When I first began my academic career as a Forensic Science and Analysis Student in GMIT, I never quite imagined that I would end up working in a Marine-centered research position. Having been a student at GMIT since 2013, I cannot see myself happier anywhere else! As part of my undergrad, I took part in an industrial placement which provided the gateway into research. Once through, I couldn’t imagine myself pursuing anything else. In the final year of my undergrad, I laid the foundation for my current research. My project involves the quantification of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). These are toxic, anthropogenic compounds that due to their chemical properties, build up in the environment, and by extension its inhabitants. The project itself focuses on the concentration of these compounds in a number of cetacean species that have stranded on the Irish Coast, including Killer Whales, Beaked Whales, Pilot Whales, Common Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises. I aim to expand the types of compound under investigation to compounds of emerging concern including neo-nicotinoids and pharmaceuticals.
I am also working part-time as the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre’s Student Laboratory Manager, and First Year Lab Supervisor.