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Graduate researchers

Our graduate researchers are an essential part of the School community and play a key role in supporting undergraduate students, hosting visiting staff, participating in seminars and a range of other School events. We pride ourselves on providing a high-quality learning and research environment to our graduate researchers and supporting intercultural awareness and diversity in our graduate community. Our recent and current graduate students have joined us from UCD and other Irish institutions, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Italy. They have research interests that span the breadth of the subject. Please find out more about our graduate researchers and their interests.

Albert Orta Mascaró

Albert on ResearchGate

Albert Orta Mascaró

Albert joined UCD in 2017 to pursue a PhD in political and urban geography. His research is supervised by Associate Professor Federico Ferretti and Professor Alun Jones, and it is funded by the College of Social Sciences and Law and the School of Geography. Located at the crossroads of geopolitics and urban studies, his thesis investigates how cooperation between local governments has contributed to foster regional integration in the western Mediterranean. He builds upon a geopolitical approach to examine how regional alliances between cities and towns contribute to build a shared regional identity, but also how these diplomatic activities are in turn influenced by existing territorial identities. This work seeks to advance current research on the role of local institutions in the governance of urban regions. In addition to this, Albert is also interested in urban and regional development, territorial politics, and state spatial theory. Previously he trained as a political scientist at the University Pompeu Fabra and the University of Warwick before working in France and Spain for different NGOs and think tanks.


Amy Duley 2021

Amy on LinkedIn

Amy Duly

Duley is a Teagasc Walsh Scholar. She began her PhD research at UCD in September 2021 under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Julien Mercille (UCD) and Dr David Meredith (Teagasc). Her research examines generational renewal and elder care, with particular focus on how farm households in Ireland organise home care. Duley holds an MSc in Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law from the University of Edinburgh and a BSc in Animal Products and Food Science.


Andrew McCartan

Andrew on ResearchGate

Andrew McCartan

Andrew transferred over to UCD in 2019, after starting his PhD at Maynooth University, Ireland. His PhD project researches LGBT and queer activism after marriage equality in Ireland, supervised by Prof. Kath Browne with Dr. Alexander Kondakov from the UCD School of Sociology. Previously, Andrew completed his MA in Geography in 2017 at Brock University, Ontario, Canada with a thesis on the contested use of public spaces at Pride events in Glasgow, supervised by Prof. Catherine Jean Nash. He also completed his BSc in Geography in 2014 at The University of Glasgow, UK with a dissertation on campaigns to boycott St Petersburg in response to anti-gay propaganda laws, supervised by Prof. Chris Philo. He has previously worked as a research assistant under Prof. Catherine Jean Nash on her 'Resisting Recognition' project. He is involved with the Irish Sexualities and Genders Research Network, and volunteers with LGBT Ireland, Shout Out, and Equality for Children.


 Benjamin Obe 2021

Benjamin on ResearchGate

Oluwafemi Benjamin Obe

Benjamin joined UCD in 2021 to pursue a PhD in urban climate. His research is supervised by Assoc. Prof. Tobi Morakinyo and partially funded by the UCD School of Geography. His research interests cut across the intersection of cities, the environment and climate. The study focuses on cities in developing countries with fast paced urbanisation and uncoordinated urban development. The analysis will be driven by the availabilty of high resolution satellite data, as well as transferable state of the art mesoscale and microscale models to investigate the linkages between urban form and surface meteorology. This study is important to better understand weather variability in a complex and highly heterogeneous urban landscape to better inform policymakers in their pursuit of a resilient and smart city. Benjamin previously finished his Masters in Meteorology and Climate Science from the Federal University of Technology Akure, Nigeria. He has since been working with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency as a meteorologist.


Francesco Ventura 2021

Francesco on ResearchGate

Francesco Ventura

Francesco is a UCD College of Social Sciences and Law Research Scholar, supervised by Associate Professor Julien Mercille and Professor Alun Jones. He is working on the representation of the Kurdish homeland, at the crossroad of critical geopolitics and the diaspora studies. He specifically investigates the concept of homeland, separated by the traditional political construction of the nation-state. By considering the homeland a political construction, he focuses on the agency of the representation, the role of (future) temporality and the open spatiality coming from the condition of statelessness. The material of the research is given by political and academic texts, produced by Kurds and European activists, as well as interviews with people involved in the Kurdish revolutionary project.


Kate on ResearchGate

Kate de Smeth

Kate is an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholar, having been awarded funding under the Enterprise Partnership Scheme in partnership with the Office of Public Works. Under the supervision of Prof. Jacky Croke and Prof. Conor Murphy (ICARUS, Maynooth), Kate aims to contribute a baseline hydrological understanding of Irish river behaviour for discussions around river management practices, climate change and flood risk management. Her research employs historical data rescue and time series analysis to characterise the flow regimes of arterially drained rivers in Ireland from the 1940s to the present day, followed by hydrological modelling to investigate the relative role of climate and anthropogenic factors in driving river flow change. Previously Kate trained as a hydrologist at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, before working in the UK private sector as a Principal Geomorphologist specialising in river restoration design and assessment of river condition and potential development impacts under the Water Framework Directive.


