PhD Student (right)
Niall is a member of Dr Paul Fernandes' Fisheries, Ecosystems and Advanced Survey Technologies (FEAST) research group at the University of Aberdeen. He is carrying out research on the Mackerel Icefish (Champsocephalus gunnari) at South Georgia under the supervision of Dr Fernandes and Dr Tara Marshall (also of the University of Aberdeen), in collaboration with Dr Martin Collins (Government of South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands) and Dr Paul Brickle (South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute). The project is funded by the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
He completed a BSc in Freshwater & Marine Biology in 2011 at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT, Ireland), and was named as a GMIT scholar and faculty student of the year. It was during his undergraduate studies that he first developed an interest in fisheries, and he completed a research project investigating age and growth of sprat (Sprattus sprattus) in Irish waters under the supervision of Dr Rick Officer and Dr Deirdre Brophy. He won a student bursary at the Irish Marine Institute in June 2011, and worked on the archival pelagic fisheries database and in the fisheries research laboratory under the supervision of Dr Maurice Clarke.
In 2012 he completed his MSc in Applied Marine & Fisheries Ecology at the University of Aberdeen, partially funded by the Scottish Fishermen's Trust. His research project was an iinvestigation of sprat recruitment in the North Sea. His PhD research will focus on the identification of uncertainties in the South Georgia icefish survey through the use of acoustic and video monitoring of trawl operations, extension of acoustic techniques used in the survey, as well as statistical, geostatistical and simulation modelling.