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Dr. David William O'Connell
Assistant Professor, Civil Struct & Env. Eng.

Biography

Assistant Professor in Contaminant Hydrogeology and Hydrology in the Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering. My research focuses on water resources, water and wastewater treatment technologies along with studying earth systems processes governing water quality across scales from the field scale to nanoscale using multiple chemical and solid-state techniques. My expertise includes water resources, water and wastewater treatment technology, hydrogeology, hydrology and biogeochemistry with a focus on systems understanding and innovative solutions.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Vucinic L., O'Connell D., Teixeira R., Coxon C., Gill L.W., Flow cytometry and fecal indicator bacteria analyses for fingerprinting microbial pollution in karst aquifer systems, Water Resources Research, 58, 2022, pe2021WR029840 Journal Article, 2022 DOI TARA - Full Text

Catharina S. Nisbeth, Federica Tamburini, Jacob Kidmose, Søren Jessen, David W. O'Connell, Analysis of oxygen isotopes of inorganic phosphate (δ18Op) in freshwater: A detailed method description for obtaining oxygen isotopes of inorganic phosphate in environmental water samples, Methods X, 9, (101706), 2022 Journal Article, 2022

Extraction Protocol in, editor(s)J. Adu-Gyamfi, Dr. V. Pfahler, , Oxygen Isotopes of Inorganic Phosphate in Environmental Samples, Springer International Publishing , 2022, [ V. Pfahler, J. Adu-Gyamfi, D. O'Connell, F. Tamburini] Book Chapter, 2022

Purification Protocol in, J. Adu-Gyamfi, Dr, V. Pfahler , Oxygen Isotopes of Inorganic Phosphate in Environmental Samples, Springer International Publishing, 2022, [V. Pfahler, J. Adu-Gyamfi, D. O'Connell, F. Tamburini] Book Chapter, 2022

The Use of the "18 O P to Study P Cycling in the Environment in, editor(s)V. Pfahler, J. Adu-Gyamfi , Oxygen Isotopes of Inorganic Phosphate in Environmental Samples , Springer, 2022, pp1 - 15, [V. Pfahler, J. Adu-Gyamfi, D. O"Connell, F. Tamburini] Book Chapter, 2022

Yifan Sun, David O'Connell, Application of visible light active photocatalysis for water contaminants: A review, Application of visible light active photocatalysis for water contaminants: A review, 2022 Journal Article, 2022

O'Connell D.W., Rocha C., Daly E., Carrey Labarta R., Marchesi R., Ansems N., Wilson J., Hickey C., Gill L.W. , Characterization of seasonal groundwater origin and evolution processes in a geologically heterogeneous catchment using geophysical, isotopic and hydro-chemical techniques (Lough Gur, Ireland), Hydrological Processes , 2022 Journal Article, 2022 DOI

Oxygen Isotopes of Inorganic Phosphate in Environmental Samples in, editor(s)Pfahler, V., Adu-Gyamfi, J., , The Use of the δ18 O P to Study P Cycling in the Environment, Springer, Cham, 2022, [Pfahler, V., Adu-Gyamfi, J., O'Connell, D., Tamburini, F.] Book Chapter, 2022

Fennell C., Misstear B.D.R, O'Connell D., Dubber D., Behan P., Danaher M., Moloney M. and Gill L.W., An assessment of contamination fingerprinting techniques for determining the impact of domestic wastewater treatment systems on private well supplies, Environmental Pollution, 268, 2021 Journal Article, 2021 DOI

Qingxin Zhang, Mackenzie Wieler, David O'Connell , Laurence Gill , Qunfeng Xiao and Yongfeng Hu, Speciation of Phosphorus from Suspended Sediment Studied by Bulk and Micro-XANES, Soil Systems, 2020 Journal Article, 2020

D. W. O'Connell , N. Ansems, R. K. Kukkadapu , D. Jaisi , D. M. Orihel , B. J. Cade‐Menun, Y. Hu , J. Wiklund , R. I. Hall , H. Chessell, T. Behrends, and P. Van Cappellen, Changes in Sedimentary Phosphorus Burial Following Artificial Eutrophication of Lake 227, Experimental Lakes Area, Ontario, Canada, Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeoscience, 2020, 10.1029/2020J Journal Article, 2020

