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The Prendergast Challenge-based Multi-disciplinary Project Awards

The Prendergast challenge-based Multi-disciplinary Project Awards

These challenge-based awards are made possible through the generous philanthropic support of the Provost’s Council, a network of leading Trinity alumni and supporters who act as advisors to the College. Donations have been made in honour of the Provostship of Patrick Prendergast, and two awards will be made, each to the value of €600k.

Overview:

It is with great pleasure we announce the launch of an exciting new research opportunity, the Prendergast Challenge-Based Project Awards. Each award enables a team of academics from different disciplinary backgrounds to recruit up to five PhD students to work on an impactful project addressing a global challenge. The awards recognize that global challenges are complex and driven by multiple and often overlapping phenomena that are best addressed by exploiting the collaborative expertise of multiple disciplines. This exciting initiative aims to foster innovative cross-disciplinary research inspired by the cluster areas in the EU Horizon Europe's Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness pillar:

The Clusters are:

  • Civil Security for Society
  • Climate, Energy and Mobility
  • Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society
  • Digital, Industry and Space
  • Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment
  • Health

These clusters are, in turn, part of the EU’s commitment to implement the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the 'Paris Agreement') and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Congratulations to the two winning teams of the Prendergast Challenge-based Awards.

Project 1: Resist-AMR Antimicrobial Resistance: Engineering Natural, One- Health, Systems Thinking Solutions to a Manmade Global Disaster

Antimicrobials are critical resources for human, animal and plant health. With emergence of antimicrobial resistance and lack of new antimicrobials, we face an unprecedented global environmental, food security and human health threat. Applying a multidisciplinary approach, the team including 4 PhD projects and expertise from plant scientists, clinical and environmental microbiologists, geneticists, antimicrobial resistance specialists, computer scientists/statisticians, bioengineers and sociologists, will study environmental and human ‘resistomes’ from agricultural and clinical settings and analyse agricultural stakeholders’ practices and policies to identify institutional reform implications.

Lead Principal Investigators:

Prof. Trevor Hodkinson, Botany, School of Natural Sciences

Dr Marta Martins, Assistant Professor in Microbiology, School of Genetics and Microbiology

Dr Sinéad Corr, Associate Professor in School of Genetics and Microbiology

Dr Julie Renwick, Assistant Professor in Clinical Microbiology, School of Medicine

Co-Principle Investigators and Collaborators:

Dr Michael Monaghan, School of Engineering

Dr Elaine Moriarty, School of Social Sciences and Philosophy

Prof. Rose Anne Kenny, School of Medicine

Prof. Simon Wilson, School of Computer Science & Statistics

Project 2. “Life in the Currents”

"Life in the Currents" represents a novel investigation into the role of naturally driven variability in the historical and contemporary exploitation of marine life in the Northeast Atlantic. The project addresses the challenge of assessing the impacts of natural and anthropogenically driven climatic and oceanic variability on marine ecosystems, and the effects of these oceanic changes on terrestrial life and human societies. The outcome of the project is anticipated to resolve intriguing questions, such as how the ocean circulations have an impact on primary biological production and coastal geomorphologies; how does oceanic-riverine interaction affect marine ecosystems (e.g., river flooding as a control of terrestrial nutrient run-off into marine ecosystems); to what degree can variable ocean dynamics explain historical variability in fish catch documented for the past 500-hundred years and how unique are ocean circulation changes within the span of human habitation in Northeast Atlantic?

 

Herring train works, Bohuslän, 1794. A method for producing train oil from herring was discovered, c.1760, with c.500 oil factories soon established on the Bohuslän coast (Sahrhage & Lundbeck, 1992), exploiting the famous Bohuslän phenomenon in which super-abundant herring shoals appeared on a quasi-centennial timescale (Alheit & Hagen, 1996, 1997). Their sudden disappearance was economically devastating.

Lead Principal Investigator:

Prof. Biswajit Basu, School of Engineering

Co-Principate Investigators:

Dr Francis Ludlow, Assistant Professor of Medieval Environmental History, School of History and Humanities

Prof. Iris Möller, Professor of Geography, Schoo of Natural Sciences

Dr John Digliana, Assistant Professor in Computer Science, School of Computer Science and Statistics

Dr Kirk Soodhalter, Ussher Assistant Professor in Numerical Analysis, School of Mathematics

Dr Margaret Jackson, Assistant Professor in Physical Geography, School of Natural Sciences

Dr Nessa O'Connor, Associate Professor in Zoology, School of Natural Sciences

Prof. Poul Holm, Professor of Environmental History, School of Histories and Humanities