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Catalogue of Environmental Research in Ireland

Researcher Contact Details

Research Title: Dr. First Name: Fionnuala Surname: O\'Neill
Contact Address:
BEC Consultants Ltd, Ground Floor Offices, Loft 31, South Cumberland Street, Dublin 2.

Telephone Contact Number: +353-1-6619713, Fax Contact Number: N/A, Email Address: foneill@botanicalenvironmental.com

Organisation Details

Organisation Type: SME, Higher Education Organisation Name: , Other Organisation Name(s) if appropriate: BEC Consultants Ltd
Research Organisation or Company/Corporate Website: http://www.botanicalenvironmental.com

Organisation or Individual Expertise:
I am a botanist and have been involved in ecological research since 1997, and have worked full-time with BEC Consultants Ltd since 2007. In the course of my work with BEC, I have worked extensively on a number of national habitat survey and mapping projects, notably the Irish Semi-natural Grasslands Survey (ISGS 2007-2013), for which I was lead ecologist, and the National Survey of Native Woodlands (2003-2008). All variations of these habitats were explored, ranging from inundated grasslands, marshes, tall herb swamps and wet woodlands, to the very driest examples, including both acidic and calcareous habitats. I am fully familiar with the main Annex I grassland habitats to be found in Ireland, having recorded several hundred relevés in them as part of the ISGS, and followed up this work with participation in the National Conservation Assessment of Annex I grassland habitats in Ireland as part of Ireland’s reporting obligations under Article 17 of the EU Habitats Directive. I also recorded many Annex I woodland releves and completed the national conservation assessments for two Annex I woodland habitats. As well as grasslands and woodlands, professional areas of interest include bryophytes and invasive species. Other skills developed during my time with BEC Consultants and with other employers include GIS (primarily ArcMap), habitat mapping, aerial photograph interpretation, database design (Microsoft® Access), and the use of botanical recording software (Turboveg). I have also been involved in teaching introductory botany to mature students. Selected current projects: Irish Semi-natural Grasslands Survey (2007-2013): Client National Parks & Wildlife Service Secretariat for the National Platform for Biodiversity Research (NPBR): Client National Parks & Wildlife Service KNEU - Developing a Knowledge Network for European Expertise on biodiversity and ecosystem services to inform policy making and economic sectors: Client European Commission (FP7)

Organisation or Individual Expertise Keywords:
botany grassland woodland bryophytes habitat mapping management Annex I vegetation study ecosystem function services science Ireland SME biodiversity conservation restoration meadows wetlands swamp

National Research Funding

EPA Research Programme

This researcher or research organisation has expressed interest in the following areas:

Sustainable Environment Research

Involvement in Relevant National Expert Groups

National Platform for Biodiversity Research: This project is currently in its third phase (2012-2014), with Dr. Jim Martin (Managing Director of BEC) currently Director of the project. BEC Consultants were also also involved in phases 1 and 2 (2003-06 and 2009-12), with Dr. Jim Martin again Project Director. The project aims to represent Ireland within the EPBRS (European Platform for Biodiversity Research) and also contributes to the policy-science interface for biodiversity research. Within this project I attended the expert group meeting for Invasive species. Other researchers within our company attended the expert group meetings for the uplands, peatlands, wetlands, agriculture, grasslands and soil working groups. Another researcher within BEC Consultants, Dr Jenni Roche, was a member of the consultation group on future national upland rural development measures (facilitated by Mountaineering Ireland). Dr Philip Perrin, a Principal Ecologist with BEC Consultants, is a member of the Advisory Group for the National Vegetation Database.

EU Research Partnerships

This researcher or research organisation has expressed interest in the following areas of EU Research Partnerships:

Relevant information in relation to Participation relevant experts groups

Details of any previous or current EU-funded projects the individual or organisation were involved in.

Water

Interests indicated in the Water Joint Programming Initiative

→ Maintaining Ecosystem Sustainability

Details of any previous or current EU-funded projects the individual or organisation were involved in.

