Patrick McCabe:

Patrick is carrying out a paleolimnological investigation of a series of inter drumlin lakes in Co. Monaghan, Ireland.
In Ireland there are approximately 5,500 group water schemes (GWS’s) servicing 170,000 households throughout the country. Largely due to the efforts of the National Federation of Group Water Schemes (NFGWS), it is now realised throughout the sector that the key to reducing water treatment costs and problems, involves protecting water at source. In this project four small, shallow lakes in County Monaghan which are used as abstraction points for local GWS’s have been selected to undergo a paleolimnological investigation. This approach uses a combination of lake sediment analysis and catchment export coefficients to hind cast past conditions and relate any associated change with alterations in climate and catchment. Three of the lakes in question are surrounded by intensively farmed drumlin catchments (Baird Shore, Killcorran Lough, Moynalty Lough), whilst the fourth is an upland lake with limited catchment pressures.

Patrick Rafferty:

Patrick Rafferty

Patrick carried out a project investigating surface water and subsurface water at sites where onsite wastewater treatment systems (OSWTS) are used, in an effort to determine the pathway taken by the effluent in the environment. The project aims to use fluorometry as a method for tracking human faecal contamination of water bodies. A method for analysing caffeine in ground and surface water using high performance liquid chromatography will also be developed. The methods developed may be used to differentiate between the pollution caused by OSWTS and those arising from agricultural or other sources. The effects of OSWTS on surrounding water bodies may then be assessed.

 Former Team Members

Dr. Alec Roleston:

Alec Roleston worked on the Tellus Border Wetland Project between 2011 and 2013. This project investigated the hydroecological processes and pressures at wetland sites in the border counties of Ireland. Alec completed his undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences at Exeter University, UK, majoring in ecology in his final year. He completed his PhD in 2004 at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, investigating the population and molecular ecology of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) from Bull Island. Alec has worked previously at Flinders University, Adelaide as a member of one of Australia’s foremost research clusters (“CLLAMMecology”). Alec investigated the response of aquatic macroinvertebrates to continuing drought conditions in the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth (CLLMM) region – a Ramsar listed wetland of international importance. In 2009, Alec joined the South Australian Department of Environment and Natural Resources as Coordinator of Ecological Investigations for the Department’s CLLMM Program.

Mawuli Dzakpasu:

Mawuli Dzakpasu completed his PhD in 2013. Mawuli (Co-supervised by Dr. Siobhán Jordan and Prof. Miklas Schloz)carried out out experimental research of physical, biological and chemical processes occurring in an industrial-scale Integrated Constructed Wetland (ICW) system treating domestic wastewater in Glaslough, near Monaghan, Ireland. ICW have been designed successfully to treat farmyard runoff following best management practice. They are popular because of their low capital and operational costs, high treatment efficiency, optimal integration into the landscape, and ecosystem and biodiversity enhancement benefits, and excellent compliance with socio-economic and sustainable needs. However, the application of ICW as the main treatment unit for large-scale domestic wastewater treatment plants is novel, and concerns need to be addressed that these ICW do not pollute groundwater and receiving watercourses. Treatment wetland systems are currently designed based on past empirical observations. There is a clear need for a decision support tool for the design and operation of ICW treating domestic wastewater incorporating standard engineering and microbiological variables. This can be achieved by incorporating microbiological parameters into novel engineering decision support methodologies. The study will provide the bench-mark and design criteria for further natural wastewater treatment systems in Ireland, UK and beyond.