Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

MDP Faculty & Contributors

Prof. Padraig Carmody (MDP Director/Chair)

Padraig Carmody is an Associate Professor in Geography, from which he holds both a B.A. in Geography and History and M.Sc in Geography. He completed his Ph.D in Geography from the University of Minnesota in 1998. Subsequently he taught at the University of Vermont, Dublin City University, and St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. He also worked as a policy and research analyst for the Combat Poverty Agency in 2002-2003. His research centres on the political economy of globalization in Africa. His teaching interests are in development and economic geography. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate classes on Africa, third world development and globalization, in additional to human environment relations and regional development.

Dr. Carmody coordinates the module Globalisation & African Development, and is Director for the MDP.

Dr. Susan Murphy (Assistant Professor in Development Practice)

Susan Murphy is the Assistant Professor in Development Practice with the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin and Course Coordinator for the Masters in Development Practice (MDP).

Susan's research interests are in international political theory, issues in global justice, human rights and climate change, gender and social inclusion. She was shortlisted for an ERC (European Research Council) Award in 2017 and has published in national and international peer-review and scientific journals on matters related to ethics and global development. In 2016 Susan published a monograph with Springer Studies in Global Justice - Responsibility in an Interconnected World. Susan lectures on Gender, Climate Justice, and Development Research and Practice. As part of her work, she has managed the design and delivery of 150+ international research projects in countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia, and over 100+ research projects with International Development NGOs in Ireland. Susan is a member of University Council and Trinity International Development Initiative (TIDI). She sits on a number of school committees including Research Ethics, Postgraduate Teaching and Learning, Athena SWAN School SAT and is a College Tutor for STEM Students. External roles include Board of Trustees - Oxfam Ireland; committee member of Future Earth Ireland; Board of Advisors, The Humanitarian Innovation Academy; and member of the UN SDSN. Susan has twenty years of management and professional experience, both within the University and also in Industry.

Dr. Gayle McGlynn

Gayle McGlynn is an Assistant Professor in Geography in Trinity College Dublin. She completed both her BA and PhD in Geography in Trinity College Dublin, and also holds an MSc in Quaternary Science from the University of London. Her main research interests relate to the causes, patterns and impacts of climate and environmental change in tropical Africa. Much of her research involves using sediment-based records to reconstruct past environmental change, with a particular focus on the Albertine Rift of eastern Africa. She has extensive field experience in eastern and southern Africa, having been involved in fieldwork in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Following completion of her PhD in 2012, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher on a project examining the relationship between environmental/climate change and water-related vector-borne diseases in eastern Africa

Dr. McGlynn lectures on Climate Change: Science Development & Justice.

Dr. Ayat Abu-Agla

Dr Ayat Abu-Agla is a Community Medicine consultant, with a MBBS, MPH and a Medical Doctorate. She has over a decade of diverse work experience in LMICs (mainly Sudan) through positions in healthcare, academia and professional associations. Her research are in the areas of Reproductive health, health systems and human resources for health (HRH) in post conflict and LMICS. Among the projects she led was the first mapping of health and medical educational pipeline survey in Sudan, the health labour market study with WHO-HQ/EMRO/AFRO and HRH migration. She is currently a Doctoral researcher based at the Centre for Global Health at Trinity College Dublin. She lectures on Reproductive and Maternal Health and HRH on the MSc in Global Health Programme. She also serves as TDR/WHO Implementation Research temporary adviser since 2013.

Dr. Abu-Agla is the coordinator for Global Health.

Dr. Matthew Saunders

Matthew Saunders is an Assistant Professor in Plant Sciences within the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Plant Ecophysiology (2005) and a M.Sc. in Environmental Science (2001) from Trinity College Dublin and has worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in University College Dublin (2006-2012) and the James Hutton Institute, UK (2012-2015). His research interests include the response of plants to changes in their physical, chemical and biological environments and how this information can be used to assess the resilience and adaptive capacity of terrestrial ecosystems to global environmental change. This work utilises an integrated experimental and model-based approach to assess the physiological and environmental processes that regulate plant productivity, carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas dynamics, plant-water relations and energy budgets at the leaf, whole plant and ecosystem scale. Recent projects have focussed on the impacts of land use change, habitat restoration and extreme climatic events on carbon, water and nutrient dynamics in natural and agricultural ecosystems in both temperate and tropical climates. This work has directly contributed to the development of policy relevant, sustainable land management tools that are centred on the role of terrestrial ecosystems in the mitigation of, and adaptation to climate change. He has published in international peer-reviewed journals on matters relating to plant science and environmental change including Global Change Biology, Biogeosciences, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology and Ecology Letters.

