Dr José M. Fariñas-Franco

Lecturer in marine ecology. Researcher in marine habitat conservation and restoration aquaculture (kelp, bivalves)
+353 (0)91 2186

I am a Lecturer at the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at ATU and a researcher in conservation and restoration ecology and aquaculture at the MFRC since 2019. My research interests are the ecological functioning of marine habitats of high biodiversity, especially biogenic habitats (kelp, shellfish), following anthropogenic impacts and the development of novel approaches for impact amelioration and ecological restoration using aquaculture of keystone biogenic habitat building species such as kelp and bivalves. My career as a marine ecologist spans almost 20 years in industry and academia, working in projects across Ireland, the UK and offshore (Black Sea, Canada, South America) and authoring over 70 scientific reports. I graduated in ecology from the University of León (Spain) and obtained a PhD in 2012 from Queen’s University Belfast, on keystone species and habitat restoration. This was followed by research fellow positions at Heriot Watt University (UK) and NUI Galway (Ireland).


This research project studies the factors affecting growth and epiphytical communities in seamoss aquaculture in Grenada. It is collaboration between ATU and St George’s University, funded by the Our Shared Oceans Programme.
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.
MFRC researcher, Dr José Fariñas-Franco, is involved in this H2020 funded European collaboration which aims to increase the production and exploitation of cultivated seaweed in Europe an environmentally sustainable and socially acceptable manner.
As part of the ECOHARVEST consortium, MFRC researcher Dr José Fariñas-Franco is investigating the effect of two different harvesting procedures on intertidal ecosystems and monitors natural recovery.