Ecologist Prof Yvonne Buckley of Trinity College Dublin (TCD) won the Irish Research Council’s Researcher of the Year award for 2021.

Professor Buckley’s work focuses on the growth, reproduction and survival of plant and animal species. She develops models of plant and animal populations that help determine the conditions that can lead to a change in population size over time.

Leading a team of post-doctoral researchers, doctoral students and undergraduates at Trinity, his work explores solutions that will allow biodiversity to persist despite global disruptions, including the threat of climate change.

She is co-chair of the All-Island Climate and Biodiversity Research Network, previously chaired the National Biodiversity Forum (2015-2021) and contributes a monthly column to the Irish Times science page.

The awards recognize significant contributions to the knowledge, society, culture or innovation of IRC-funded researchers. The winners were selected by a panel of independent experts chaired by Professor Luke Drury of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

Dr. Kathy Ruddy won the Early Career Investigator of the Year award. A postdoctoral researcher at the TCD School of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience, her research involves using brain-computer interfaces to ‘hack into the brain’ – to better understand how it works and, ultimately, to work on improving function. cerebral.

She is coordinating a clinical trial testing a new form of interface involving magnetic brain stimulation for rehabilitation after upper limb stroke. Dr Ruddy is also working to make brain-computer interfaces more widely accessible and user-friendly by developing prototypes of wireless and portable versions that could be more easily used outside of hospital or research settings.

Professor Michelle Norris of University College Dublin received the award which recognizes significant impact outside academia. She is director of the Geary Institute for Public Policy. His research interests focus on housing policy and urban regeneration. She has led over 20 housing policy research projects since 2000 and has produced over 170 articles.

Professor Norris is a member of the National Economic and Social Council and President of the Housing Finance Agency. In 2020, she was named to # Housing2030 – an international initiative that aims to improve the capacity of national and local governments to formulate policies that improve housing affordability and sustainability.

IRC Director Peter Brown congratulated this year’s laureates who, he said, represented “a wide range of research interests, which reflects the creativity and dynamism of the research community. here in Ireland ”.

He added, “This year’s winners demonstrate how research is helping society answer some of the big questions of our time and can have a meaningful and lasting impact. We look forward to continuing to cultivate a vibrant research community that includes world-class researchers in all disciplines. “