By role
By institution
Prof Torres Sweeney
Vincent O’Flaherty
Dr J.J. Leahy
Dr Corine Nzeteu
Tanja Narancic
Viruja Ummat
Prof Tasman Crowe
Simon O’ Neill
Fabiana Coelho
Eadaoin Conway
Alison Dowley
Prof John O’Doherty
Prof Torres Sweeney has been a Professor of Animal Genomics with the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine since 2007. Her research spans the realm of basic fundamental research through to applied commercial application. As a result of her novel research conducted at UCD over the last five years, she has had three patents granted – two of which have worldwide application. Within BiOrbic, Prof Sweeney acts as a Funded Investigator on the Marine Spoke.



PhD, University College Dublin


BSc, University College Cork

Vincent is a Professor of Microbiology at NUI Galway, and the co-founder of and; co-inventor of LtAD technology ( He has interests in partnerships with academic colleagues and the private sector on the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and agri-industries; for treatment and prevention of biofilm-mediated infections; and on anaerobic biofilm reactor technology for biorefining, energy production and wastewater treatment.

His expertise lies in microbial biofilm and microbial ecology research, focused on: anaerobic biofilm reactor technology for biorefining, energy production and wastewater treatment; Control of biofilms in infectious disease settings and the microbial ecology of anaerobic biofilms and soil ecosystems.

Vincent is a Funded Investigator for the Agri-Food Spoke within BiOrbic, with the focus of his latest projects including: anaerobic digestion for biogas production from organic residues and wastewaters; anaerobic mixed culture fermentations for production of medium-chain carboxylate platform chemicals; nutrient re-use and recovery from wastewater and organic residues; enhancement of manure and slurry feedstocks by inhibition of methane and ammonia losses; control of greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants and pasture-based agriculture.



PhD Environmental Microbiology, NUI, Galway


BSc(H1) Microbiology, NUI, Galway

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Dr J.J. Leahy is currently an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Sciences at the University of Limerick where he is involved in teaching, curriculum development and research in the area of waste management and renewable energy. He currently heads a research group consisting of chemists and chemical engineers that is focused on chemical technologies for biofuels and biorefining from wastes with particular interests in:

  • Identifying the optimum thermochemical route (gasification, pyrolysis), & chemical hydrolysis route for the production of chemicals and second generation transport fuel from bio-waste.
  • Using laboratory & pilot scale processing facilities to test & optimise the yield of selected product from characterised feedstocks. The goal will be to develop novelty  through optimising the process variables for  particular feedstocks or products.
  • Develop and test catalysts/chemical processes for the production of  and upgrading bio-oil.
  • Develop state of the art pre-treatment processes, that will enable rapid and environmentally benign procedures for hydrolysis of the carbohydrate components in lignocellulosic materials.
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of producing bio syngas  and develop and test catalysts/chemical processes  for production of alcohol or diesel fuels

Dr Leahy has a strong research background in applied biofuels research and has forged strong links with major and small stakeholders with the biofuels industry nationally. He plays a key role in several major EC funded and national projects on bioenergy, biofuels and biorefineries. Within BiOrbic, Dr Leahy currently acts as a Funded Investigator on the Sustainability Platform, working on projects, such as REFLOW, amongst others.

Dr Corine Nzeteu is a postdoctoral researcher working in the Microbiology Department at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her research interests include organic waste management, anaerobic digestion and process improvement, anaerobic fermentation, microbiome involved in anaerobic digestion processes, and process design. Her areas of expertise include the anaerobic fermentation of solid waste for the production of valuable products (process design and controlled) and molecular techniques to analyse the microbiome of the anaerobic digestion system. She is currently working on chain elongation for medium-chain fatty acid production from solid organic waste.



PhD Microbiology, NUI, Galway


MSc Biotechnology, NUI, Galway


BSc Biotechnology, Athlone Institute of Technology

Tanja is an Assistant Professor at the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science.  Her research focuses on elucidating the metabolism of bacteria, and using this knowledge and synthetic biology tools to exploit these bacteria to make high value products.

She graduated with a PhD in 2012 from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. This was followed by postdoctoral research at the Institute of Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engineering, Belgrade, Serbia, where she developed a biocatalyst based on recombinant whole cells for Michael-type formation of C-C bonds and synthesis of pharmaceutically relevant compounds.

In 2013, she moved to University College Dublin where she worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow under the direction of Prof Kevin O’Connor. She investigated metabolic pathways of microorganisms using proteomics, metabolomics, enzymatic assays and synthetic biology tools as a part of FP7 and H2020 projects. In 2019, she joined Bioeconomy Research Centre BiOrbic as a Research Fellow, where I coordinated several research projects among BiOrbic PIs, PostDocs, PhD students, as well as designing projects proposed by industrial partners.



