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Arrow CEUG Annual Meeting: 8-10 Sept 2015, UCD.




Conor Purcell (

Funding Body: SFI.

Conor Purcell studied Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, receiving B.Eng. and B.A. degrees in 2007. In 2009 he graduated with an MSc. degree in Meteorology and Climate Change at University College Dublin, Ireland. The masters thesis undertaken included an assessment of meteorological radar applications, and the development of a nowcasting system aimed at predicting precipitation over the coming few hours. In 2011 Purcell began a PhD in Paleoclimate modelling at Cardiff University, UK, funded by a Marie Curie grant, in strong collaboration with the Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany. His PhD thesis is entitled 'Investigations of the warm and cold water route ocean gateways on glacial-interglacial and millennial timescales'. This PhD work involved an interdisciplinary approach, combing fully-coupled ocean-atmosphere climate modelling with geological proxy data from the mid to late Pleistocene epoch.

Purcell's current work turns towards collaboration with plant biologists and is funded by the Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI). The project aims to assess the impact of future changes in plant physiology, particularly stomatal conductance, on the Earth system. The project will make use of a number of Earth System Models (including CESM) to investigate how well global stomatal conductance is modelled in comparison to a range of field data from multiple world biomes. Additionally, the models will be used to assess how changes in stomatal conductance, in response to anthropogenic climate change, impact on various Earth system processes, including transpiration, cloud formation, precipitation, river runoff and groundwater retention. Ultimately the project aims to investigate how changes in the biosphere can affect flood risk throughout the 21st century, and beyond.


UCD Plant Palaeoecology and Palaeobiology Group Updated: March 2015
Professor J.C. McElwain