Susan has an honours degree in Microbiology and a PhD in Microbial and Plant Biotechnology from UCC. Susan has managed and researched projects, people and budgets for various funding agencies including: Dept. Agriculture Food & Fisheries, Enterprise Ireland, EU Future Emerging Technologies, EU International Cooperation and the Irish-American Partnership. She has also worked on projects sponsored by national and international commercial companies. Among the areas investigated were human health risk and biological control, substantial equivalence, agricultural resource management and proximal remote sensing.
Susan was a committee member and national delegate for two EU COST networks. Susan completed scientific missions in Europe and both the North and South Americas, where she learned laboratory techniques including 2D gel electrophoresis /imaging and activity analyses of microbial, soil and plant enzymes; she visited cows with ‘windows’ in their stomachs and witnessed meat in explosive-proof canisters being blown up to tenderise it (!) at the USDA in Beltsville; and participated in an INCO technology transfer programme in South America centred on beneficial microbes in the rhizosphere and biocomposting with the poorest of farming communities. Closer to home Susan worked with the NMRC (now Tyndall) on proximal remote sensing and horticultural resource management. In 2008, she became the Programme Manager for the Food and Health cluster, UCC, funded by PRTLI cycles 4 & 5, overseeing operations in capital buildings, equipment, support staff and facilitating the Irish Food and Health Research Alliance.