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Geology Department Postgraduate Web Pages

Name: Conor Smith

Conor Smith

Contact Details


T: @SmithConr

Title of Project

Using stable isotope signatures to unravel kinetic and biogeochemical influences on nitrate lag times in Irish catchments.

Postgraduate research summary

I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Analytical Chemistry from Technological University of Dublin in 2022. My undergraduate research project involved the synthesis and characterisation of metal-based fluorescent probes.

I began my PhD in September 2022. My research aims to understand the short-term variability of 13C isotopes in dissolved inorganic carbon in groundwater using cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS). Focusing on exploring the spatial variations in isotopic compositions within aquifers, considering both longitudinal and depth related factors. Additionally, to establish links between nitrate concentrations and isotopic signatures of groundwater to build the necessary information basis for characterisation of nitrate biogeochemistry in these aquifers.

I am currently working on the GRADS&SMARTS project, which aims to estimate groundwater age distributions and mean groundwater residence times in selected Irish aquifers. Supporting the sustainable management of Irish groundwater, particularly with respect to anthropogenic pollution.


GRADS&SMARTS (GRoundwater Age DistributionS for the sustainable MAnagement of gRoundwaTer reSources in Ireland).

Name of supervisors

Dr. Carlos Rocha, Dr, Laurence Gill, Dr, David O'Connell

Project Start Date

September 2022


EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the GSI (Geological Survey Ireland)