UCC graduate to attend Buckingham Palace reception
Dr Emma Verling, who completed her BSc and PhD at the then Department of Zoology, Ecology and Plant Science (now part of the School of BEES) has been invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace this evening to mark the contribution of Irish citizens working within the UK government.
Emma was nominated to attend by her employer, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) who advise the UK government on UK-wide and international nature conservation. She is the most senior Irish member of staff at the JNCC and will attend the reception as part of the lead-up to the visit of President Michael D Higgins to the UK, which is the first official state visit of an Irish Head of State to the UK.
Emma’s PhD work focussed primarily on Echinoderm behaviour and distribution, based at UCC’s research station at Lough Hyne and was supervised by Dr Anne Crook and Dr David Barnes. After graduation in 2002, Emma took up a Post Doctoral position at The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, USA. “I was based at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, where I worked in the Marine Invasions Research Lab. My work there focussed on understanding the role of ballast water in the introduction and transfer of non-indigenous species”, said Emma this week.
“Having spent a little over two and a half years in the USA, I moved to the UK in late 2005 to take up a position as a Marine Ecologist at the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. The JNCC advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation”.
“My work has been very varied over the past 9 years, but has included habitat assessment for EU directives (Eg.Habitats Directive) and collection and analysis of data for the identification of marine protected areas such as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), with particularly emphasis on offshore areas. I am currently the Marine Habitats Monitoring Manager, overseeing a project to establish coherent marine monitoring programmes at a UK level to fulfil the requirements of several EU directives, particularly the Marine Strategy Framework Directive”, said Emma.