Experience of participation in expert groups in this area

Any relevant information in relation to Participation in WssTP or other relevant experts groups

Within the research carried out as part of the national Irish Semi-natural Grasslands Survey, BEC Consultants collected data and developed criteria to assess the structure and functions of wetland habitats that are listed under Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive, including 6430 Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of plains and of the montane to alpine levels, and the important floodplain meadow habitats 6410 Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clayey-silt-laden soils (Molinion caeruleae) and 6510 Lowland hay meadows (Alopecurus pratensis, Sanguisorba officinalis). In 2013 I contributed to the National Conservation Assessments for these three important wetland habitats. The company has also carried out extensive research in wet woodland habitats and I wrote the National Conservation Assessment for 91E0 Alluvial forests with Alnus glutinosa and Fraxinus excelsior (Alno-Padion, Alnion incanae, Salicion albae) in 2007 and 2013. A group of researchers within our company have also carried out extensive studies of the wetland habitat and important Annex I habitat 7130 Blanket bogs and wrote the National Conservation Assessment for this habitat.

Involvement in EU-funded research projects: Please outline details of any previous or current EU-funded projects the individual or organisation were involved in.

BEC Consultants are a partner in the FP7 KNEU (Knowledge network for European expertise on biodiversity and ecosystem services) project and Dr Jim Martin (Managing Director of BEC) and I are co-authors of one of the significant papers due to be published by this research group, entitled \'Multifunctional floodplain management and biodiversity effects: evidence from six European countries\'.

Other areas of expertise (please specify): There is an opportunity here to place the name/codes of the projects or Framework Programme calls which you are specifically interested in being involved in.

Horizon 2020

Challenge 5 (Climate Action, Resource Efficiency & Raw Materials)

This researcher or research organisation has outlined their interests in Challenge 5 as follows:

Fighting and adapting to climate change

→ Assess impacts, vulnerabilities and develop innovative cost-effective adaptation and risk prevention and management measures
→ Support mitigation policies, including studies that focus on impact from other sectoral policies

Sustainably managing natural resources and ecosystems

→ Further our understanding of biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems, their interactions with social systems and their role in sustaining the economy and human wellbeing
→ Provide knowledge and tools for effective decision making and public engagement policies

Focus Areas

χNo sub-interests specified

Relevant EU Research Experience

Information in relation to Participation in relevant experts groups

National Platform for Biodiversity Research. This project is currently in its third phase (2012-2014) with Dr. Jim Martin (Managing Director of BEC) as its Director. BEC Consultants were also involved in phases 1 and 2 (2003-06 and 2009-12), again with Dr. Martin as Director. The project aims to represent Ireland within the EPBRS (European Platform for Biodiversity Research) and also contribute to the policy-science interface for biodiversity research. Within this project I attended the expert group meeting for Invasive species. Other researchers within our company attended the expert group meetings for the uplands, peatlands, wetlands, agriculture, grasslands and soil working groups. Another researcher within BEC Consultants, Dr Jenni Roche, was a member of the consultation group on future national upland rural development measures (facilitated by Mountaineering Ireland). Dr Philip Perrin, a Principal Ecologist with BEC Consultants, is a member of the Advisory Group for the National Vegetation Database. Researchers within BEC Consultants have been the lead ecologists for national studies including the Irish Semi-natural Grasslands Survey (2007-2013), the National Survey of Upland Habitats (2009-ongoing), and the National Survey of Native Woodlands (2003-2008). As a result of these studies, many of the senior researchers within BEC Consultants are national experts for the habitats they study. Within the research carried out as part of these large ecological projects the company has developed criteria to assess the structure and functions of many important EU Annex I habitats. In 2013 the national experts within the company were asked to write the National Conservation Assessments for two Annex I woodland habitats, four Annex I grassland habitats, and ten Annex I upland habitats.

Involvement in EU-funded research projects: Please outline details of any previous or current EU-funded projects the individual or organisation was involved in.

BEC Consultants are a partner in the FP7 KNEU (Knowledge network for European expertise on biodiversity and ecosystem services) project and Dr Jim Martin (Managing Director of BEC) and I are co-authors of one of the significant papers due to be published by this research group, entitled \'Multifunctional floodplain management and biodiversity effects: evidence from six European countries\'.

LIFE and COST Actions

Interest in LIFE subprogrammes:
→ Biodiversity

COST Actions/LIFE programmes the researcher is currently or has participated in: