Management structure

The Data Centre was established by the Heritage Council in January 2007 and is based at Beechfield House, Carriganore, WIT West Campus, Waterford. Ireland.

Management Board

The National Biodiversity Data Centre is governed by a Management Board that is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the work of the National Biodiversity Data Centre and for ensuring proper corporate governance.

A new Management Board was appointed by the Heritage Council in 2011.




Dr Mary Kelly-Quinn (Chair)

Senior Lecturer, School of Biology & Environmental Science, University College Dublin.

Dr Mary Kelly-Quinn’s primary research activities focus on the assessment of land-use and other anthropogenic activities on the hydrochemical and ecological quality of surface waters. She has a broad knowledge of the Irish freshwater macroinvertebrate fauna having contributed to reviews of the several taxonomic groups. She has completed studies on the aquatic habitats of peatlands, agricultural, upland, urban and forested landscapes as well as constructed wetlands. Much of her work contributes to the information needs of the Water Framework Directive.   Her research group has also maintained a strength in fisheries studies, working in close collaboration with Inland Fisheries Ireland (formerly Central Fisheries Board) on a variety of species and systems. Further afield Dr Kelly-Quinn is collaborating with Operation Wallacea to develop a water quality biotic index for the Merendon Mountains region of Honduras.


Mr Bill Callanan

Senior Inspector,  Department of Agriculture Fisheries & Food.






Dr Matthew Jebb

Director, National Botanic Gardens

Matthew Jebb undertook his primary degree and D.Phil at Oxford University. His Ph.D. looked at the taxonomy and tuber morphology of the rubiaceous ant-plants. Following a 5 year appointment as Director of the Christensen Research Institute at Madang, Papua New Guinea, Matthew took up a 2 year post-doc position at Trinity College Dublin. This work worked involved preparation of a revision of the Araliaceae for the Flora of Thailand project. Matthew has revised the family Nepenthaceae for Flora Malesiana.




Ms Rachel Kenny

Senior Planner, Fingal County Council.

Rachel Kenny graduated from UCD with a Bachelors of (Civil) Engineering and Masters in Regional & Urban Planning. She is currently Senior Planner with Fingal County Council, having previously worked as Senior Planner for Meath County Council, Inspector for An Bord Pleanala, as well as for Louth County Council, Drogheda Borough Council and Brady Shipman Martin. Rachel is a member of the Irish Planning Institute, and one of its past-presidents, as well as a former member of Comhar, the National Partnership for Sustainable Development.


Dr Peter McLoughlin

Head of Department, Chemical and Life Sciences, Waterford Institute of Technology.


Mr Nigel Monaghan


Mr Nigel Monaghan

Keeper, National Museum of Ireland, Natural History

Nigel Monaghan is Keeper of the Natural History Division in the National Museum of Ireland. Responsible for the state scientific collections of two million zoological and geological specimens he is also charged with the running of the Natural History Museum on Dublin’s Merrion Street. The collections span over two centuries of scientific activity in Ireland and overseas. As a biodiversity resource, these add a time dimension to data supplied to the NBDC. The 150 year old museum, known as the ‘Dead Zoo’ to generations of visitors, attracts over 300,000 people a year to galleries that have changed little in a century.


Dr Micheál O’Cinnéide

Director, Environmental Protection Agency.


Dr Ciaran O’Keeffe

Directory, Species Protection Unit, National Parks & Wildlife Service.





Mr Michael Starrett

Chief Executive, The Heritage Council.

A graduate ecologist and biologist with post graduate qualifications in education and landscape management Michael Starrett  has 30 years experience in the areas of heritage management and policy development. He holds a Masters in Management Practice from Trinity College Dublin and the Irish Management Institute.

His professional qualifications include membership of the Landscape Institute ALI(UK) and the Irish Landscape Institute as well as the Institute of Sport, Parks and Leisure (MISPAL).  In addition to a career path that has seen him work in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, he has extensive European experience through his membership of the Federation of National and Nature Parks of Europe, a pan European body with 400 members in 38 different countries.  He was the first Irishman to be elected as President of the Federation from 2002-2005.  He is also a member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas.  Michael has traveled extensively studying legislation and systems that allow the sustainable management and development of cultural and natural landscapes.


Mr Michael Keatinge

Fisheries Development Manager, BIM

Mr Mark Wright

Evidence Team Leader, Biodiversity Unit, Northern Ireland Environment Agency

Terms of Reference of the Management Board of the National Biodiversity Data Centre



The Centre’s staff are responsible for the development and delivery of a work programme to meet the strategic objectives identified by the Management Board. Staff are also responsible for the day to day running of the Centre at Beechfield House. The full-time staff are supported by a team of developers, employed by Compass Informatics, who are responsible for development of the Centre’s data management and web mapping system.

Dr. Liam Lysaght – Centre Director

Dr. Úna Fitzpatrick – Ecologist

Mr. Barry O’Neill – Data Manager

Dr. Tomás Murray – Ecologist

Ms. Maria Walsh – Office Manager

Ms. Colette O’Flynn – Research Officer

Ms. Lynda Weekes – Research Officer


The contract for delivery of a five year work programme has been awarded to Compass Informatics.   Mr. Gearoid O’Riain – Company Director has responsibility for the overall service-level agreement between Compass Informatics and the Heritage Council.

The Centre is an initiative of the Heritage Council and is funded by the Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government.