NUI Galway and GMIT co-hosting ecology conference

Galway Daily news NUI Galway and GMIT to co-host ecology conference

NUI Galway and GMIT will co-host 170 ecologists from around the world this month at a conference to tackle the issues around protecting our world’s wildlife.

The second ‘Ecology and Evolution’ conference of the Irish Ecological Association will provide a space for people to meet, collaborate and solve ecological problems.

Ecology, namely the study of how organisms interact with each other and the environment, applies acroos a wide range of scientific fields.

It draws in studies of climate change, sustainable water, biodiversity conservation, soil health and many other global problems.

Dr Gesche Kindermann of Applied Ecology Unit at NUI Galway said, “Understanding the environment and processes within it is vital if we want to address current environmental problems.”

“There is a lot of exciting research going on in relation to ecology and evolution, and this conference is an opportunity to showcase this.”

The work of the Irish Ecological Association looks at Irish issues in particular, but many of the themes are relevant to ecosystems around the world.

This conference, sponsored by the Marine Institute, Environmental Protection Agency and British Ecological Society, will take place over three days.

At it delegates from academic backgrounds and professional fields, along with the students representing the future, will attend talks, workshops and other events covering topics from microbes to arctic breeding birds, marine predators and woodlands.

Four speakers have been invited to deliver keynote addresses on microplastics in the oceans, the evolution of ageing in bats, conservation of biodiversity on farmland, and tagging and tracking birds and fish.

Dr Heather Lally from GMIT, said, “The IEA conference is an opportunity for local Galwegians, national and international researchers, NGOs, consultants and industry to come together to share their passion for Irish ecology.”

NUI Galway will host two full days of events on the 11-12 January in the Human Biology Building while GMIT will host a series of talks and presentations on January 10.

The hub of the GMIT events will be a talk by Dr Richard Thompson from Plymouth University entitled ‘Marine Litter: Are there solutions to this global environmental challenge’.

It will take place pm on Thursday, 10 January at GMIT Galway Campus. No registration is required.

Dr Dara Stanley, Lecturer at NUI Galway, said, “Ecology is such an important discipline in our current world, and can be part of the solution to many of our major environmental and climate related issues.”

“And Galway, situated in the beautiful west of Ireland, is a hotspot for Irish ecology.”