Professor John O'Halloran


Professor John O’Halloran holds the Chair of Zoology at University College Cork. John was awarded a PhD for his research in 1987 and a DSc for his published works in 2009 by the National University of Ireland. He has published more than 200 research papers, 16 book chapters and and a number of books, the most recent being ‘Bird Habitats in Ireland’. He has presented over 150 research presentations nationally and internationally and published one monograph and a number refereed technical reports for translation of research to industry and other stakeholders. He is Vice-President of the British Trust for Ornithology, Chair of Ireland’s Countryside Bird Survey Steering Committee, a Board Member of BirdWatch Ireland and a Council Member of the European Ornithologists’ Union. He recently completed a 6 year term as executive Editor of the international journal Bird Study, during which time he increased its ranking significantly and was awarded a prize for journal design and publishing. John also chairs the Irish Ornithological Research Conference which is held every and brings together researchers, practitioners, members of the public and policy makers to provide a comprehensive overview of current ornithological research in Ireland and the UK and to identify and discuss key current issues. John has been awarded over €9 million for research, teaching and conferences, and during his career has supervised 25 Masters research projects and 31 PhD projects to completion.

Research Interests

Professor John O’Halloran is an ornithologist whose research interests include forest ecology and management, freshwater ecology and ecotoxicology. John has a particular interest in the ecology of both swans and dipper, having carried out extensive research on both species over the last 30 years. He has published extensively on birds and their habitats and on the response of biodiversity, particularly birds, to habitat management. His interest in forest ecology centres on the impacts of planted forests and forest management on plant and animal communities. John’s research has addressed questions ranging from ecosystem processes and biodiversity assessment, through to conservation and sustainability issues to individual species and genetic studies. John is dedicated to transferring research from the field, laboratory and bench to class, industry and policy development.


  1. Wilson, M., Fernández-Bellon, D., Irwin, S. & O’Halloran, J. 2017. Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus population trends in relation to wind farmsBird Study64(1). [doi: 10.1080/00063657.2016.126]
  2. Fernández-Bellon D, Irwin S, Wilson M and O’Halloran J. 2015. Reproductive output of Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus in relation to wind turbine proximityIrish Birds10; 143-150.
  3. Crowe O, Musgrove AJ, O’Halloran J. 2014. Generating population estimates for common and widespread breeding birds in IrelandBird Study61:82-90
  4. Irwin S, Pedley SM, Coote L, Dietzsch AC, Wilson MW, Oxbrough A, Sweeney OF, Moore KM, Martin R, Kelly DL, Mitchell FJG, Kelly T, O’Halloran J. 2014. The value of plantation forests for plant, invertebrate and bird diversity and the potential for cross-taxon surrogacyBiodiversity and Conservation23:697-714
  5. Copland AS, Crowe O, Wilson MW, O’Halloran J. 2012. Habitat associations of Eurasian Skylarks Alauda arvensis breeding on Irish farmland and implications for agri-environment planningBird Study59:155-165
  6. Nairn R, O’Halloran J. 2012. Bird habitats in Ireland. The Collins Press. 232pp.
  7. Donnelly A, Caffarra A, Kelleher C, O’Neill B, Diskin E, Pletsers A, Proctor H, Stirnemann R, O’Halloran J, Peñuelas J, Hodkinson T, Sparks T. 2012. Surviving in a warmer world: environmental and genetic responsesClimate Research53:245-262
  8. Stirnemann RL, O’Halloran J, Ridgway M, Donnelly A. 2012. Temperature-related increases in grass growth and greater competition for food drive earlier migrational departure of wintering Whooper SwansIbis154:542-553
  9. Wilson MW, O’Donoghue B, O’Mahony B, Cullen C, O’Donoghue TIM, Oliver G, Ryan B, Troake P, Irwin S, Kelly TC, Rotella JJ, O’Halloran J. 2012. Mismatches between breeding success and habitat preferences in Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus breeding in forested landscapesIbis154:578-589
  10. Copland A, Crowe O, O’Halloran J, Lauder A. 2011. Conserving Ireland’s farmland birds: performance and prospects of agri-environment schemesConserving Farmland Biodiversity, pg.56
  11. Donaghy AM, Green RE, O’Halloran J. 2011. Timing of autumn migration of young Corncrakes Crex crexIbis153:425-428
  12. Crowe O, Coombes RH, Lysaght L, O’Brien C, Choudhury KR, Walsh AJ, Wilson JH, O’Halloran J. 2010. Population trends of widespread breeding birds in the Republic of Ireland 1998–2008. Bird Study57:267-280

Professional Activity



John O’Halloran

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UCC Ornithology Research Group

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UCC North Mall Campus, North Mall, Cork City,