Dec 3, 2021

Trinity’s Yvonne Buckley Named Researcher of the Year

Buckley is a zoologist and was recently appointed College's inaugural Vice President for Climate Action and Biodiversity

Emer MoreauEditor
Fennell Photography

Trinity’s Vice President for Climate Action and Biodiversity Yvonne Buckley has been named the Irish Research Council’s researcher of the year for 2021.

The council’s annual Researcher of the Year awards recognise academics in receipt of funding from the council who are making highly significant and valuable contributions to knowledge, society, culture, or innovation.

Buckley is a professor of zoology in Trinity. Her work is focused on the growth, reproduction and survival of plant and animal species. Through her work, she develops models of plant and animal populations that help to determine the conditions that may lead to a change in their population size over time.


Leading a team of post-doctoral researchers, PhD and undergraduate students at Trinity, Buckley’s work explores solutions that will enable biodiversity to persist through contemporary global changes including climate change.

Buckley’s research also informs policy. She has advised the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment and Climate Action and is the current co-chair of the All-Island Climate and Biodiversity Research Network, which was recently launched by Taoiseach Micheál Martin. She was also chair of the National Biodiversity Forum from 2015 to 2021.

Trinity’s Dr Kathy Ruddy was named early-career researcher of the year award. Ruddy is a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience at Trinity. Her research projects involve using brain-computer interfaces to better understand how the brain works, and ultimately work towards improving brain function.

Ruddy is currently co-ordinating a clinical trial testing a new form of brain–computer interface involving magnetic brain stimulation for upper limb stroke rehabilitation. She is also working on making such interfaces more widely accessible and user-friendly by developing prototype wireless and wearable versions that could be more easily implemented outside of hospital or research settings.

In a press statement, Director of the Irish Research Council Peter Brown, congratulated this year’s winners, saying: “I would like to congratulate the awardees on their awards. The standard of nominations this year was extremely high, and each of the winners should be immensely proud of their achievements.”

“It is great to see this year’s winners representing a diverse range of research interests, which reflects the creativity and dynamism of the research community here in Ireland”, Brown said. “The Irish Research Council is equally proud to have supported the development of the work of these researchers through our funding.”

“This year’s winners demonstrate how research helps society answer some of the big questions of our time and can make a significant and lasting impact. We look forward to continuing to cultivate a vibrant research community in which there are world-class researchers across disciplines.”

Read more
Gillian O’Neill profiles Yvonne Buckley, and discovers that she intends to use Trinity’s complex ecosystem to enact meaningful change for sustainability.

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