Korteh Akpey Kodjo 2022

Kortech on Orcid

Korteh Akpey Kodjo

Korteh studied spatial planning in the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, Stockholm, and GIS and Remote Sensing at Maynooth University and has worked with the World Bank in Sudan and ICON Group at the Department of Agriculture, Ireland. He recently joined UCD for his doctoral studies under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Brad Garrett. His interest is in inequalities and spatial justice. His investigation focuses on how government policies impact low-income earners, notably in the Dublin Docklands and the Ballymun areas of Dublin. He also investigates the role of community organisations in these areas. His work seeks to provide alternative ways of understanding inequality and bridge the inequality gap in Dublin.


Nick ONeill

Nick on ResearchGate

Nicholas O'Neill

Nick is an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholar and began his PhD research at UCD in September 2020 under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Julien Mercille. His research examines the role of business in the development of social policy, with a particular focus on private for-profit providers of health and social care. Prior to beginning his PhD, Nick worked as an assistant researcher for the social policy think-tank TASC (Think-tank for Action on Social Change). He received an MA in Geopolitics and the Global Economy from UCD in 2019 and has also completed a BA in History & Political Geography at UCD.


Sarah Foudy

Beyond Opposition

Sarah Foudy

Sarah is a PhD candidate on the Beyond Opposition research project, under the supervision of Professor Kath Browne. Her research explores the affect that changes in the socio-legal landscape surrounding sexualities and gender in Ireland, the UK and Canada have had on those who, to some degree, do not support these changes. Sarah comes from a socio-legal academic background, having completed an LL.B in Law and an MA in Gender Studies. 


Virgina on ResearchGate

Virginia Morejon

The Irish Marine Institute has awarded Virginia a Cullen Scholarship to pursue a PhD hosted at UCD School of Geography. Her research addresses the impacts or cumulative effects of multiple human activities in the marine environment. Her research will be supervised by UCD Associate Professor Ainhoa González Del Campo and Elizabeth Tray from the Marine Institute. As a team, they hope to better understand the principal human-environment interactions in Irish waters to inform evidence-based marine spatial planning and decision-making. 


Zeting Li 2

Zeting Li on Orcid

Zeting Li

Zeting is research assistant surpervised by Assoc. Prof. Gerald Mills. Previously, he got his M.Sc in UCD in 2021. His research focuses on the urban climate and urban trees. His research interest is in the application of deep learning, remote sensing, and GIS technologies in evaluation of urban trees.


Zikang Ji 2022

Zikang on ResearchGate

Zikang Ji

Zikang joined UCD in 2021 to pursue a PhD in Geography supervised by Assoc. Prof. Niamh Moore-Cherry. Before this, Zikang got his Master's degree in GIS in the University of Leeds in 2019. Zikang is proficient in population-based data analysis and visualisation. During the Masters, he studied the importance of the traditional British market to local vulnerable groups from the perspective of accessibility, both materially and emotionally. When the pandemic began, his research interests shifted to population movement caused by the epidemic, key words: counterurbanisation and polycentric cities. This will be the research topic for his PhD. If you are also interested in related topics, he would be more than happy to discuss with you. Zikang is also passionate about wildlife and the impact of human activities on their habitat e.g. British wild animals (such as gray squirrels).


Emily on LinkedIn

Emily Rick

Emily is a Teagasc Walsh Scholar who began her PhD in September 2022. She is under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Turner (UCD School of Geography) and Dr. Per-Erik Mellander (Teagasc), with additional co-supervision from Dr. Fiachra O’Loughlin (UCD School of Civil Engineering) and Dr. Daniel Hawtree (Teagasc). Her PhD research investigates hydromorphology in intensively farmed agricultural catchments as part of the multi-disciplinary Teagasc Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP). The project will determine geomorphological sensitivity under climate change, and provide a predictive model of hydromorphological change in 2 catchments.

Previously Emily earned a Masters of Science (MSc) in Coastal and Marine Processes, Policy and Practice from the University of Galway. Her Master's research involved a critical assessment of the Irish planning system and questioned the role of local authorities in delivering climate change adaptation in coastal areas. She earned a Bachelor of Environmental Science (B.Sc.(Env.)) with a focus on Natural Resource Management and fluvial geomorphology from the University of Guelph, Canada. She previously worked as a consultant Geomorphologist for 6 years in the private sector in Ireland and Canada, providing geomorphology studies to inform flood infrastructure projects and development management, as well as delivering training in the field of geomorphology and nature-based solutions (NBS).

Recent Graduates

Name Thesis title Supervisor

Saeed Alharbi

Assessment of exposure to flash flooding in an arid environment: Case study of Jeddah City neighbourhood Abruq Ar Rughamah, Saudi Arabia

Associate Professor Gerald Mills

Jack McCarthy

Desire, anticipation, and assemblage: an analysis of collaborative agri-environmental governance on collectively owned farmland in Ireland

Dr. Christine Bonnin and Dr. David Meredith (Teagasc)

Niall Buckley

Modelling Dublin: A workflow for the application of an Urban Building Energy Model to evaluate carbon mitigation strategies at neighbourhood scales

Associate Professor Gerald Mills

Colm Casserly

Investigating the impact of low-head dams on sediment transport dynamics and connectivity in gravel-cobble streams

Dr Jonathan Turner and John O'Sullivan (Civil Engineering)