Professor Yvonne Buckley named Irish Research Council 2021 Researcher of the Year

Posted on: 03 December 2021

Yvonne Buckley, Professor of Zoology and incoming Vice President for Biodiversity and Climate Action at Trinity, has won the Irish Research Council (IRC) 2021 Researcher of the Year award.

Professor Buckley is an ecologist and expert on plant and animal populations. Her work is focused on the growth, reproduction and survival of plant and animal species.

Using insights from her research, she develops models of plant and animal populations, which help to determine the conditions that may lead to a change in their population size over time. 

Leading a team of post-doctoral researchers and undergraduate research students at Trinity, Professor Buckley’s work explores solutions that will enable biodiversity to persist through global changes that are currently occurring, including climate change. 

Her research has also informed policy, through her role as Chair of the National Biodiversity Forum, and advising the Joint Oireachtas Climate Action Committee. She is also Co-Chair of the All-Island Climate and Biodiversity Research Network (AICBRN), recently launched by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin. 

The judges also made two commendations in this year’s Researcher of the Year category, with Trinity’s Professor Poul Holm singled out for his contributions to the interdisciplinary fields of marine science and history.

Professor Holm is Professor of Environmental History at Trinity and Director of the Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities. Talking about his work, Professor Holm said: 

I love to put historical data to good use for tomorrow. One example is a report I co-authored for the European Commission on food from the oceans. We identified the need to shift food preferences from high to low trophic levels in regard to seafood. To promote such a change, we recommended to undertake experiments to promote more sustainable foodways.” 

The annual Researcher of the Year awards, recognise the very best of the Council’s awardees and alumni working in academia, industry, civic society, and the public sector. 

The Researcher of the Year category, recognises a current or former Council awardee, who is working in research in an academic institution and who has made an exceptional contribution to research in their field.

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