Julie Maguire Ph.D.

Role: Research Director

Dr Julie Maguire, research director of BMRS, has substantial project management experience.

Dr Maguire has co-ordinated and participated in numerous EC FP 4,5,6,7 projects. Dr Maguire acts as an expert advisor on several environmental matters and sits as a Vice Chair of Horizon 2020 (Marie Curie). Dr Maguire was awarded the Copernicus Masters Award from the European Space Agency for “Best service for European citizens”. Dr Maguire has successfully managed the research station since 2005 and is now driving the business to its new commercialisation goals. Dr Maguire is extensively published in peer reviewed and technical papers.

Luke Wilson

Role: Hatchery Manager

Luke Wilson has a degree in Marine Science from NUI Galway and an MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation from Trinity College Dublin. He has a number of years’ experience in commercial aquaculture, having worked in barramundi farming in Western Australia and salmon farming in Ireland. He has extensive experience in fish health and the practical applications of cleanerfish, namely wrasse and lumpfish.

Priya Pollard M.Sc.

Role: PhD student

Priya is currently working on project entitled “Ensiled seaweed as an alternative biorefinery input substrate” and is a part of the Innovative Training Network (INT) AgRefine.

Ms. Pollard holds a MSc. Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management (ICOM) from the University of Trinidad and Tobago, Marine Sciences Department and a BSc. Major Biology and Minor Environmental Biology from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus.

Simona Paolacci Ph. D.

Role: Researcher

Simona Paolacci graduated in Environmental Sciences from Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) and she has a research master in Environmental Monitoring and Restoration. After completing her PhD in plant eco-physiology at University College Cork, Simona worked for three years as a post-doc in the same college. Simona developed a phytoremediation system to treat aquaculture wastewater whilst producing a valuable, protein-rich plant biomass. She is interested in investigating how the environmental factors affect morpho-physiological and biochemical characteristics of plants and in optimising growth conditions to maximise the production of useful biocompounds. Simona is also interested in aquatic ecosystems and plants restoration ability. In general, she enjoys using plants and algae to solve environmental issues. Simona strongly believes that we need to develop and start using sustainable, plant-based technologies to produce food, to clean natural waters and to reverse the global warming. Plants are the best!

Mick Mackey

Role: Research Scientist

Mick Mackey studied Marine and Freshwater Biology at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the University of Tasmania between 1986 and 1988. After monitoring the phytoplankton and zooplankton of Melbourne’s water supplies and streams for six years, he returned to Tasmania in 1995 to study the productivity of Antarctic sea-ice algae as part of his Honours Year. Mick spent the next 25 years working in Ireland, Norway and Antarctica researching various aspects of marine mammal and seabird biology, including a 2.5-year stint on Bird Island, South Georgia. He is currently working as a Research Scientist with the Bantry Marine Research Station, where he is immersed in a wide variety of lab-based and field studies involving macroalgae and marine invertebrates.

Thomas Juhasz

Role: PhD Student

Thomas studies the health and welfare of Integrated Multi Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) species, focusing on Lumpfish, wrasses, and echinoderms and is part of the ESTFISH-ITN .  His interest lies on understanding the role of light in the welfare of aquatic organisms as well as quantifying invertebrate pharmacokinetics.

Thomas is a registered Irish Veterinarian who holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest.


Deirdre McElligott

Dee holds an MSc in Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing and an undergraduate degree in Zoology. Dee spent 5 years working in various marine mammal projects in Australia, including boat-based research on bottlenose dolphins in the renowned Shark Bay in Western Australia and aerial based surveys on all marine megafauna off the northwest waters of Western Australia. Dee has also worked on correlation of seabird and oceanographic variables using satellite data with University College Cork. With over 15 years’ experience in marine research, she has participated in EC FP6 & 7’s, INTERREG and numerous nationally funded projects. Dee is involved in a number of macroalgae based projects, including running trials for growing Asparagopsis armata onshore, and a study, commissioned by the European Commission (EC) to support the European Green Deal, this latter project is a study of Operational Research (OR) to potentially increase shellfish and algae farming and seabed restoration for decreasing the level of harming nutrients (recycling nutrients) and reducing greenhouse gas emission, while not affecting fisheries.

Jennifer Hurley (BA)

Role: Accounts

Jennifer is BMRS Finance Manager. Jennifer received a BA in economics from University College Cork in 1996. She later part-qualified in Certified Public Accounting in Griffith College Cork. Jennifer has over 20 years of SME financial management experience.