Dr Emma Gray

Assistant Lecturer and Researcher in Freshwater Ecology

I completed a MSc in Environmental Monitoring and Modelling at the University of Manchester in 2015 and then went on to complete my PhD in Geography at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in 2019. My research has focused on the impacts of long-term climatic changes and extreme weather events on phytoplankton communities within lakes, using a combination of fieldwork, high resolution monitoring and modelling. I joined the MFRC in 2020 to help develop a framework for characterising oligotrophic lakes in order to help inform conservation and restoration measures with my focus being on developing phytoplankton indicators.


This NPWS funded research project (2023) is led by ATU Galway City. The aim of this project is to identify differences in desmid (a type of phytoplankton) community composition among dystrophic lakes impacted by different land-uses (grazing, peat cutting, forestry and unimpacted). This information will be used to develop desmid species lists to indicate whether a lake is in a favourable or unfavourable conservation status to help inform the EU Habitats Directive.
This EPA funded research project (2020-2023) is led by ATU Galway City and aims to gather and assess baseline data on oligotrophic lakes