Postdoctoral Researcher in Lake Ecology via EURAXESS

Galway Mayo Institute of Technology

Galway, , IE

The appointee will conduct research to gather much needed baseline data on protected lakes through:

  1. Characterising oligotrophic lake habitats and their natural variations through biological assessment;

  2. Evaluating the environmental conditions necessary to maintain/restore these lake habitats in favourable conservation status;

  3. Assessing monitoring methods and assessment tools;

  4. Proposing measures needed to maintain/restore these lake habitats to favourable conservation status; and

  5. Assisting with project dissemination and communications activities.

Oligotrophic isoetid lake habitats (3110) and acid oligotrophic lake habitats (3160) are protected habitats under the EU Habitats Directive. Overall, their conservation status is bad (declining) for 3110 and inadequate for 3160 lake habitats with a key conservation status criteria, structure and function, failing to meet the Habitats Directive objectives. Despite the fact the Habitats Directive has been legislated for in Ireland for the past 12 years, structure and function criteria have not been clearly defined for these lake habitats due to a lack of baseline data on their distribution, characterisation, and environmental drivers and requirements. In turn, this has resulted in the delay of specific indicators and targets been defined for 3110 and 3160 oligotrophic lake habitats. More recently, the realisation that substituting habitat specific monitoring and assessment measures with water quality standards may not provide sufficient protection to these protected habitats. It is now a priority of the second cycle of the River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) for Ireland 2018-2021, and for the EPA and NPWS to investigate the actions needed, develop supporting conditions and select measures for future management which will ensure favourable conservation status of these water-dependant protected lake habitats.





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