My research focuses on the assessment of land-use and other anthropogenic activities on the physical, hydrochemical and ecological quality of surface waters with particular reference to multiple stressors and climate change. Some key projects completed include RIVTYPE (typological classification of Irish rivers) HYDROFOR (forest-water interactions), CROW (condition of riparian zones in plantation forestry), SILTFLUX (quantifying sediment fluxes and impacts) and ESManage (framework for identification and valuation of freshwater ecosystem services). I have been a partner in the PATHWAYS project investigating potential for aquatic impacts from pollutant movement along various pathways and have engaged in projects funded by Teagasc (multiple stressor effects from acute vs chronic pollution). I am currently coordinating three, large-scale, EPA-funded projects; RECONNECT (mapping and assessing barrier impacts on rivers), SSNet (managing the small stream network for improved water quality, biodiversity and ecosystem services protection) and ESDecide (freshwater ecosystem services decision support).
I have been working in the area of environmental economics and socio-economics for over 20 years. I have a PhD in environmental economics and a diploma in Environmental Impact Assessment. I work on environmental policy including environmental values, natural capital, biodiversity and ecosystem services, rural and spatial planning, recreation and landscape. Projects have addressed finance for biodiversity, public participation, environmental liability, peatlands, native woodlands, coastal environments, freshwater bodies, the agri-environment and adaptation to climate change. I also manages a consultancy, Optimize, which has worked on various relevant projects including the status of biodiversity, recreation, water policy, marine litter and environmental impact assessment.
My research expertise and interests are on environmental planning, environmental assessment, spatial analysis, decision-support tools and stakeholder engagement. I’m involved in the Impact Planning Group for the Land2Sea project.