The Burrishoole Catchment, located in the northwest of Mayo County, is one of the most important Atlantic salmon and eel research catchments in the world. Since 2004, the NUI Galway Burrishoole Catchment Research Team, in collaboration with the Marine Institute, Coillte, the National Park and Wildlife Service, Fisheries Boards, Irish Environmental Protection Agency, local county councils and local farmers, has been carrying out research in the catchment. Our studies focus on (1) an assessment of the impact of land use activities, especially deforestation on catchment hydrology, water quality and ecology, (2) development of novel practices that will protect the catchments hydrology, water quality and biodiversity, and (3) an exploration of approaches to help policy makers, planners, and land and water managers take account of the inter-relationships among a range of ecological, economic and social ecosystem services. Together with our research partners, we have established facilities in the catchments and collected long term water, hydrology, bio-geochemistry and biodiversity data in the catchment, which has applications in: 

  1. Wind farm development, 
  2. Sustainable forestry development, 
  3. Climate change, 
  4. Erosion control
  5. Eutrophication control
  6. Biodiversity
  7. Water Framework Directive
  8. Carbon sequestration, and
  9. Fisheries protection.

Location of the Burrishoole Catchment

Altaconey Study Site

Srahrevagh River Study Site

Glennamong River Study Site

Monitoring Station

Water Quality Monitoring Probes

Weather Station


Peer-review journal papers:

Rodgers, M., O. Connor, M., Healy, M.G., O. Driscoll, C., ul-Zaman Asam, Z., Nieminen, M., Xiao, L. 2010. Phosphorus release from forest harvesting on an upland peat blanket catchment. Forest Ecology and Management 260(12): 2241- 2248. 

Conference papers:

Finnegan, J., Regan, J.T., McCabe, B., Healy, M.G. 2012. Use of brash mats for clearfelling of forestry on peat: an Irish perspective. The International Peat Congress (IPC), Stockholm, 3-8 June, 2012. 
Finnegan, J., Regan, J.T., Healy, M.G. 2011. Assessment of impacts of forest operations on the environment. 12th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology (CEST). 8-10 September, Rhodes Island, Greece. 
Troy, S., Nolan, T., Lawlor, P., Leahy, J.J., Healy, M.G., Kwapinski, W. 2011. Influence of the addition of different carbon rich bulking agents and composting on the characteristics of pig manure char. ESAI Colloquium, University College Cork, April, 2011.
Finnegan, J., Regan, J.T., Healy, M.G. 2011. Assessment of impacts of forest operations on the environment. ESAI Colloquium, University College Cork, April, 2011. (winner . best presentation)