"To generate new research knowledge for the understanding and protection of our natural environment, and develop technologies, tools, services and policy knowledge to facilitate a transformation to a zero carbon, resource efficient, and sustainable society"
The World faces unprecedented environmental challenges. We are confronted with unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, significant and potentially irreversible changes to climate, and a continued loss in biodiversity which, combined with global population pressures in the coming decades, threaten the stability of the living systems on which we depend.
As a response to these challenges, the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) was established in 2000 by University College Cork as a flagship institute to integrate over 400 researchers from 20 University schools and departments and 6 research centres to work together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society.
At the Environmental Research Institute, we believe that the greatest challenge facing our society is how meet human needs for food, materials and energy with a growing global population whilst sustaining the planet’s ecosystems and vital services. Universities are uniquely positioned to help solve this challenge. The vision of the Environmental Research Institute is to grow the capacity of the university to successfully collaborate internally and engage effectively with society in solving pressing sustainability problems creating stronger linkages between scientific knowledge and societal needs.
Our mission is to generate new research knowledge for the understanding and protection of our natural environment, and develop technologies, tools, services and policy knowledge to facilitate a transformation to a zero carbon, resource efficient, and sustainable society.
The complexity of the global sustainability challenge requires experts from multiple disciplines and sectors to collaborate together to successfully develop usable knowledge and robust solutions. To solve today’s multi-faceted environmental challenges, we need to go beyond “research-as-usual” thinking.
The Environmental Research Institute distinguishes itself from traditional schools and departments in its research approach by focusing on (a) actionable knowledge to address sustainability challenges (b) creating interdisciplinary teams drawn from across natural and social sciences, business, law and humanities and (3) developing long-term stakeholder partnerships to ensure our research is impactful and contributes to economic, environmental and social goals.
With more than 400 academics, staff and students, the ERI is pioneering research approaches which bridge academic disciplines and connect to stakeholder groups to build powerful partnerships and new ways of collaboration to ensure our research is useful and utilised. The interdisciplinary research environment at the ERI enables researchers to work together in large, multi-skilled teams that draw on each discipline’s core competences to address scientific questions of environmental relevance in a synergistic manner. The Institute works closely with key stakeholders in industry, government, NGOs, and local communities to ensure our research is impactful and contributes to economic, environmental and social goals.
The Institute fosters a broad approach to environmental research that ranges from blue skies research aimed at new knowledge creation, to applied research designed to generate solutions to specific environmental challenges
The ERI Leadership team includes ERI Director Professor Sarah Culloty, and ERI Deputy Directors Professor Jerry Murphy and Professor Brian O’Gallachoir.
The ERI Management team includes Dr Paul Bolger (ERI Manager), Jeremy Gault (Beaufort Operations Manager), Dr Gillian Bruton (SFI MaREI Centre Manager) and Dr Jimmy Murphy (Lir NOTF Manager).
The Institute has an Academic Advisory Board and External Advisory Board to guide the scientific and strategic direction of the Institute and the implementation of ERI strategy. Please see link for current Academic Advisory Board members.
For an overview of our latest research activities please see our current annual report here