Prize Winners at Environ 2023

Growing from strength to strength over the years the ESAI run student competition at Environ is a great opportunity for students to gain recognition for their presentation skills. This year we had over €3,250 in prizes to award for the best student presentations at the Environ Colloquium.

Prize winners were announced at the close of conference ceremony. Each winner is invited to submit an article on their research project to the ESAI Website and the ESAI Newsletter, and receive publicity from their sponsor. 

Environ 2023 Prizewinners:


ESAI Best Oral Presentation (€500) sponsored by Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland

Matthew McCole, ATU Donegal for his oral presentation titled Development of a low-cost portable system for the simultaneous detection of soil pH and potassium.

Read more about Matthew’s research here


ESAI Best Poster Presentation (€250) sponsored by Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland

Silvia Cascone, University of Galway for her poster, Coastal Dune Vulnerability Assessment for Nature-based Solution in Ireland


Read more about Silvia’s research here


Best Organic Wastes Recycling Presentation (€250) sponsored by Foster Environmental Ltd.

Marta Mroczkowska SETU Carlow for her talk titled Recovery of cutin from tomato peels waste and valorisation of this by-product for improvement of hydrophobic properties of biomass-based bioplastic

Best Wastes & Resources Management Presentation (€250 & 12 month CIWM student membership) sponsored by Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM)

Clodagh King, DKIT with her talk titled Farmers’ attitudes towards agricultural plastics – Management and disposal, awareness and perceptions of the environmental impacts

Read more about Clodagh’s research here

Best Water Related Presentation (€250) sponsored by Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)

Elena Anedda, University of Galway for her talk, Occurrence of AMR Enterobacterales in soil and spinach in thepresence and absence of zinc amendment

Read more about Elena’s research here


Best Social Engagement Presentation (€250) sponsored by Environmental Services Ireland 

Nicola Watson, Ulster University for her oral presentation, Time for a Nappy Change: beliefs and attitudes towards modern cloth nappies




Best Natural History Presentation (€250) sponsored by Irish Naturalists’ Journal

Elena Aitova, University of Galway for her talk, Updated GHG emissions factors for Irish peatlands: a review







Best Biodiversity Presentation (€250) sponsored by Chartered Insitute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM)

Hannah Mealy, University College Cork for her talk, Carbon sequestration of a native woodland established on acutaway peatland site in Ireland

Best Sensors Oral Presentation  (€250) sponsored by Frontiers in Sensors Journal

Wesley McCormick, ATU Donegal for his talk, The development of an electroanalytical method for monitoringthe photocatalytic degradation of the herbicide MCPA

Read more about Wesley’s research here



Best Sensors Poster Presentation  (€250) sponsored by the Frontiers in Sensors Journal

Ismaila Abimola, ATU Sligo for his poster titled The use of low-cost sensors for monitoring and modelling dynamical temporal microplastic pollution in freshwater

Read more about Ismaila’s research here

Best Analytical Chemistry Poster (€250) sponsored by Eurachem Ireland

Aicha Tasaout, Dublin City University for her poster presentation In-situ design of molecularly imprinted polymer interfaces for electrochemical sensing of contaminants in water

Read more about Aicha’s research here


Richard Fitzgerald Memorial Prize Best Aquatic Environment Poster  (€250) sponsored by AquaTT

Nicolé Caputo, ATU Galway for her poster presentation Doom and Bloom: past, present and future perspectives of Harmful Algal Blooms in Irish waters

Read more about Nicolé’s research here


Richard Fitzgerald

Richard was an exemplary fisheries zoologist. He was an excellent researcher and a gifted and inspiring lecturer. A UCC graduate [BSc and PhD], Richard was involved research and development in Aquaculture for almost 30 years in a variety of roles and posts in UCC, AquaTT and NUIG. He was also extremely interested in natural freshwater and marine fish populations, with a rare and extensive knowledge in both aquatic environments developed over the span of his career. He published over thirty peer reviewed publications, which are widely cited. Until the end of 2015, he was Research Co-ordinator and manager of the NUIG aquaculture research lab at Carna. 
Richard was blessed with an insatiable curiosity about all research, particularly in the aquatic environment and the highlight of his annual visit to Environ was the poster sessions. His rule of thumb for all his students and employees was that they could go to any relevant conference as long as they produced a poster! Richard sadly passed away on December 5th 2016. Thank you to AquaTT for sponsoring the Richard Fitzgerald prize for best poster in Aquatic Environment.


Judging Criteria for Presentations


Following the links to download the judging scorecards for Oral and Poster presentations.

Check out some of the previous Environ student competition winners and Environ 2022 Winners 


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