University College Cork, National University of Ireland (UCC) offers under-, and post-graduate studies to over 17,000 students, and attracts the highest peer-reviewed research income per head in Ireland. The university is home to the Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI), formerly the Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC) within the Environmental Research Institute. MaREI has over 20 years of experience in conducting fundamental and applied coastal and marine research supported by competitively won national and international funding and commercial contracts with government agencies and industry. Research and consultancy in MaREI is undertaken by staff with a range of specialist backgrounds including biologists, computer scientists, hydrographers, geographers and engineers, all of whom work collaboratively in a project focussed environment. MaREI’s expertise and skill sets are highly regarded both nationally and internationally and are aligned with policy and research agendas such as the European Integrated Maritime Policy. MaREI currently has over eighty dedicated research staff and post-graduate researchers and supports multidisciplinary research through five inter-linked thematic groups: Coastal and Marine Governance; Marine Ecology; Marine Geomatics; Coastal Processes and Seabed Mapping; and Applied Remote Sensing and GIS.

UCC’s (MaREI) primary contributions relate to: the development, testing and implementation of information tools and systems in WP6, Information Platform; engagement of stakeholders and assessment of end-user requirements in WP1, Stakeholder Engagement and Communication; identifying policies affecting the achievement of EU and international biodiversity objectives in WP2, Policy Orientation, and case study coordination in WP1 and WP2.

Dr. Tim O’Higgins

Dr. Tim O’Higgins is a Research Fellow at Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland. Tim is a marine ecologist with a focus on marine policy and governance and a particular interest in complex adaptive social-ecological systems and the measurement and mapping of ecosystem services.  He has written a popular book on the ecosystem based approach to management. Tim has worked extensively on European marine policy, in particular the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and had a coordinating role in the FP7 KnowSeas project.  As well as leading the AQUACROSS case study in Lough Erne, Ireland, his current research includes the EU H2020 project Aquaspace and work for the Celtic Seas Partnership.

Cathal O’Mahony

Cathal O’Mahony is the EU Grant Co-ordinator at Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland. Cathal’s research has primarily focused on capacity building and developing mechanisms for implementation of integrated approaches to coastal and marine management/planning. His recent research activity has incorporated areas such as adaptation to climate change, implementation of ecosystem approach to marine management, and use of Earth Observation technologies for coastal applications. Cathal has participated in projects supporting the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, such as the Partnerships Involving Stakeholders in the Celtic Sea Ecosystem (PISCES) and Celtic Seas Partnership (CSP) projects. He has also participated in the Transboundary Planning in the European Atlantic (TPEA) project, which explored options for delivering maritime spatial planning in EU waters.

Declan Dunne

Declan Dunne is a senior member of the Marine ICT team which focuses on knowledge and information management including: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and web-GIS for data management and geospatial analysis, Internet technologies and services, data integration, syntactic and semantic interoperability, open standards (e.g. OGC and ISO standards), Linked Data, open source software, database design and management, data visualisation, metadata, and remote sensing. Declan has worked on a wide range of national and EU research projects as a web developer involving computer science and GIS expertise applied to marine and coastal environmental information systems. Declan graduated from University of Limerick with a BSc in Computer Systems (1.1 Honours) in 1998. After graduation, he worked as a software engineer with Oracle in Dublin for 3 years. Declan joined the MaREI centre at UCC in November 2002 as a full time ICT researcher and part–time student. Declan graduated from University College Cork with an MSc in Applied Science (Modelling and Numerical Computing) in 2006.

Annette Matthys

Annette Matthys is a Financial Administrator with more than 20 years of experience in Research Accounting within UCC. Annette assists the MaREI Centre management team with financial management and reporting. Since moving from Belgium to Cork in 1993, Annette (MSc Economics, K.U. Leuven, Belgium, 1990) has worked in 3 different UCC research centres: Accounts Supervisor for the National Microelectronics Research Centre (NMRC, now Tyndall Institute, UCC, 1993-2000); Clinical Trials Centre (Pharmacology, UCC, 2001-05); and for MaREI since September 2006 as Accounts Manager for the COREPOINT and IMAGIN projects. Subsequently Annette took up the role of Finance Manager for the Interreg IVB IMCORE project (2008-2011) where she assisted the Project Manager to successfully coordinate a €6.2m budget and 17 project partners. In 2012, Annette took up the enhanced role of Financial Administrator for Beaufort, which saw the integration of CMRC, the Hydraulics & Maritime Research Centre (HMRC) and the Sustainable Energy Research Group. This integration was further consolidated with the establishment of the MaREI centre, since 2015.