Dr Jean O'Dwyer
- Funded Investigator and Deputy Director
Dr Jean O’Dwyer is Deputy Director of iCRAG, lead of the iCRAG-GSI Environmental Geoscience PhD Programme, and a Lecturer in Environmental Science in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Jean graduated with a PhD in Environmental Science from the University of Limerick in 2015; her research focuses on modelling the fate of water contaminants, largely in groundwater.
The quality of groundwater can be affected by numerous environmental and source-specific risk factors and is further complicated by the fact that contamination sources may come from multiple human or animal sources. As a result, the management of groundwater is extremely challenging. However, by combining our knowledge of the natural subsurface environment with targeted sampling regimes and statistical models, we can ‘predict’ areas which are at a greater risk of contamination and, thus, can help in facilitating targeted remediation and groundwater management strategies. This risk characterisation, aimed at safeguarding public health, is my primary area of research.
Co-funded by iCRAG and Geological Survey Ireland, the SMARTIE (Spatiotemporal multiscale Modelling of Antibiotic Resistance in the Irish Subsurface Environment) project is an interdisciplinary study which blends traditional hydrogeological fieldwork, geo-referencing, molecular microbiology and analytical chemistry; bridging the gap between geoscience and health. The aim of SMARTIE is to elucidate the complex relationship between the natural environment and human health, focussing on characterising the properties of (hydro) geological processes and agents which facilitate in the fate and transport of antimicrobial residues, genes and resistance. This research will improve our understanding of ongoing and future threats to groundwater quality, will facilitate in identifying challenges facing our water resources and assist in finding solutions that promote the sustainable management of groundwater resources; building capacity and expertise in Environmental Geosciences.
- Funded Investigator
- Earth System Change
- Climate and Environment, Connected Waters, Environmental Geoscience