NUI Galway Symposium to Discuss Extreme Weather Events and its Physical and Social Impacts

The dune shoreline in the Maharees, Brandon Bay, Co Kerry has been retreating rapidly the past century. The low lying sandy tombolo is highly vulnerable every winter as the only road used for access is frequently closed due to flooding and sand deposited during storm events. The NUI Galway coastal research team has been monitoring the coastline in this area the past two years and has been working with the local community to find solutions to protect this unique area. Photo: NUI Galway
Jun 27 2017 Posted: 12:29 IST

The Discipline of Geography at NUI Galway is hosting a half-day symposium on ‘Extreme Weather Events: Physical and Social Impacts’ on Wednesday, 28 June.

Leading international and national scholars will participate in the event, which aims to improve the international scope of Irish climate change research to discuss research ideas and future projects. The symposium is keen to encourage cross disciplinary dialogues to ignite new ideas for future research collaborations across NUI Galway and beyond, looking at research opportunities into the science and impacts of climate change to understand merging Atmospheric Sciences, Oceanography, Climate modelling, Engineering, and Coastal Geomorphology with Social Scientific research. The event will provide postgraduate student research and networking opportunities for the next generation of climate scientists to exchange ideas and be exposed to state-of-the-art research.

Commenting on the event, Dr Eugene Farrell, Lecturer in Physical Geography at NUI Galway, said: “Ireland’s identity is intertwined with the coastal and marine environment and we need to engage in an interdisciplinary discourse to address the physical and social impacts of a changing climate. Truly innovative interdisciplinary research requires formal and informal discussions to assess the potential for future collaborative work. It is invaluable for post-graduate students to be included in these discussions providing them with the opportunity to participate in a scientific meeting.”

Dr Audrey Morley, Lecturer in the School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway, added: “Ireland needs skilled personnel, who can advise on, organise and regulate an informed development of coastal, marine and climate resources and activities in Ireland, the European Union and worldwide. This conference will be part of the process of preparing and upskilling postgraduate students for that role. The workshop will provide a forum within which students can interact directly with a range of national and international professional and expert practitioners and gain exposure to key experts, networks and important contacts in academia and beyond. This will enhance the reputation and profile of our students, their employability and future scholarly success, as well as their ability to contribute to creating change in a challenging contemporary society.”

Keynote speakers and their topics will include:

  • Professor Alan Haywood, University of Leeds - Palaeoclimate Modelling of Extreme Events.
  • Dr Conor Murphy, NUI Maynooth - Hydro-climatic extremes from the year 1700 to present: data rescue, reanalysis and documentary sources.
  • Dr Christy Swann, US Naval Research Laboratory - Coastal Storm Events: Field observations of fluid flow, sediment transport and morphodynamics in the nearshore.
  • Professor Michael Hartnett, NUI Galway - Modelling storm surges and coastal urban flooding.
  • Dr David Serrano Giné, Rovira i Virgili University, Spain - Assessing social carrying capacity of vulnerable coastlines.
  • A panel discussion on research opportunities and research directions.

For further information about the event, visit:


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