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The Duck-Feed Project brings together a multidisciplinary team from different organisations in Ireland. Each team member brings their own expertise and experience, which combines to create a multi-faceted project which aims to facilitate duckweed cultivation and sustainable protein production in Ireland in collaboration with the agricultural industry. More information on the aims of the project can be found at the Duck-Feed Project page.

Find out who we are below. We are happy to have a chat about the project, our main contacts can be found on the Contact us page.

University College Cork (UCC)

Name Role Email
Prof. Marcel Jansen Principal Investigator
Ms Sandra Jansen Project Manager
Dr Merve Sasmaz Kislioglu Postdoctoral Researcher  
Mr Cian Redmond PhD Student  
Prof. Edmond Byrne Co-PI
Dr Fatemeh Kavousi Co-PI
Ms Grace O'Sullivan MSc Student  
Dr Niall O'Leary Co-PI
Dr Neil Coughlan Co-PI


Name Role Email
Prof. Brijesh Tiwari Co-PI
Mr Jack Prendeville PhD Student  

Technical University Dublin (TUD)

Name Role Email
Dr Anushree Priyadarshini Co-PI

Dr Uma Tiwari Co-PI

Prof. Marcel Jansen (UCC)

Principal Investigator


Marcel grew up in The Netherlands but settled with his family in North Cork in 2003, following jobs in the UK, Belgium, Germany, Israel and Switzerland. Back in The Netherlands, Marcel studied horticulture at the Agricultural University of Wageningen, since growing plants and gardening are some of his passions - as well as his strengths. At UCC, Marcel is involved in research and teaching on topics related to managing plant growth (see Marcel's Plant Stress Group, research profile and publications for more).

Over the last decade, Marcel has worked on the use of native Irish duckweed as a novel protein-rich feed crop that can be used to replace imported soya in Ireland. Marcel has developed expertise in growing duckweed on a variety of waste streams. Practical experience has been acquired in growing duckweed in stacked, indoor incubators using dairy processing wastewater. At the farm level, experience was acquired in growing duckweed on one hectare of outdoor flow-through channels, linked to a fish farm in County Offaly. Marcel has also strong international links in the worldwide duckweed community, having been elected to the “International Steering Committee on Duckweed Research and Applications”.

Marcel leads the Duck-Feed project, which brings together scientists from University College Cork, Teagasc, Technological University Dublin, and Devenish Nutrition Ltd. The team is keen to engage with stakeholders in the agri-feed world. If you would like to get involved in any aspect of the Duck-Feed Project, please contact Marcel informally at

Dr Neil Coughlan (UCC)

Co-Principal Investigator


Neil is a native of the Bride Valley in West Waterford. He has a broad interest in ecology-based research, especially aquatic ecosystems. While much of his work has focused on invasive species, ecological interactions, and environmental pollution, in recent years Neil has been working on the development of precision agriculture and food-security technologies, including grazing allocation and phytoremediation systems.

Neil holds BSc. (Hons.), MSc. and PhD degrees, as well as a Certificate in Agricultural Entrepreneurship, and has worked on multiple research projects, including commercially sensitive enterprises. Neil is a published author of numerous peer-reviewed publications encompassing a variety of research topics, as well as consultancy and project reports. He has also established, led, and contributed to multiple national and international level research teams. Neil’s publications can be found on ResearchGate.

Much of Neil’s recent work has focused on the cultivation of duckweed on agri-food wastewaters, in both indoor and outdoor systems, to produce protein rich plant biomass and clean wastewater through the removal of excess nutrients. As a member of the DuckFeed team, Neil supports the research and development of the projects planned deliverables, with a particular focus on the design, construction, and performance assessment of duckweed cultivation systems. If you would like to contact Neil about his research for the DuckFeed project, or his wider research interests, please do get in touch on

Prof. Brijesh Tiwari (Teagasc)

Co-Principal Investigator


Brijesh was born in India and settled with his family in Dublin, Ireland in 2007. Prior to his current employment at Teagasc he worked in India and UK. Brijesh obtained his Masters in Food Technology from India, and his PhD in Biosystems and Food Engineering in UCD, Dublin. His primary research interest is in sustainable food production systems with a core focus on disruptive technologies along the food chain to address food industry and environmental challenges. At Teagasc, Brijesh is involved in several national and international projects on topics related to food processing, valorisation of side streams and deployment of novel technologies at various stages of the agri-food chain (see Brijesh's profile and publications for more).   

