Dr Saorla Kavanagh – Project Manager

Saorla Kavanagh BSc (Horticulture) BA (Botany) PhD (Analytical Chemistry) has a background in landscape management, sustainability, plant and animal interactions, chemistry and education. She completed her PhD at DCU, on “Honey chemical constituents from apiaries in different landscapes in Ireland”. She worked on the POLLIVAL project, which involved developing and accessing methodologies to evaluate pollination services in an economic context. Saorla is a beginner beekeeper with expertise in the fields of chemistry and ecology. She is now employed as Project Manager of the Protecting Farmland Pollinators project with the National Biodiversity Data Centre.


Dr Úna FitzPatrick – Project Coordinator

Úna FitzPatrick is Senior Ecologist with the National Biodiversity Data Centre and leads the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan initiative on behalf of the Data Centre. The Protecting Farmland Pollinators project is an action of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan.


2020 Ecological Survey Team


From March-August 2020, Neus Rodriguez-Gasol, Niamh Phelan and Shannen O’Brien completed a 6 month contract on the Protecting Farmland Pollinators Project to complete extensive plant and pollinator surveys across the 40 farms.


Dr Neus Rodriguez-Gasol

Neus Rodriguez-Gasol BS (Biology), MSc (Integrated Pest Management), PhD (Science and Agrifood Technology). Neus conducted her PhD on “Habitat management in Mediterranean fruit orchards to foster pollinator and natural enemy communities” at the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA) and the University of Lleida.


Niamh Phelan

Niamh Phelan has a BSc degree in Zoology from UCC and a MSc degree from UCD in Wildlife Conservation and Management. She completed her MSc thesis entitled “Habitat and floral associations: investigating the ecology of the Great Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus) in Ireland”. The aim of this study was to answer key questions to better inform conservation efforts being made for Ireland’s rarest true bumblebee species. Niamh has previous experience in agricultural consultancy working on the agri-environment results-based scheme, the Hen Harrier Project.


Shannen O’Brien

Shannen O’Brien BA (Zoology) MSc (Wildlife Conservation and Management). She focused her studies on Irish bee forage behaviour and has experience identifying Irish bee species both in the field and in the lab.


The Protecting Farmland Pollinators Project Operational group is made up of our Project Team, five champion farmers and representatives from:

Bord Bia – Andrew Mullins

Glanbia – TJ Phelan

HEINEKEN Ireland – Barbra-Anne Richardson

Macra na Feirme – Thomas Duffy

Teagasc – Catherine Keena

Trinity College Dublin – Prof Jane Stout