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The School of Natural Sciences, comprising the academic units of the departments of Botany, Geography, Geology and Zoology and the Centre for the Environment, forms an internationally recognised, research led centre of academic excellence accommodating biological, physical and social scientists. It is one of the largest schools in the University and the largest grouping of its kind in Ireland. The Mission of the School of Natural Sciences is to be world class in its defined areas of research, to enhance the quality and innovativeness of the learning experience for its students, and to maintain existing and develop new research-based teaching programmes, particularly at 4th level.
The research interests of many staff in the School overlap, are often international in their scope and target a broad range of topics such as: atmospheric and earth processes (including climate and sea level changes, global palaeogeography); biological diversity and conservation (from the molecular to the level of whole ecosystems); biotic responses to environmental changes (e.g. the origins and evolution of past faunas and floras and their responses to environmental changes); contemporary and historical urban and regional analysis; development and environment (including policy and planning aspects, human vulnerability and links between parasite-borne diseases and environment); environmental archaeology (past interactions between people and their environment); geoinformatics (including modeling); geomorphic hazards (including landslides and volcanic eruptions); and resource exploration and exploitation. Average annual income to the School from research grants is of the order of €4 million, supporting post-doctoral and post-graduate researchers engaged in a wide range of dynamic research areas. In 2008-9, there were in excess of 140 post-graduate research students. The School’s website provides up-to-date information on the research interests of individual and groupings of members of academic staff in the School.
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The taught M.Sc. degree in Environmental Sciences, as the first of its kind in Ireland, has an established pedigree, attracting students with diverse academic backgrounds from Ireland and abroad. Read more