Environmental and Sustainability Research blog

Our blog series includes the A-Z of Environmental and Sustainability Research, a series of short essays by UCD postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers, technical and research support staff, about their work.

The series is developed and curated by the Earth Institute Associate Member Committee led by Hannah Gould, a PhD student at BiOrbic and the UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, and Earth Institute Communications and Engagement Officer Liz Bruton.

If you'd like to submit a piece for the A-Z series or have a suggestion for another topic we should cover do get in touch!

Writing tips

Writing tips for the UCD Earth Institute blog series including the A-Z of Environmental and Sustainability Research, a new series of short essays or blog posts by UCD postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers, technical and research support staff, about their work.

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A is for Anthropocene

Nick Scroxton from the UCD School of Earth Sciences asks whether the vast scale of human change to our planet has instigated a new period of geological time, and if so, when did it start?

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B is for Bees

Katherine Burns from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science tells us why solitary bees are the working single mothers of the pollinator world and explains what we can do to support them.

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C is for Cannabis

Caroline Dowling from the UCD School Biology and Environmental Science tells us why Cannabis is a most versatile yet misunderstood crop, with uses in medicine, energy, construction and more.

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D is for Degrowth

Ciarán O'Brien, a recent graduate of the MSc in Sustainable Development in UCD, discusses the idea of degrowth, which critiques global capitalism's pursuit of growth, and advocates for societal transformations to ensure a good life for all within planetary boundaries.

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E is for Education

Georgina Fagan, a recent graduate of the MSc in Environmental Sustainability in UCD, discusses how climate change will impact us all but most of all our youth and captures the views and concerns of children aged 12-16 in relation to climate change.

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F is for Finance

Dr Shane McGuinness, a Research Fellow in the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy at UCD and member of the UCD Earth Institute Associate Members Committee, outlines how, like anything in life, money matters in conservation and how large-scale investment can be attracted to conservation.

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G is for Gaia

Dr. Federico Cerrone, a senior postdoctorate researcher in the Bioeconomy SFI Research Centre (BiOrbic) at UCD, explores how Earth can be seen as a superorganism able to control the environmental conditions thanks to the cooperation and for the benefit of the living biodiversity within Her. The following blog post is an environmental microbiologist’s take on the Gaia hypothesis.

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H is For Hydrometry

Kate de Smeth, a PhD student in the UCD School of Geography explores rescuing old river flow records and explains why and how hydrologists use historic documents to help understand river behaviour in the past, present and possible future.

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I is for Innovation

Innovation is a popular buzzword in sustainability. COP27 even had an ‘Innovation Zone’. But what is innovation, and what can we learn about innovation in the context of the bioeconomy asks Hannah Gould, a PhD candidate at BiOrbic.

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J is for Justice

Energy poverty is impacting the standard of living and mental wellbeing of Ireland’s most vulnerable citizens. To deliver solutions in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) commitments, we need to listen to the lived experiences of these households, says Lauren Minion, Sustainability Officer with the national housing and homeless charity, the Peter McVerry Trust, and UCD graduate.

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K is for Kelp

Improving methods for processing kelp can help seaweed farmers preserve large amounts of kelp quickly, easily, and cheaply – and in a more environmentally friendly way because they are using less fossil fuel-powered heat.  This quest to improve methods for processing kelp has taken Priya Pollard - from the UCD School of Biosystems and Food Engineering - from Ireland to the Arctic Circle.

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L is for Landscape part 1

Tomas Buitendijk from iCRAG, the School of Earth Sciences and the Earth Institute at UCD tells us about why the coastal landscape matters to people and how this relationship can be protected during periods of change.

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L is for Landscape part 2

Amy Strecker and Amanda Byer from UCD’s Sutherland School of Law explain why landscape is more than a view and why protecting place-based understandings of land is critical for sustainable land use. 

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