At a presentation at the French Ambassador’s Residence in Dublin, husband and wife scientists, Professor Peter Gallagher and Professor Emma Teeling, were invested as Chevaliers des Palmes Académiques/Knights of the Order of Academic Palms.
Originally a decoration founded by Emperor Napoléon in 1808 to honour eminent members of the University of Paris, the Chevalier des Palmes Académiques is a national order of merit of France for distinguished academics and figures in the world of culture and education.
The Chevalier award recognises Professor Gallagher and Professor Teeling’s contributions to scientific research here and around the world.
Professor Gallagher is Professor in Physics and Associate Dean of Research at Trinity, where he runs a large research group focused on understanding solar activity and its effects on Earth.
Professor Gallagher was recently appointed as an advisor to the Director of Science at the European Space Agency’s headquarters in Paris, and is currently building Ireland’s first research-grade radio telescope at Birr Castle Demesne in Co. Offaly, which is supported by Science Foundation Ireland.
Professor Gallagher said: “I have been working with scientists at Observatoire de Paris and the European Space Agency in Paris for many years, and two of my Trinity PhD graduates have gone on to become research fellows at Observatore de Paris. This award recognises the close links that we have between Trinity and our wonderful collaborators in France. On a personal level, it is just a huge honour for me, literally “sur la lune”!"
Professor Teeling is Professor in Zoology and a member of the Governing Authority at University College Dublin. She is also a member of the Royal Irish Academy and on the board of the Irish Research Council.
Professor Teeling holds a prestigious European Research Council grant for her research using bats as a model to uncover the biological basis of healthy ageing. Much of her team’s field-work is based in Brittany, France, in collaboration with the conservation organisation Bretagne Vivante.