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Geology Department Postgraduate Web Pages

Name: Conor Smith

Conor Smith

Contact Details


T: @SmithConr

Title of Project

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

Postgraduate research summary

My research aims to understand sources, pathways and timing of contaminant flows, including nitrate, through groundwater bodies to receptor ecosystems. To support the sustainable management of groundwater, particularly with respect to anthropogenic contamination and nitrate (fertilizer) pollution with hopes to advance the quantification and monitoring of climate and environmental change impacts on the local water cycle.

Methodology will be varied, spanning hydrochemistry, radiochemistry and stable isotope analysis using Cavity-Ring-Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) technology. Samples to analyse will include water, collected in surface and groundwaters as well as from precipitation, soils and sediments. As well as quantifying stable isotope and natural radio isotope activities as environmental tracers of groundwater flow in both laboratory and field settings at high temporal resolution.

Name of supervisors

Dr. Carlos Rocha

Postgraduate personal details

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.  During my undergraduate degree I focused on modules specialising in environmental and water chemistry. I gained a key interest in the environment and how chemistry can be applied and used in the understanding of environmental issues.

Project Start Date

September 2022


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