Over the last decade, Brijesh has worked on and developed several zero-waste processes and employed technologies for sustainable production on a range of renewable biomass. Brijesh has excellent collaborative research links with national/international industry, academic and food research centres as evidenced by joint national/overseas funding awards and research outputs. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (FIFST, UK), and Fellow of the Association of Food Scientists and Technologists (FAFSTI, India).

Brijesh along with other Teagasc scientists will work on developing innovative processes for the sustainable exploitation of duckweed produced and the subsequent assessment of duckweed food and feed applications.

Dr Anushree Priyadarshini (TUDublin)

Co-Principal Investigator


Dr Anushree Priyadarshini is a lecturer in Business Strategy and Management in the Faculty of Business, Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) Ireland. Prior to joining TU Dublin, she has lectured in DCU Business School, Dublin City University (DCU) and Quinn School of Business, University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland and has been a visiting faculty in Singapore and Hong Kong. She has over 12 years of teaching, research and industry experience in the area of Management, Global Marketing, Sustainable Environment, Health and Food Innovation, and Costing Strategies. Her interdisciplinary research strongly aligns with the UNSDGs, especially focusing on Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12), Climate Action (SDG 13) and Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3).

Anushree is a Principal Investigator at the Environment Sustainability Research Institute (ESHI), TU Dublin, and leads her research group EcoLOGIC (Economics for Healthy Societies and Green Sustainable Communities), supervising a team of researchers including PhDs, MPhils, Postdoctoral Researchers and Research Assistants.  She has secured € 4.6 million research grant to date at Institutional (Fiosraigh; TUD Researcher Awards; O’Hare funding), National (SFI, IRC, EPA, DAFM fundings) and European levels (Interreg Atlantic Area, European Regional Development Fund).  She is currently coordinating research projects HEED (Health, Environmental and Economic dimensions of Diets in Ireland), €coHealth (Value in Healthcare: Comparing Traditional and Virtual Care Pathways), FORWARD (Food Waste in Ireland – Assessment, Environmental & Economic Burden, and Mitigation Strategies) and FIX-Eire (Food Waste Footprint Index for Ireland), is PI on projects CircBioCityWaste, Duck-Feed (Duckweed as a sustainable source of protein for Ireland), and CRISIS (Climate Change and the Republic of Ireland) and collaborator on project Leaf-No-Waste. She is a management committee member to a European COST Action on burden of disease. 

Anushree completed her PhD in Innovation Management from DCU and holds a MSc. in Biotechnology and MBA. She has worked as an International Marketing Manager in the Pharmaceutical Industry and as a post-doctoral researcher in UCD in the area of Connected Health, working on industry consulting projects like designing market entry strategies for SMEs, consumer research on adoption of innovative technologies, designing care pathways and assessing cost effectiveness of innovations.

She publishes her work as international peer reviewed journal articles and books chapters, and her research has featured in the Sunday Times and has been covered by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) magazine Ambition. She is regularly engaged in journal editing, reviewing, guest lecturing and presenting her research in international conferences and magazines.

Her research interests include: Consumer and Market Dimensions of Environment Sustainability and Life Cycle Analysis; Healthcare Management and Costing; Food Innovation Management.

E-mail: |

Find Anushree on LinkedIn and ORCID.


Uma Tiwari (TUDublin)

Co-Principal Investigator


Dr. Uma Tiwari (MSc Food Sc & Nutr, PhD Food Eng , PG Cert T&L) is a Lecturer in the School of Food Science & Environmental Health, TUDublin (Ireland). She has extensively worked on food science, nutrition and environmental health disciplinaries and involved in areas of product development and mathematical modelling related to chemical safety, nutritional/ risk analysis and developing human exposure assessment focusing on nutritional and health aspects. She has extensively worked in farm-to–fork related projects such as the Irish Phytochemical Food Network project and EU FP7 projects and published extensively in multidisciplinary area.

Over last few years, Uma has been working with different projects related to seaweed, plant-based food and sustainability related projects. She has published several peer reviewed papers, book chapters and edited a book and presented her work in several national and international conferences.

Find Uma on Google Scholar and ORCID.


