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Soil sustainability expert appointed to key UCC position

Agriculture students will have the opportunity to learn about the vital link between soil science and sustainable agricultural practices, courtesy of a new appointment at UCC.

Dr William Burchill has assumed the role of FBD Lecturer in Sustainable Agriculture (Soil Science) at UCC, an appointment that will support both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching adding critical mass to the agricultural science team at UCC.

The appointment has been supported by the FBD Trust, and its board of directors visited UCC last week to officially launch the new position.

Micheal Berkery, Chairman of FBD Trust, said:

“The FBD Trust are acutely aware of the challenges facing the Irish agricultural industry. We are delighted to support the establishment of this strategic appointment. Soil science is the foundation stone from which we need to build the sustainability of our agri-food sector and we are excited to support the ambitious education, research, and development plans of the Agricultural Science team at UCC”.

Dr Burchill said:

“The reputation of Agricultural Science at UCC has gained enormous momentum since its recent establishment. I’m delighted to be joining the team and very thankful for the support of the FBD Trust. I believe that my farming background, coupled with my research experience in nitrogen cycling and nutrient management, as well as my time in knowledge transfer services will add great value to this position and I look forward to contributing to the further development of the Agricultural Science programmes of Education and Research in UCC”.

Professor Frank Buckley, Head of Agricultural Science at UCC, commented

“We are extremely grateful to Michael and the board of FBD Trust for their commitment to the development of Agricultural Science at UCC. I want to welcome William and wish him well in his new role. William brings a wealth of knowledge in soil science and his experience will greatly enhance our undergraduate degree programme, our postgraduate teaching, and will allow us to develop an exciting state-of-the-art programme of research. Our graduates, over time, will assume leadership roles across the Agri-Food sector and will be instrumental in safeguarding the future success of our pasture-based ruminant production systems in Ireland. This extremely important position will accelerate our potential to build critical mass, collaborate nationally and internationally, and leverage significant external research funding”.

Professor Sarah Culloty, Head, College of Science, Engineering and Food Science added:

"I would like to congratulate Dr William Burchill on his appointment to the role of FBD Lecturer in Sustainable Agriculture (Soil Science) at UCC. I would also like to thank FBD for their support of our Agricultural Science programme".

Kerry Bryson, CEO of the Cork University Foundation said:

"Philanthropic funding, such as this impactful gift by the FBD Trust, has been a pivotal game changer as UCC scales up ambitions to empower the next generation of talent in Agricultural Science."