Fabio Delle Grazie
- Postgraduate Researcher
Fabio Delle Grazie is a PhD researcher in the iCRAG Groundwater Research Group. Fabio graduated with an MSc in Agronomy, Plants and Environment (University of Copenhagen), an MSc in Environmental Biogeochemistry (Newcastle University, UK) and a BSc/MSc in Applied Geology (D’Annunzio University, Italy). Fabio worked as a field geologist and hydrogeologist in Italian consultancies and as an environment protection and planning officer for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency in Scotland before joining iCRAG in 2016 under the supervision of Prof. Laurence Gill. His research investigates the ecosystem services provided by groundwater dependent wetlands in lowland karst areas.
There is an increasing awareness of wetlands in the provision of ecosystem services (benefits to humans from nature) such as biodiversity, flood management, water quality and climate regulation. My research therefore aims to identify and quantify the ecosystem services associated with wetlands in Irish karst areas, particularly in relation to pressures from climate change, agriculture and road drainage schemes. I use both existing and new data to assess the hydrological conditions necessary to sustain these ecosystems. Once these ecosystem services have been determined, existing and proposed road schemes are tested to assess real or potential damage.
Project title: Ecosystem services provided by turloughs
This research aims to identify and quantify the ecosystem services associated with groundwater dependent wetlands in karst areas (turloughs, fens), particularly in relation to the need for habitat conservation in the face of external pressures (climate change, agriculture, road drainage schemes, water supply and wastewater disposal). Research will focus primarily on quantifying the ecosystem functions responsible for producing terrestrial hydrologic and climatic services, as well as intrinsic biodiversity services.
These services will be quantified in appropriate units (biophysical or otherwise), based on actual or potential sustainable use levels. Available data will be used to assess the hydrological conditions necessary to sustain the biodiversity of vegetation as well as to better understand the connections between hydrology and biogeochemical cycles. Field studies will be carried out at a minimum of six different turloughs to capture a range of different hydrological types.
Once the ecosystem services have been defined, a series of test cases will be compared to assess real or potential damage. These will mainly focus on road schemes through karst areas, in collaboration with Transport Infrastructure Ireland, for both existing schemes (e.g. Gort bypass in South Galway) as well as proposed schemes (e.g. N5 realignment through Roscommon).
- Postgraduate Researcher
- Earth System Change
- Connected Waters