Sandström, S., Futter, M.N., Kyllmar, K., Bishop, K., O'Connell, D.W., Djodjic, F , Particulate phosphorus and suspended solids losses from small agricultural catchments: links to stream and catchment characteristics., Science of the Total Environment, 2019 Journal Article, 2019 DOI TARA - Full Text

Vucinic L., O'Connell D.W., Knӧrr K, Coxon C., Gill L.W., Fluorescence-based tracking of particles from domestic wastewater treatment system plumes discharging to springs in karst aquifer systems, Geophysical Research Abstracts, EGU General Assembly, Vienna, Austria, 8th-13th April, 20, 2018, pp6502-2 Conference Paper, 2018

Parsons, C.T., Rezanezhad, F., O'Connell, D.W., Van Cappellen, P., Biogeosciences, Sediment phosphorus speciation and mobility under dynamic redox conditions, 14, 2017, p3585 - 3602 Journal Article, 2017

Lima, Ana T., Mitchell, Kirsten., O'Connell, David.W., Verhoeven, Jos., Van Cappellen, Philippe, The legacy of surface mining: Remediation, restoration, reclamation and rehabilitation, Environmental Science and Policy, 66, 2016, p227 - 233 Journal Article, 2016

O'Connell, David.W., Mark Jensen., Marlene., Jacobsen, Rasmus., Thamdrup, Bo., Joest Andersen, Thorbjorn., Kovacs, Andras., Bruun Hansen, Hans Christian, Vivianite formation and its role in phosphorus retention in Lake Ørn, Denmark, Chemical Geology, 409, 2015, p42 - 53 Journal Article, 2015

Orihel, Diane M., Schindler, David W., Ballard, Nathaniel C., Graham Mark D., O'Connell David W., Vinebrooke Rolf D, The "nutrient pump:" Iron-poor sediments fuel low nitrogen-to-phosphorus ratios and cyanobacterial blooms in polymictic lakes, Limnology and Oceanography, 60, (3), 2015, p856 - 871 Journal Article, 2015

F. Rezanezhad, R-M. Couture, R. Kovac, D. O'Connell, P. Van Cappellen, An automated fluctuating water table column system to study soil biogeochemistry under redox-dynamic conditions, Journal of Hydrology, 509, 2014, p245 - 256 Journal Article, 2014

F. Rezanezhad, R-M. Couture, R. Kovac, D. O'Connell, P. Van Cappellen, An automated fluctuating water table column system to study soil biogeochemistry under redox-dynamic conditions, Journal of Hydrology, 509, 2014, p245 - 256 Journal Article, 2014

Walpersdorf E., Bender Koch C., Heiberg, L., O'Connell, D.W., Kjaergaard C., Bruun Hansen H.C, Does vivianite control phosphate solubility in anoxic meadow soils, 193-194, 2013, p189 - 199 Journal Article, 2013

O'Connell, David William., Aszalos, Balazs., Birkinshaw, Colin., O'Dwyer, Thomas Francis, A study of the mechanisms of divalent copper binding to a modified cellulose adsorbent, 116, (5), 2010, p2496 - 2503 Journal Article, 2010

O'Connell, David W., Birkinshaw, Colin., O'Dwyer, Thomas F, Removal of lead(II) ions from aqueous solutions using a modified cellulose adsorbent, Adsorption Science and Technology, 24, (4), 2006, p337 - 348 Journal Article, 2006

O'Connell, D.W., Birkinshaw, C., O'Dwyer, T.F, A chelating cellulose adsorbent for the removal of Cu(II) from aqueous solutions, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 99, (6), 2006, p2888 - 2897 Journal Article, 2006

O'Connell, David W., Birkinshaw, Colin., O'Dwyer, Thomas F, Design of a novel cellulose-based adsorbent for use in heavy metal recovery from aqueous waste streams, WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 95, 2006, p489 - 498 Journal Article, 2006

O'Connell, David W., Birkinshaw, Colin., O'Dwyer, Thomas F., A modified cellulose adsorbent for the removal of nickel(II) from aqueous solutions, Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, 81, (11), 2006, p1820 - 1828 Journal Article, 2006

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Victoria Martinez, Shining a light on the past, 2021, - Miscellaneous, 2021

Alan O'Keeffe, Fear of drought returning prompts pleas to conserve water, 2020, - Miscellaneous, 2020

