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PhD opportunity - Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Scheme

PhD in freshwater ecosystems

Assessment and impact of deposited sediment in rivers in agricultural catchments

Ref 20222027


Applications are invited for a full-time, four-year PhD research position funded by the Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Scheme and University College Dublin.


The deposition of sediment on riverbeds is a natural phenomenon, and vital to the functioning of freshwater
ecosystems. However, excessive transfer of sediment and deposition on riverbeds can have environmental and economic impacts. Despite the significant role that sediment plays in freshwater ecosystems, deposited sediment remains an under-researched topic, with little consensus in relation to gathering of data, assessing ecological implications or developing conservation thresholds for deposited sediment cover

This exciting PhD project aims to address current gaps in knowledge, to get a better understanding of the ecological implications of deposited sediment and help develop impact thresholds. The study will be a combination of laboratory- and field-based research. The project will also evaluate existing protocols for assessment of deposited sediment cover, and develop optimal protocols for a variety of stakeholders.


Applicants should have a good primary degree (First or Second Class Honours) or M.Sc. in an appropriate discipline (Ecology, Environmental Science, Agri-Environmental Science, Agricultural Science, etc.). The successful candidate should have a good working knowledge of techniques in macroinvertebrate identification and classification, a good understanding of freshwater ecosystems, good dissemination and statistical skills and be highly self-motivated. A full EU driving licence is also required. For applicants whose first language is not English, requirements outlined here


The PhD Scholarship is a joint research project between the School of Biology and Environmental Science (https://www.ucd.ie/bioenvsci/), University College Dublin and Teagasc (https://www.teagasc.ie/), Johnstown Castle. There is flexibility for the student to be based either at University College Dublin or Johnstown Castle, Wexford. The successful candidate will be registered as a full time research student in University College Dublin, working under the supervision of Associate Professor Mary Kelly-Quinn and Teagasc supervisors (Drs Per-Erik Mellander and Daire Ó hUallacháin).

The scholarship funding is €24,000 per annum (which includes University fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum) and is tenable for 4 years. Suitably qualified students from any country may apply, but must satisfy Ireland’s regulations on immigration if not an EU citizen. The scholarship will start as soon as possible after 1st of September 2022 and/or when the most suitable candidate is identified thereafter.

Further Information/Applications

Dr. Daire Ó hUallacháin, Crops Environment and Land Use Programme, Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Wexford                                    

Email: daire.ohuallachain@teagasc.ie

Associate Professor Mary Kelly-Quinn, School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.      

Email: mary.kelly-quinn@ucd.ie

Application Procedure

Submit an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a one page letter of interest describing your suitability for the position and reasons for applying, simultaneously to:

Dr. Daire Ó hUallacháin (daire.ohuallachain@teagasc.ie)  

Associate Professor Mary Kelly-Quinn  (mary.kelly-quinn@ucd.ie)

Closing date for applications

17:00 30th June 2022