PhD, University of Belgrade, Serbia


BSc, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Email Viruja Ummat
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Viruja completed her primary degree in food technology. Her work interests include food processing technologies for improved efficiency and reduced energy and water consumption across agri-food chains.

Her PhD research involves the development of innovative clean and green technologies for the extraction of bioactive molecules from seaweeds. The aim is to reduce the use of chemicals during extraction, whilst reducing energy consumption, and without compromising the yield and quality of the end product.

Innovative clean and green technologies employed in her PhD research have the potential to develop novel ingredients for a range of agri-food applications. The main focus is on high value ingredients extracted from Irish seaweeds, such as sulphated polysaccharides (e.g. fucoidans), soluble dietary fibres, proteins and bioactives (e.g. phlorotannins and fucoxanthins).



Master of Technology in Processing and Food Engineering, Punjab Agricultural University, Punjab, India


Bachelor of Technology in Food Technology, Punjab Agricultural University, India

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Professor Tasman Crowe is Director of the UCD Earth Institute and a member of the School of Biology and Environmental Science at University College Dublin. He is a marine ecologist with particular interest in research applicable to environmental policy and management.  His research has characterised individual and combined impacts of a range of stressors on marine benthic ecosystems, particularly on rocky shores. He has also worked on biomonitoring tools, eco-engineering of artificial structures, stock enhancement, invasive species, marine protected areas and the consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem functioning and the cultural value of marine ecosystems. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and has edited a book for Cambridge University Press entitled Marine ecosystems: human impacts on biodiversity, functioning and services (2015).  He is a member of the editorial board Cambridge University Press’s Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation Series and of Ireland’s National Biodiversity Forum and is President of the European Marine Biology Symposium.



PhD, University of Sydney

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Simon has an interest in bioprocessing and biotechnology in the area of bioscience, such as upscaling suitable bioconversion processes to produce bio-based materials.

At present, Simon’s research is focused on the valorisation of dairy side streams with a focus on whey permeate and delactosed permeate. He is carrying out his PhD with Glanbia Ireland as part of the research and development group on the Agrichemwhey project to confirm the techno-economic viability of the bioprocess. The overall goal is to take whey permeate and delactosed permeate waste streams and use them as the carbon feedstock in a large scale first-of-a-kind dairy processing biorefinery.



BSc Food Science and Health, University of Limerick

Fabiana Coelho is currently pursuing her PhD in Microbiology at National University of Ireland, Galway. Her project is focused on the fermentation of grassland biomass for the production of butyric and caproic acids using anaerobic digestion technology. She was awarded a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s degree in the Technology of Chemical and Biochemical Process from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil. She has several years of experience in research acquired while working as an undergraduate research assistant and Master’s student at the Biological Systems Engineering Group (UFRJ) and as an intern in the Research and Development department at TEADIT. She also took part in the Science without Borders programme in 2013 as an exchange student at Swansea University (Wales, UK).

Fabiana’s expertise, documented in five papers, is related to bioprocess engineering, biofuels, reactor operation, lignocellulosic feedstock fermentation, synthesis gas fermentation, anaerobic and aerobic processes. Moreover, her expertise includes modelling, optimization and programming. Her interests are teaching, anaerobic digestion technology, fermentation and programming.



MSc Technology of Chemical and Biochemical Processes, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil


BSc Chemical Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil

Email Eadaoin Conway
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Eadaoin is in her third year of her PhD. She graduated from University College Dublin with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science. Finding a more sustainable way of feeding animals (in particular pigs) using natural ingredients, while increasing productivity and profitability is her key focus. Her project is looking at utilising waste mushrooms from Monaghan Mushrooms and turning them into a value-added product through animal feed. Mushrooms can be naturally enriched with vitamin D therefore providing a health benefit to both animals and humans.



Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University College Dublin

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Alison is an animal science graduate who is currently undertaking a PhD in monogastric nutrition in UCD. She is researching the use of mushroom powders in monogastric nutrition.

Professor O’Doherty’s research encompasses the field of animal nutrition, food chemistry, functional foods, mammalian growth biology and digestive physiology in monogastrics. The overall objective of his research programme is to develop novel sustainable husbandry strategies to enhance pig productivity and health while imparting a positive impact on environmental load. Other research interests include alternatives to antimicrobials in pig diets, role of nutrition and the environment, modifying immune function and the gastrointestinal microbiota, feedstuff evaluation, and controlling enteric diseases in pigs without antimicrobials. Over the last 15 years, he has led a systematic discovery-based research programme into the effects of diet on gut metabolism and digestion in pigs and, amongst other discoveries, is credited with establishing the role of marine bioactives as alternatives to infeed antimicrobials in pig nutrition.  He is widely regarded as a world authority on digestive health and food evaluation science in monogastrics animals.


DSc, University College Dublin

PhD, University College Dublin

M.AgrSc, University College Dublin

B.AgrSc, University College Dublin