Irish Climate Analysis Research Units (ICARUS),
Dept. of Geography,
1.8 LaraghBryan House (formally St. Anne's)
National University of Ireland Maynooth (North Campus),
Ph: +353 86 409 4963 (home) / +353 1 708 6392 (work)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Ciarán graduated with a double honours Science degree in Biology and Mathematics from the National University of Ireland Maynooth in 2006. After this, he travelled throughout the South American continent and worked with various animal and human welfare organisations before returning to NUI Maynooth to pursue his doctorate degree, investigating the effects of climatic change on economically important insect pests, under the supervision of Dr.
Rowan Fealy (Department of Geography, NUIM) and Dr. Christine Griffin (Department of Biology, NUIM). Ciarán has experience working in the behavioural ecology field, submitting an undergraduate thesis entitled “Behavioural Responses of the Adult Pine Weevil” and assisting in seasonal field and laboratory trials examining the behavioural responses of the adult pine weevil (Hylobius abietis) under the influential presence of entomopathogenic nematodes.
In his free time, Ciarán is an athlete, footballer, cyclist, musician and photographer.
Thesis Title: Temperature-based life-history models for blue and brown willow beetles: implications for short rotation coppice due to climate change (due to be completed, Oct-2013)
Supervisors: Dr. Rowan Fealy (Department of Geography, NUIM) and Dr. Christine Griffin (Department of Biology, NUIM).
Description of Project
As part of Ireland’s compliance with the European Union’s 2020 targets, 16% of total final energy consumption must be delivered from renewables by 2020. Biomass production through the cultivation of short rotation coppice willow (SRCW) has been proposed as one option to help meet these environmental targets. However, these targets fail to account for a potential increase in insect herbivory as a consequence of a climate change. With insect populations
capable of causing a considerable amount of damage through defoliation, this may limit or negate progress to achieve these future targets.
The leaf-feeding blue willow beetle (Phratora vulgatissima) and the brown willow beetle (Galerucella lineola) are identified economically as two of the most damaging insect pests of SRCW in Ireland. With much research accounting for the effect of temperature on the life-cycle of insects and the influence of photoperiod being gradually realised in a limited number of studies, willow beetle are subject to these same effects in a changing climate. However while photoperiod varies on a predictable cycle, significant spatial and temporal variations are evident in temperature across Ireland. To determine the effect these compounding elements have upon willow beetle development and their life-cycles, laboratory-based experiments are been conducted with different life stages. Phenological models are been developed based on these results which incorporates temperature-dependent development and diapause termination, and photoperiod-dependent diapause induction. The models produced will be used to access beetle voltinism throughout Ireland under varying scenarios of climate change.
Funding and Awards
Department of Agriculture & Food through the Research Stimulus Fund Programme (RSFP) under the National Development Plan for 2007 to 2013
Royal Entomological Society Student Award 2012
Publications, Posters and Conference contributions
Pollard, C. “The trials and tribulations of a researcher - the case of the mysterious iron capsules”, Antenna, The Royal Entomological Society Quarterly Journal, Spring Edition, 2013.
Department of Biology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Rep. of Ireland (01 May 2012). Research briefing presented to Irish Wildlife Trust Introduction to Research in NUI Maynooth. Title: “Short Rotation Coppice Willow Sites as Biodiversity Hotspots”.
Pollard, C. "Willow Coppice Production, Leaf Feeding Beetles and Climate Change", Irish Meteorological Society Newsletter Series 2, Edition 4, April 2011.
Irish Climate Analysis Research Units (ICARUS), Dept. of Geography, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Rep. of Ireland (01-Feb-2011). Research briefing presented to Dr. Mary Robinson and Dr. Tara Shine of the Mary Robinson Foundation on Climate Justice. Title: “Coppice Production, Climate Change, and Willow Beetles”.
Symposium on Insect Pests of Trees: Meeting Future Challenges, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Rep. of Ireland (24-Jan-2011). Title: “Coppice Production, Climate Change, and Willow Beetles”.
Climate Change Special Interest Group, Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), Sand Hutton, York, North Yorkshire, England (27-Oct-2010). Title: “Climate Change And Coppice Production: Developing Temperature-Based Life-History Models for Willow Beetle”.
Department of Biology, First Year PhD Presentation Day, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Rep. of Ireland (27-May-2010). Title: “Constructing Temperature-Based Life-History Models for Willow Beetle: Implications for Coppice Plantations due to Climate Change”.
Conference of Irish Geographers, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Rep. of Ireland (30-Apr 2-May, 2010). Title: “Constructing Temperature-based life-history models for willow beetle: implications for coppice plantations due to climate change”.
Department of Geography Seminar Series, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Rep. of Ireland (22-Mar-2010). Title: “Constructing Temperature-Based Life-History Models for Willow Beetle: Implications for Coppice Plantations under Climate Change”.
Climate Change Special Interest Group, Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), Sand Hutton, York, North Yorkshire, England (21-Oct-2009). Poster Presentation Title: “Constructing a Temperature-Based Life-History Model for Blue Willow Beetle to be linked to Regional Climate Models”.
Future Conference Presentations:
Conference of Irish Geographers, National University of Ireland, Galway, Co. Galway, Rep. of Ireland (16-May 18-May, 2013). Title: “Developing temperature-driven models to simulate life-stage development of willow beetle species in short rotation coppice”.
Ento 2013, International Symposium - Thirty Years of Thornhill and Alcock: The Evolution of Insect Mating Systems and the Royal Entomological Meeting National Science Meeting, University of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland (4-Sept 6- Sept, 2013). Title: TBC
Teaching and Professional Experience
- 2012-2013: Geography and Ecology Field Instructor at Kippure House Estate, Co. Wicklow
- 2012: Panellist in the Policy Makers and Expert Group at the “Youth Exploring RIO+20 – UNESCO Clubs Transnational Youth Meeting in Dublin.
- 2010-2013: Lecturer to 4th year undergraduate students as part of BI421- Research Methodology One: Introduction to Excel and Minitab
- 2010-2013: Demonstrator to Leaving Certificate students as part of Leaving Certificate Biology Practical’s
- 2009: Tutor to 1st year undergraduate students as part of GY114- Introduction to Physical Geography: Geoscience.
Membership of Professional Bodies
The Geographical Society of Ireland
Irish Meteorological Society
Royal Entomological Society
Irish Climate Analysis Research Units (ICARUS),
Dept. of Geography,
2.2 LaraghBryan House,
National University of Ireland Maynooth,
Phone: +353 1 708 6538 / +353 86 409 4963