Dr Saunders lectures on Sustainable Agriculture & Land Use.

Dr. Federico Cugurullo

Federico Cugurullo is Assistant Professor in Smart and Sustainable Urbanism at Trinity College Dublin. His research is positioned at the intersection of urban geography, political philosophy and experimental urbanism, and explores how ideas of sustainability are cultivated and implemented across geographical spaces, with a focus on projects for eco-cities and smart cities.
Federico has done extensive empirical research in the Middle East and Southeast Asia where he has investigated the sustainability performance of supposedly experimental cities such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong. His work has been used by the United Nations and the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to foresee future urban challenges and develop preventive policies.
Building upon empirical grounds, Federico’s main theoretical aspiration (also the subject of his forthcoming book) is the development of urban equations for a sustainable urbanism. Other theoretical contributions include the concept of urban eco-modernisation, and the theory of de-composed urbanism and Frankenstein cities.
Before joining Trinity College Dublin, Federico held positions at the University of Manchester, King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Linda Lumbasi

Linda Lumbasi is the Fieldwork Coordinator for the Masters in Development Practice (MDP) in Trinity College Dublin. Linda is a former student of the MDP (2015-2017) and is set to graduate with first class honors. She conducted her thesis research in Ethiopia where she looked at the implications of cash transfer targeting and conditionalities on nutrition of women and children. As part of the MDP program she undertook work and research placements with various organizations including Aidlink and Sightsavers in Ireland; Irish Aid and UNICEF in Ethiopia, and UNDP in Ghana. She has extensive experience in programme design, implementation and management; strategic planning; financial management and fundraising having worked in several countries across Africa and Europe. Her current work is focused on enhancing livelihoods, food security and climate change mitigation among vulnerable communities.

Professor Philip Lawton


Dr. Cian O'Callaghan

Cian O'Callaghan is an Assistant Professor in Urban Geography with the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. He joined the Geography Department in 2016.

Prior to joining Trinity, he worked at Maynooth University between 2008 and 2016. At Maynooth he held the positions of Lecturer in Geography and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA). Cian holds a PhD from University College Cork (2009).

Cian lectures within the area of Urban Geography, with a particular focus on global urbanisation, urban regeneration, urban cultural geography, and urban theory.

His research projects have included: urban transformation and culture-led development in relation to Cork’s European Capital of Culture year in 2005; the political-economic and cultural role of Ireland’s ‘ghost estates’; and contestations over the reuse of vacant spaces in post-crisis cities.

His research has been published in international journals including Urban Studies, Political Geography, Environment and Planning A, and International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

He is also a regular contributor to the Ireland after NAMA public geographies blog:

Dr. Patrick Bresnihan

Dr Patrick Bresnihan,Assistant Professor, B.A. (Trinity College), MPhil (Cambridge), Ph.D. (Trinity College)

Patrick’s work spans political ecology, science and technology studies, and environmental humanities - fields that challenge traditional distinctions between the ‘natural’, ‘cultural’, ‘political’ and ‘technological’. Theoretical influences include Foucault, Marxian theory, Feminist STS and anthropology.

Research interests include:

  • History of environmental thought, environmental politics and movements;
  • Neoliberalism and environmental governance;
  • The ‘green economy’, natural capital, financialization of nature;
  • Infrastructures (water, energy);
  • Theory and politics of the commons.

Prof. Anna Davis

Anna directs the Environmental Governance Research Group and is on the steering committee for the Trinity Centre for Future Cities. Anna Chairs the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) Future Earth Ireland expert group, is a member of the RIA Geographical and Geosciences Committee and The Planning and Environment Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society, as well as being the Secretary of the European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production. She is a member of the Development Team for the Future Earth Knowledge Action Network for Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production and is co-Chair of the SSCP KAN working group on social change beyond consumerism. Anna was elected to membership of the Royal Irish Academy in 2017. In addition, Anna advises the Irish Government as a member of the National Climate Change Council and is a member of the Expert Group for the Citizen's Assembly on Climate Change. She was previously (2011-2016) an independent member of the National Economic and Social Council. Anna sits on the management board of the social enterprise The Rediscovery Centre, based in Ballymun, Dublin, a social enterprise dedicated to providing community employment and training via innovative reuse of unwanted or discarded materials. Anna has produced more than 80 peer reviewed books, book chapters and journal articles, including articles in leading international peer-review journals such as Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, the Annals of American Association of Geography and Geoforum. In 2012, she was awarded a prize from the Geography Society of Ireland for her contribution to Society and Community. Anna is currently PI of SHARECITY, an ERC Consolidator Grant funded by the European Union under the Horizon2020 programme. Prior to this Anna was Principal Investigator of CONSENSUS, a large-scale multi-institutional project, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, examining consumption, environment and sustainability.

