From 10-12 January 2019, NUI Galway and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) will jointly host 170 ecologists as part of the second ‘Ecology and Evolution’ conference of the Irish Ecological Association (IEA).
Founded in 2015, the IEA is a society for ecologists based in Ireland. It provides a forum for Irish-based professionals of all nationalities who are interested in meeting, collaborating and solving ecological problems.
Ecology – the study of organisms and how they interact with each other and the environment – has many practical applications in terms of climate change, sustainable water, biodiversity conservation, soil health and many other global problems. While focusing on Ireland, the Irish Ecological Association also draws on global themes relevant to ecosystems around the world.
Delegates to the Ecology and Evolution Conference represent both academic and professional ecologists and students working in higher education and research institutions, as well as non-governmental organisations, ecological consultancies and other professionals in ecology.
The conference will take place over three days. Talks, workshops and other events will cover topics from microbes to arctic breeding birds, marine predators and woodlands.
The conference will also be a focus on training and up skilling, particularly for early-career researchers, with workshops on data analysis, career mentoring and translating ecology into policy and action.
Four invited plenary speakers from Ireland and the UK will give keynote talks on microplastics in the oceans, the evolution of ageing in bats, conservation of biodiversity on farmland, and tagging and tracking birds and fish.
Dr Gesche Kindermann, Applied Ecology Unit, School of Natural Sciences 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.”
Dr Dara Stanley, UCD and Adjunct Lecturer, School of Natural Sciences 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.”
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. It has never been so important to work together to ensure its longterm conservation.”
Professor Richard Thompson from the School of Biological and Marine Sciences at Plymouth University will deliver a free public lecture on Thursday 10 January 2019 at 7pm. Professor Thompson will speak on the subject of ‘Marine Litter: Are there solutions to this global environmental challenge?’.
This free public lecture will be hosted by GMIT at the GMIT Galway Campus on 10 January at 7pm. No registration is required.
NUI Galway will host two full days of events on the 11-12 January in the Human Biology Building, NUI Galway campus.
Delegates will have an opportunity to take the NUI Galway on-campus Biodiversity Trail.
The Ecology and Evolution Conference is sponsored by the Marine Institute, Environmental Protection Agency, and British Ecological Society.