Environmental Challenges and Solutions

In February, Trinity College hosted the 24th Irish Environmental Researchers’ Colloquium (Environ 2014), which was organised by the Environmental Sciences Research Association of Ireland and TCD’s Schools of Natural Sciences and Engineering. The event provides an annual platform for researchers (especially PhD students!) to present their work under various environment-related themes. The overall theme of Environ 2014 was ‘Environmental Challenges and Solutions’ – and this included a focus on addressing some of the challenges that have arisen due to recent storm events. Several of the Geography department’s current and former postgraduate students attended Environ 2014 to present their research – and to fly the Geography flag, of course!

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The Career Expo (left) and poster sessions (right) received a lot of positive feedback.

Environ is the largest annual gathering of researchers in the field of environmental sciences in Ireland. The three-day programme included two workshops, a Career Expo, a panel discussion in connection with the Science Gallery, and 19 diverse research sessions with more than 100 oral presentations. The session topics stretched from water quality and energy to biodiversity and climate change, along with agriculture, waste water, monitoring and instrumentation, and environmental policy and communication. Accompanying poster sessions took place alongside much-appreciated coffee and tea breaks, with an array of delicious snacks to help maintain concentration levels! The highly successful Career Expo provided job-hunters with the opportunity to meet representatives from several environmental consultancies, research institutes, NGOs and semi state organisations to discuss job opportunities as well as internships or further education programmes.

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A great opportunity to present your PhD research to the public.

This colloquium is a great opportunity to make contacts, discuss ideas and engage in multidisciplinary research – and it’s also great fun! In addition, Environ is a fantastic forum for PhD and masters students to present their research. Students can apply to enter several competitions for prizes sponsored by different institutions and organisations – including two prizes in memory of TCD Botany PhD student Maximilian Von Sternburg (sponsored by the EPA, the School of Natural Sciences and his family).

Here’s hoping that the presentations at next year’s colloquium will showcase the fruits of Environ 2014’s many successful networking and collaborative opportunities!

Authored by Alexandra Oppelt, PhD student, Biogeochemistry Research Group, TCD.

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