News 2018

Alumni News - Dr Ewen Mullins appointed Head of Crop Science Department at Teagasc

17 Dec 2018
Dr Ewen Mullins Head of Crop Science, Teagasc; Ms Norma Cotter, International Association for Plant Biotechnology (IAPB); Dr Barbara Doyle Prestwich, President, IAPB and Dr Eoin Lettice, Treasurer, IAPB at the opening ceremony for IAPB Congress 2018. (Photo: Maxwells/IAPB)

Dr Mullins is a PhD graduate of Plant Science at UCC.

Dr. Ewen Mullins has been appointed as Head of the Crop Science Department at Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow. Dr Mullins qualified with a B.Sc. (Hons) from the National University of Maynooth, before graduating with a PhD in Plant Pathology from UCC. He joined Teagasc in 2002 as a researcher, investigating the agronomic and environmental impact of novel breeding techniques. 

He has particular expertise in the area of crop improvement and looks forward to working with farmers to increase the competitiveness of the tillage sector.

Ewen spoke to the Development and Alumni Office, UCC about his appointment and time at UCC:

Course/subjects studied in UCC and year of graduation
I graduated with a PhD in Plant Science in 1996, having spent a memorable 4 years in what was then the Honan Biological Institute. Located in front of the church, the original Plant Science Department was demolished in 2002 to facilitate the expansion of the Student Centre.

Best memory of University College Cork
My best memory of UCC is the people that I met and learnt from. The Plant Science department had some great characters with a great learning environment. While resources were always tight, we always managed to ‘engineer’ our way through the problems.

How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?
My time at UCC instilled in me the importance of resilience, patience and problem-solving. Research projects by their nature rarely go according to plan, so being creative and patient in how you approach the inevitable problems is key. My PhD training at UCC provided me with so many skill sets that I still use today and pass on to PhD students and post-docs in my team.

What is your advice to current UCC students?
Enjoy every minute and take up as many practical training opportunities that come your way. Obviously having a good degree is important, but having relevant work/training experience and detailing it on your CV really has a positive impact on your future employers.

What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?
I was extremely fortunate to have had an excellent PhD supervisor in Prof. Peter Jones. Recently retired from UCC, Pete instilled in me the basics of research methodology and problem-solving which set me up for my career. His supervision and patience was something that I was always aware of but did not fully appreciate until I began supervising students myself! In addition to Pete, the technical staff in Plant Science were a constant support and in addition to my fellow students and lab partners always kept me grounded.

Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?
At the time UCC and Shandon Rowing Club were closely aligned due to low numbers in both clubs. I rowed for 3 years and have great memories of regattas and friends made.


For more information on Plant Science reseach at UCC, see here.

For more information on the Apllied Plant Biology undergraduate degree programme, see here

For more information on the MRes Applied Plant Biology, see here.

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