Dr. Martin Sokol

Martin Sokol is an economic geographer whose primary research interests revolve around social and spatial inequalities in the context of the ‘New Europe’. One of the key areas of his expertise concern the fundamental processes shaping economic geographies of contemporary Europe – the rise of the so-called ‘knowledge-based economy’ in the ‘West’ and the collapse of ‘state-socialism’ in the ‘East’ - and the implications of these two processes for cities and regions in Western and East-Central Europe. More recently, Martin has developed his research agenda to include the issues of finance and financialisation, and their implications for social and spatial inequality.

Martin completed a PhD thesis at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. His doctoral research engaged with the ‘knowledge economy’ and the ‘learning region’ concepts while focusing on ‘institutional thickness’ in the UK (Scotland) and East-Central Europe (Slovakia). Since then, he was involved in several major research projects, while holding research and teaching posts at University College Dublin (UCD), Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) and University College London (UCL), among others. Martin joined Trinity College Dublin in 2013 and leads the Finance, Economy & Society (FES) Research Group. Dr Sokol is a founding member and Secretary of the Global Network on Financial Geography (FinGeo) and Fellow of the Regional Studies Association (FeRSA). He was recently awarded a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant for his project GEOFIN - Western Banks in Eastern Europe: New Geographies of Financialisation.

Dr. Caitriona Dowd

Caitriona Dowd is a conflict researcher and humanitarian practitioner with a specialisation in conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding. She completed her PhD in Geography at the University of Sussex, UK, focused on the dynamics of violent conflict and identity mobilisation in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research has been published in several peer-reviewed international journals, including African Affairs, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Political Geography and Terrorism and Political Violence. Caitriona previously worked as Senior Researcher for the Armed Conflict Location & Event Dataset (ACLED) and Research Fellow in Conflict and Violence at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). She is currently Humanitarian Policy Officer for Concern Worldwide, Dublin, where her role involves research and technical support on conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding programming in conflict-affected contexts.

Declan Power

Declan Power is an independent security and defence analyst who has worked on projects in Africa with the European Commission involving counter-terrorism (CT) and countering of violent extremism (CVE).
Previously he led the successful joint Irish-Swiss government project, Sustaining Humanitarian Presence Initiative, which provided conflict and crisis-management skills and advice to International NGO’s working under the UN in South Sudan.
A former career soldier, Power served in the three combat arms of the Irish army on a variety of operations both at home and abroad.  He was also a panellist/contributor on the 2015 White Paper on Defence.

In addition to attending the military college, Power is a graduate of Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin and has also completed the UNHCR’s Emergency Management program. He is one of the few people in Ireland to complete the UN’s Inter-Agency Emergency Simulation Instructor’s course. He has studied and instructed on various civil and military crisis management courses, including UNOCHA’s Civil Military Staff Planning Course, NATO’s CCOE School and the UK’s Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies (BCISS), the Irish Defence Force’s Command and Staff course and the UN Training School Ireland.
Power also is the author of a number of articles, papers and books on security affairs, including From the Congo to Mali (Irish Studies in International Affairs 2013) which examined Ireland’s contribution to international peace support operations and Siege at Jadotville (Maverick House 2005), one of the few books dealing with the Irish experience of UN service during the Congo mission. The book was adapted for film in 2015.

Dr John McDonagh

Dr McDonagh has taught a range of undergraduate and post-graduate economics courses at Trinity College, Dublin. His research interests include historical economic development and applied econometrics. He has also advised a number of external bodies on economic issues in the past, particularly in the area of econometric modelling and fiscal policy. Dr McDonagh holds a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and a PhD in Economics from Trinity College, Dublin.

Last updated 14 February 2018 Natural Sciences (Email).