The increasing frequency of extreme weather events worldwide is the focus of a symposium being held in Galway today aimed at enhancing the international scope of Irish climate change research.

Leading international and national scholars, as well as students, are participating in the event which is being hosted by the Discipline of Geography at NUI Galway.

The symposium, which will focus on the social impacts as well as the physical aspects of climate change, is designed to encourage collaboration between Irish and international researchers and provide research and networking opportunities for the next generation of climate scientists.

“Ireland’s identity is intertwined with the coastal and marine environment and we need to engage in an interdisciplinary discourse to address the physical and social impacts of a changing climate,” said Dr Eugene Farrell, lecturer in physical geography at NUI Galway.

“Truly innovative interdisciplinary research requires formal and informal discussions to assess the potential for future collaborative work. It is invaluable for post-graduate students to be included in these discussions, providing them with the opportunity to participate in a scientific meeting.”

Keynote speakers include Professor Alan Haywood of the University of Leeds; Dr Conor Murphy, NUI Maynooth; Dr Christy Swann, US Naval Research Laboratory; Professor Michael Hartnett, NUI Galway; and Dr David Serrano Giné, Rovira i Virgili University, Spain.

Speaking in advance of the symposium, Dr Audrey Morley, lecturer in the School of Geography and Archaeology at the university said Ireland need skilled people who can advise on, organise and regulate an informed development of coastal, marine and climate resources and activities not just in Ireland but also in the EU and worldwide.

“This conference will be part of the process of preparing and upskilling postgraduate students for that role,” she said. “The workshop will provide a forum within which students can interact directly with a range of national and international professional and expert practitioners and gain exposure to key experts, networks and important contacts in academia and beyond.”

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