College: College of Life and Environmental Sciences
In August 2013, I completed an MA in Rural Sustainability at NUI Galway (Geography) for which I was awarded a first class honours degree. The programme dealt not only with broad issues on how the rural is conceptualised in academic terms, but also how this impacts upon policy and programme interventions including rural development strategies. The significance of institutional structures and modes of rural governance, and how these were able to work flexibly to take advantage of collaborative networks between agencies and actors at a range of spatial scales was also explored in depth. My MA thesis examined strategic planning and development of wind energy in Ireland. In order to undertake a critical analysis of this topic a comparative case study approach was adopted. This approach examined spatial planning strategies through the progress and development of two wind turbine projects, with an export orientated agenda.
In 2015, I moved to the UK to begin a PhD at the University of Exeter under the supervision of Professor Steve Hinchcliffe and Professor Henry Buller. My PhD is titled 'Sustainable and Secure Fish Farms: Understanding the Social Practices and Processes Relating to Aquaculture and Biosecurity' My research explores issues of biosecurity and animal welfare in freshwater aquaculture, in England and Wales. My research aims to develop academic knowledge of a previously neglected aspect of farming and biosecurity by engaging with producer attitudes, approaches along, with the drivers and underlying factors relating to biosecurity in finfish aquaculture, from a social science perspective.
My research is funded by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science.
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