Karen completed a BA in Environmental Sciences at Trinity College, Dublin, followed by a Diploma in Environmental Impact Assessment Management, at University College Dublin. She then completed a taught MSc in Environmental Diagnostics at Cranfield University, UK. As part of her MSc she spent two months in Lapland investigating the Effects of UV Radiation on Sub-Arctic Vegetation, in conjunction with the University of Lapland and the Finnish Forest Research Institute.
Karen previously worked as a research assistant at Wye College, Kent, on projects looking at plant biodiversity and set-aside farmland. She also assisted with research at Imperial College London on the upward migration of radio-nuclides through plant roots, in conjunction with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.
She then moved into environmental consultancy for ten years, managing numerous Environmental Impact Assessments and planning applications for wind farms. She also carried out computer modelling (noise, shadow flicker, photomontages), environmental monitoring (noise, water, dust, gas) and ecological surveys for a variety of projects including wind farms, landfills and roads.
Karen is currently (part-time) Research Support Officer for the Ornithology Group at UCC with responsibility for the group’s administration, web design and project finances.