T. (2013) 'Variation between mite communities in Irish forest types - Importance of bark and moss cover in canopy'. Pedobiologia, 56 :241-250. [DOI] [Details]
Reidy, B. and Bolger T. (2013) 'Soil carbon stocks in a Sitka spruce chronosequence following afforestation'. Irish Forestry, 70 :200-219. [Details]

Published Reports

Schmidt, O., Keith, A.M, Arroyo, J., Bolger, T., Boots, B., Breen, J., Clipson, N., Doohan, F.M., Griffin, C.T., Hazard, C. and Niechoj, R. (2011) CréBeo Baseline data, response to pressures, functions and conservation of keystone micro- and macro-organisms in Irish soils STRIVE Report (2005-S-LS-8). Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford. [Details]
Renou-Wilson, F., Bolger, T., Bullock, C., Convery, F., Curry, J., Ward, S., Wilson, D. and Müller, C. (2011) BOGLAND: Sustainable Management of Peatlands in Ireland STRIVE Report. Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford. [Details]
Renou-Wilson, F., Bolger, T., Bullock, C., Convery, F., Curry, J., Ward, S., Wilson, D. and Müller, C. (2011) BOGLAND: Sustainable Management of Peatlands in Ireland. Protocol Document. Environmental Protection Agency, Wexford. [Details]

Policy Contribution

Bolger, T. (2012) Biodiversity in our lives. Royal Irish Academy Statement No. 4. Policy Contribution Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

Biodiversity - Enumeration, community assembly and determination of contribution to ecosystem function and the provision of ecosystem services.

Effects of land use and climate change on biodiversity and nutrient fluxes.

Decomposition and Nutrient Fluxes in Ecosystems - the importance of biota, nutrient inputs and climate in determining rates of decompositiom