David O'Connell, Legacy phosphorus and the pivotal role of fluvial suspended solids in agricultural catchments, 2019, - Miscellaneous, 2019

David.W. O'Connell , Characteristics of stable isotope fractionations during reactive transport of phosphate in groundwater discharging to a groundwater fed lake (Lough Gur, Co Limerick), 2015-sc-027, Geological Survey of Ireland, 2016, p1 - 8, 1-8 Report, 2016

TENILLE BONOGUORE, Ontario swamp faces manufactured flood, 2012, - Miscellaneous, 2012

Research Expertise

Description

My principal research interests lie in the broad area of hydrogeology, biogeochemistry and hydrology associated with environmental engineering. My background covers water and wastewater treatment technologies along with studying earth systems processes governing water quality across scales from the field scale to microscale using multiple chemical and solid-state techniques. My research in hydrology and hydrogeology investigates groundwater flow rates, nutrient cycling and contaminant tracing to surface water ecosystems and aquifers (i.e. groundwater resources, lakes, rivers and springs) using multiple conventional and non-conventional methods such as stable isotopes, advanced spectroscopy, hydrochemistry and microbial techniques. Coupled with my work on hydrogeology and hydrology, I have worked in the area of nutrient biogeochemistry and eco-hydrology with a focus on nutrient cycling in lakes, wetlands, streams and rivers.

Projects

  • Title
    • Diffuse Water Pollution: NUtrient capture REcovery and reCycling systems (NuReCycle)
  • Summary
    • The NuReCycle project is focused on diffuse agricultural water pollution and application of integrated nutrient control, recovery and recycling innovative systems. The projects four connected multidisciplinary PhD projects examine; (1) nutrient/trace element accumulator plant species and their synergistic relationship with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and microbes to ameliorate elevated nutrient runoff; (2) recovery of elemental and/or nutrient rich vegetation for use as fertilizer or Biochar (3) innovative passive in-stream sediment/nutrient traps and; (4) the social, political and economic contexts that facilitated agricultural practices/legacies with problematic environmental effects to gain support for future mitigation measures.
  • Funding Agency
    • Kinsella Challenge Award - Trinity College Dublin
  • Date From
    • July 2021
  • Date To
    • July 2026
  • Title
    • GRoundwater Age DistributionS for the Sustainable MAnagement of gRoundwaTer reSources in Ireland (Grads and Smarts)
  • Funding Agency
    • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Date From
    • March 2022
  • Date To
    • March 2026
  • Title
    • Particulate phosphorus fractions and bioavailability from agricultural tile drains
  • Summary
    • The most common forms of phosphorus reported that are discharge from subsurface agricultural drains include total P (TP), dissolved P (DP, DRP, SRP), and particulate P (PP). Numerous studies have documented the existence of these forms of P in agricultural tile drains. From the literature, it is universally recognised that dissolved P can be an important form of P measured in tile drainages. However, occasionally PP comprises a disproportionately large component of TP in drainage water, particularly under high-flow conditions which can transport legacy phosphorus species within the drainage water suspended solids and have a long lasting effect on surface water quality. The objectives of this study were to: (1) determine suspended solids (SS) and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentrations in drainage water discharged from tile-drains under low permeability soils; (2) determine phosphorus fractions within particulate phosphorus discharged from agricultural tile drain; (3) estimate the bioavailability of particulate phosphorus recovered from tile-drain sediment samplers using a mesocosm technique.
  • Funding Agency
    • LAWPRO
  • Date From
    • October 2020
  • Date To
    • October 2023

Keywords

Drainage technology; Edge of Field Technology; environmental engineering; Natural Based Solutions

Recognition

Representations

Manuscript reviewer for academic journals - Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental monitoring, Hydrological processes, Environmental pollution. Currently I review three to four a year when asked. October 2022

Member of an international atomic energy agency (IAEA) coordinated research program (CRP). This involves acting in an advisory role for third world participants in isotope tracing of agricultural contaminants. 2018-2023

Awards and Honours

TCD - E3 Kinsella Award - PI - NuReCycle Project 2021-2026

GSI Griffith Award 2015

GSI Griffith Award 2016

Memberships

European Geoscience Union (EGU) 2015 – present

International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) 2022 – 2012