Project Team


Dr Tan Caruso, UCD

Tancredi Caruso is Associate Professor, School of Biology and Environmental Science, UCD and his research focuses on the processes that structure microbial and animal biodiversity in space and time, aboveground-belowground linkages, especially plants and soil and the ecological networks they form. His research project have been funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and DFG (Germany), NERC, Royal Society, Leverhulme Trust and and Invest NI (UK), the EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie programme and the SFI Frontier for the Future Programme (Ireland).

UCD School of Biology & Environmental Science, staff portraits - Dr Jonathan Yearsley

Jonathan Yearsley is College Lecturer, School of Biology and Environmental Science, UCD. He leads the Ecological Modelling group at UCD. His research develops ecological theory and approaches for ecological data analysis. He has been researching in ecological modelling since 1995. Originally a graduate in physics from the University of Birmingham (1st Hons), with an MSc in the Advanced Study in Mathematics (Part III of the Tripos, distinction) from the University of Cambridge (Churchill College) and a PhD in Cosmology from the University of Sussex (Supervisor Prof John Barrow).

Twitter: @JonYearsley

Evelyn Doyle

Evelyn Doyle is an Associate Professor, environmental microbiologist, and current Head of School of Biology and Environmental Science, UCD. Associate Professor Evelyn Doyle is an environmental microbiologist and current Head of UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science. On graduation with BSc in Microbiology from the National University of Ireland, Galway Associate, Evelyn came to UCD and completed a PhD on high maltose producing amylases. After 4 years working as an industry-funded postdoc, she joined the staff of the Department of Industrial Microbiology in UCD in 1990 and was Head of Department from 2002-2005. She leads the Environmental Microbiology research group in UCD and her research focuses on the factors affecting microbial diversity and activity in the environment as a means of developing strategies for the reduction of greenhouse gases, restoration of contaminated sites and development of sustainable agricultural systems.

Dr Dara Stanley

Dara Stanley is a Lecturer in Applied Entomology in the School of Agriculture and Food Science, and Earth Institute, at UCD. She currently leads a research team investigating questions around the interactions between plants and pollinators including their ecology, conservation and contribution to crop production, as well as the effects of pesticide use and climate. She also leads both the DAFM funded large-scale PROTECTS project investigating the non-target impacts of pesticide use on terrestrial ecosystem services in Ireland, and the SUSPOLL project funded by SFI investigating sustainable pollination services in a changing world. Dara is also actively interested in science communication and outreach.

Olaf Schmidt

Olaf Schmidt is Professor in the School of Agriculture and Food Science, UCD. His main research interests are in soil science, in particular in the biology, ecology and biochemistry of soils in the context of agricultural soil–plant–animal systems. He especially likes earthworms as a study subject, he has been fascinated by their ecology and adaptations to life in soil for a long time. He has another active research area in meat authentication and livestock traceability, based on stable isotope ratio analysis and in collaboration with meat biochemists and animal scientists. Olaf is also a member of the Cost Action

Miguel Bustamante

Miguel Bustamante is Associate Professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, UCD. His work in Applied and Computational Mathematics has received funding from Irish, French, Austrian, British and European Union sources in the period 2010-2020, leading to 40+ publications and 20+ international invited speaker presentations. His research interests can be put in 2 categories: (i) In fluids and general nonlinear systems: turbulence, extreme events and finite-time singularities. (ii) In wave systems: nonlinear energy-transfer mechanisms such as precession resonance, synchronisation and dynamical systems approach. More recently he collaborated in Industrial Mathematics and Mathematical Biology, and held a position in the management committee of the COST Action “Mathematics for Industry Network”, 2015-2019.

Jacky Croke

Jacky Croke is Professor in Physical Geography at University College Dublin. Her research interests lie in fluvial geomorphology, environmental change and landscape response over timescales ranging from the glacial/interglacial cycles of the Quaternary (2.5Mill Years) to the more recent Anthropocene. Prof. Croke’s work has focussed on using cutting-edge approaches and technologies to reconstruct environmental change in a range of climatic zones, including arid, tropical and temeprate. A constant focus has been showcasing the contribution of past climates to inform future predictions of water availability. Research interests in Ireland include the classification of Irish Rivers based on their hydrological and geomorphic characteristics which together provide a more informed view of water availability, water quality, and flood risk in Ireland.

International Partners

Prof Matthias Rillig

Matthias C. Rillig is Full Professor (W3) of Plant Ecology at Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) and Director of Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB). Rillig obtained a Ph.D. degree in Ecology from University of California Davis/ San Diego State University, USA in 1997. After a one-year postdoc at Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, USA, he went on to become Assistant and then Associate Professor of Microbial Ecology at University of Montana, USA (1999-2007). In 2007 he was appointed Full Professor of Plant Ecology at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. His lab focuses on soil biodiversity, especially fungi (arbuscular mycorrhizal, saprobic, and parasitic) and plants, global change (including microplastic), and the application of ecological principles to soil. Check out Twitter @mrillig or visit the lab’s site at

Diego Garlaschelli

Diego Garlaschelli is Associate Professor at the IMT School of Advanced Studies in Lucca (IT), where he directs the Networks research unit, and at the Lorentz Institute for Theoretical Physics of Leiden University (NL), where he leads the Econophysics and Network Theory group. Check out also this Research interests are strongly interdisciplinary and include network theory, statistical physics, financial complexity, information theory, social dynamics and biological systems.