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Fulbright Awarded to Botany PhD Candidate Mairéad O’Donnell

Department of Botany PhD candidate, Mairéad O’Donnell has just been awarded a prestigious Fulbright-EPA scholarship. This scholarship will enable Mairéad to expand her current research on social-ecological systems and work with local environmental communities in New York City. Mairéad is part of the European Research Council (ERC) research project, NovelEco, which is a five-year project led by Professor Marcus Collier. The aim of NovelEco is to explore the societal values of urban novel ecosystems (formal and informal wild spaces). Mairéad’s research investigates co-design processes within urban wilding projects.

As a Fulbriwght-EPA Awardee, Mairéad will be working with a case study community to co-design an urban wild space along Brooklyn’s waterfront at Bushwick Inlet Park. This research will commence in September 2024 and run for six months. Mairéad aims to examine the co-design process in-depth, as well as facilitate the development of urban wilding guidelines. This will not only provide greater insight in her PhD research topic, but also assist a community to rewild their urban environment. During her time in NYC, Mairéad will collaborate with the Urban Systems Lab within The New School and will collaborate with North Brooklyn Parks Alliance to achieve the desired outputs.

Previously, Mairéad completed an MSc. in Development Practice in our School and a BSc (Hons) in Environmental & Geographical Sciences in Technological University of the Shannon. In 2020, she was awarded the ESAI Undergraduate of the Year Award for her final-year research project. More recently, Mairéad has gained experience working as an Information Systems and Knowledge Officer with GOAL Global.