Dr Conor Graham

Lecturer and Researcher in Freshwater and Marine Ecology
+353 (0)91 742888

I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Marine Science in 2001 and a MSc (Research) in Freshwater Fish Ecology in 2004 both from NUI Galway and a PhD (The impact of nutrient enrichment on the ecology of salmonids in Irish rivers) in freshwater ecology from University College Cork in 2010. I held several postdoc positions in UCC and NUIG on freshwater and marine ecology as well as terrestrial ecology before joining GMIT as a lecturer and researcher in 2014. My research interests include impact of cultural eutrophication and forestry on aquatic systems, biodiversity conservation, climate change, trophic ecology, life history choice, the development of sustainable marine fisheries, deep-sea food webs and marine food traceability. I am a lecturer in aquatic ecology and statistics on the BSc Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology and programme chair for the BSc Agriculture & Environmental Management.

Project profile
This project, along with its multi-disciplinary team, is looking at assessing the use of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to monitor MPAs and provide best-practice advice on their use. This includes the investigation of UAV flyover methods to monitor fishing activities, evaluating the abundance and distribution of biological features of interest, and quantifying the nature and extend of anthropogenic activities within selected case studies. This work aspires to generate novel approaches to monitoring, complementing the objectives of the National Marine Planning Framework by outlining how human activities interact with each other in MPAs.
Oisre aims to chart the extent and biodiversity of remnant native oyster beds in Kilkieran and Bertraghboy Bay, in Connemara, Galway coupled with restoration and rejuvenation trials. These beds will be used as reference habitats for ecological restoration in Ireland and elsewhere and protected as sanctuary areas. In turn that would allow the sustainable management of these important biogenic habitats.
An image of a large cluster of black mussel shells visible at low tide.
The main aim of this project is to disentangle genetic structure and adaptive potential of mussels in Irish waters to understand native vs non-indigenous species dynamics and enable sustainable seafood production.
Lake surrounded by Conifer forest
This research will determine a baseline list of biological communities, comprising aquatic and semi-aquatic plants, invertebrates and vertebrates of dystrophic lakes and pools within Nephin Forest using eDNA.
Wild Nephin 2
This Marine Institute funded research project led by ATU Galway City aims to gather and assess baseline habitat composition and structure, and bird population data in Nephin Forest within Wild Nephin National Park
This project aims at developing state-of-the-art molecular tools for the rapid and cost-effective screening of plankton samples for the presence of bivalve and crustacean species of commercial value. This project is in collaboration with BIM and is funded by the European Maritime Fisheries Fund.
The main goal of this project is to develop and apply an environmental DNA (eDNA) protocol for the detection and monitoring of declining Irish Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus)
This research is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and runs from 2020-2023. It is conducted in collaboration with Institute of Technology Tralee, The Environment Agency (UK), Environmental Research Associates (UK).
The METRODIVER project, led by CNRS in France examines how marine protected area design influences trophic diversity and ecosystem health.
The analysis of trace elemental signatures in shells, using ICP-MS, provides a tool for tracing the origin of shellfish.