Three Galway researches presented with awards at Fulbright Irish Awards

galway researchers awarded fulbright
Fulbright Commission Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Three NUI Galway reseachers were presented with Fulbright Irish Awards for 2018-2019.

Rita Donnellan, Jasmine Headlam and Sally McHugh were presented with awards at the Ceremony in the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, Phoenix Park, announced by An Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Chargé d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Ireland, Mr Reece Smyth.

Students, academics and professionals from 13 Higher Education Institutions in Ireland and Europe will go to 33 leading US institutions to study and collaborate with experts in their fields.

This year’s Fulbright recipients are from diverse disciplines spanning science, languages, technology, medicine, literature and the arts.

Jasmine Headlam is a PhD candidate at the School of Natural Sciences in NUI Galway.

Her research focuses on harmful jellyfish species such as the mauve stinger and the lion’s mane jellyfish, which are known to negatively impact coastal industries such as causing large fish mortalities in the salmon aquaculture industry.

Jasmine’s PhD research is funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 Climate Change and European aquatic RESources (CERES) project, which is examining how climate change will influence Europe’s most important fish and shellfish resources.

As a Fulbright Marine-Institute awardee, Ms Headlam will be mentored in state of the art techniques to investigate the structural and functional characteristics of cnidae (microscopic stinging capsules on the tentacles of jellyfish) and the composition of venom by Fulbright Specialist, Dr Angel Yanagihara, Director of the Pacific Cnidaria Research Laboratory, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Sally McHugh is a PhD candidate at NUI Galway. She received her BA in Archaeology and IT and her MA in Digital Media from NUI Galway.

Her current research explores how creative and constructionist computing can be designed and deployed to enhance children’s learning with their local cultural heritage in formal and informal learning environments.

As a Fulbright-Creative Ireland Museum Fellow to The Exploratorium: The Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception in San Francisco, Sally will conduct a place-based learning project within the Museum’s Fisher Bay Observatory.

Her place-based learning project, ‘A Sense of Place’, carried out with San Francisco youth will focus on their engagement with the ‘local’, encompassing both cultural and natural heritage.

Rita Donnellan completed a BA in Modern Irish and English an M.A and a Dióploma Iarchéime san Oideachas at NUI Galway.

Since graduating Rita has worked as a secondary school teacher and escapes to the Connemara Gaeltacht every summer to work with Irish Colleges. As a Fulbright FLTA, she will teach the Irish language and take courses at Davidson College, North Carolina.

Congratulating the awardees, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “Since the 1950s, the Fulbright Programme has strengthened collaborations and exchange between Ireland and the US.

“This year’s NUI Galway Fulbright Awardees are to be congratulated for being selected onto this prestigious programme.

“All three individuals demonstrate the innovative thinking and collaborative approach which is one of our strengths here in Galway. We are proud to have them represent our university in this way, and I wish them every success in the US.”