Dr Deirdre Brophy

MFRC Leader, Lecturer and Researcher in Marine Ecology and Fisheries
+353 (0)91 742484

In my role as the strategic leader of the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre I work with colleagues to develop the Centre’s research programmes and build collaboration with partners, nationally and internationally. I am principal investigator and postgraduate supervisor on several projects within the Centre and mentor a number of postdoctoral researchers. I also lecture in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment on programmes including the BSc Hons in Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology, the MSc in Applied Marine Conservation and the International MSc in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea)

My research contributes to sustainable fisheries management by strengthening understanding of fish growth, population connectivity and early life history processes as well as the environmental and ecological drivers underpinning their variability. Much of my research uses growth marks and chemical constituents of fish hard-parts to delineate population boundaries, reconstruct life-histories and examine responses to environmental change.


Naviculaceae image taken using confocal microscopy by Angeline Le Fran at CMABio3, Caen (France)
The Cli-PhI project brings together experts in ecology, statistics, harmful algal blooms and oceanography to build comprehensive understanding of spatial and temporal patterns in phytoplankton abundance, diversity, and distribution in Irish coastal waters.
Fresh mackerel on the market
This collaboration between ATU, BIM and the Marine Institute aims to characterise Kudoa sp. infection in the Irish mackerel fishery using molecular and histological techniques, to identify biological and environmental factors associated with infection and to develop tools for mitigating the impacts on commercial fishing and processing operations.
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.
Uncooked fresh common whelks or sea snails isolated on a white studio background. Traditionally pickled and eaten at the seaside, isolated on a white studio background
This collaboration between the MFRC, BIM, Nofima (Norway) and the Irish fishing industry aims to develop alternative sustainable baits for the Irish whelk fishery.
This collaborative project with the Marine Institute takes a whole life cycle approach to investigate how commercial fish stocks are responding to climate change.
The goal of this project is set up a set of novel tools for the detection and monitoring of marine invasive species in Irish coastal waters. This project is funded by the European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF).
Through international collaboration, MFRC researchers are investigating the stock structure of Atlantic bluefin tuna using otolith and genetic markers in combination.
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.
Close-up of a trawler fishing net with tassels and floats
FishKOSM aims to increase our operational understanding of sustainable yields in mixed and multi-species fisheries.