Dr Merve Sasmaz Kislioglu (UCC)

Postdoctoral Researcher


Merve is an environmental engineer from Turkey. For her first MSc, she studied the uptake levels of heavy metals in Lemna minor and Lemna gibba. In her second MSc, Merve used computational fluid dynamics to investigate how flow patterns are affected by different pond configurations.

Merve completed her PhD in 2021, which focused on the heavy metal accumulation capacities of different macrophyte species growing in various discharge areas. In addition to her academic pursuits, Merve has four years of experience as an engineer in the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, where she focused on the development of drinking water basin protection plans. Merve's research interests include remediation, water quality, aquatic plants, basin protection, and computational fluid dynamics.

Merve’s publications can be viewed on her ResearchGate profile.

Cian Redmond (UCC)

PhD Researcher


From Wicklow originally but now living in Cork, Cian completed his BSc in Applied Plant Biology at the School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), University College Cork (UCC), in 2022.

Cian first encountered duckweed through his hobby of fish keeping, and this led to his final year project of his undergraduate degree; "Determination of Lemna minor Growth and Phytoremediation Capacity for Duckweed Bioreactor Optimisation".

Following on from the work of his final year project, Cian worked as a research assistant for the Ireland-Wales funded Brainwaves project. From June to September 2022, he focused on cultivating duckweed using an agricultural waste stream in bespoke outdoor growth systems.

Having enjoyed working with the Brainwaves project, Cian is now undertaking a three year PhD under the Duck-Feed project. He is continuing his work on cultivating duckweed on agricultural waste streams with the focus of optimising its growth and protein content.

Find Cian on Twitter or LinkedIn

Jack Prendeville (Teagasc)

PhD Researcher


Jack is a graduate from Technological University Dublin with an interest in nutritional science and global food sustainability. Currently he is undertaking a PhD at Teagasc, titled "Valorisation and Nutritional Analysis of Lemnaceae (Duckweed) Biomass". Jack’s PhD encompasses the utilisation of the Lemnaceae family of aquatic plants as a sustainable plant protein source for the future. His research involves investigating protein and bioactive extraction methods which could pave the way for cost effective industrial processing.

The objectives of his research are:

1. To investigate and optimise postharvest interventions for stability of duckweed prior to value additions.

2. To develop and optimise protein extraction protocols by employing state-of-the-art and novel technologies.

3. To develop an efficient downstream processing approach for protein rich ingredient and valorisation of leftover biomass.

Jack Prendeville on LinkedIn

Grace O'Sullivan (UCC)

PhD Researcher


Grace is a recent graduate of the BSc Biotechnology programme at University College Cork.
She is now carrying out a Research MEngSc in the Department of Process and Chemical Engineering under supervisors Ed Byrne, and Fatemeh Kavousi.
Grace’s role within the Duck-Feed project is the design and optimisation of a robust, pilot-scale bioreactor, for the production of duckweed outdoors.
Coming from a farming background, this role is an exciting opportunity to combine her passions of environmentalism and Irish agriculture.

Sandra Jansen (UCC)

Project manager


Sandra grew up in a town in the east of The Netherlands where she had a small garden. This started a love for plants and flowers that only grew stronger as time went on. She has now made Ireland her home (with a bigger garden) after many years living in different countries.

Sandra studied at Wageningen University, obtaining an MSc (incl. BSc) in Horticultural Sciences, specialising in Plant Physiology and Computer Sciences. She spent time in New Zealand working at two horticultural research institutes, did research on photosynthesis in Israel and tissue culture at Wye College in Kent, UK.

After taking a career break to look after the family through many (inter)national house moves, she was project manager for an EU COST Action, followed by project management for several research projects funded by EPA and SFI.

Besides her research activities, Sandra has always had a strong interest in creative pursuits, mainly focusing on textile art and crafts. She has always several creative projects in the works and teaches regular informal classes as well. She has also used her design expertise in the creation of leaflets and posters, as well as infographic diagrams for several research projects.

Sandra is (part-time) project manager for the Duck-Feed project, responsible for coordinating outreach and communication, setting up and maintaining the website, and generally facilitating the smooth and effective running of the project. She is happy to be contacted to discuss the project in more detail.

Plants for Sustainability

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences | University College Cork | Distillery Fields | North Mall | Cork T23 TK30 | Ireland,