As discussed in other blog entries, eating a sustainable diet is vital if we are to reach the 2c target set down by the Paris Agreement . Evidence for the environmental benefits of reducing consumption of meat and dairy products is continuing to build [2-6]. If we don’t begin to tackle the demand-side of agriculture, particularly meat and dairy consumption and current diets are left unchecked, agriculture will use up to 20 of the 23 GtCO2e yearly limit to 2050 .[Pic 1.] http://www.alexandermuench.com/Eat-Less-Meat-Editorial-Illustration Furthermore, it’s important to acknowledge the ‘health co-benefits’ of eating an environmentally friendly sustainable diet. Focusing on meat and dairy consumption, a new study in the US has highlighted the benefits of substituting animal based protein with plant based proteins https://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2540540. It found that for every 3% calorie increase in plant protein the risk of death from all causes is reduced by 10%. It also emphasises a 12% reduced risk of death from heart disease . In light of the fact that health concerns are more often than not, valued higher than environmental and climate change concerns, it is important to highlight the associated heath co-benefits of eating a sustainable diet 
The message is the same, eat less meat/dairy for a healthly you and a healthly planet 🙂
References [numbered] link: (Read more ...)
It s been a week and a couple of days since my arrival in Addis Ababa for my research project. I am loving the atmosphere! Really looking forward to making my stay here worthwhile and rewarding.
(Read more ...)
Monday 4th September 2017 from 0900-1800 ILAS Lecture Theatre, National University of Ireland GalwayAll are welcome - free admission! To register your attendance send email with name, address and your affiliation to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For the full programme of the event click (Read more ...)
Second post paragraph
I am so excited already about my PhD research project, do not worry as more about the project will be revealed soon.
This week I began my results. This project is primarily based on interviews and surveys. Because of this, the results of my project will mostly contain answers from interviews and surveys. The answers given by James Moran will be used as results. As well as his answers to direct questions, quotes will also be used as part of the Results. In order to get all relevant information, the interview had to be listened to multiple times to extract the correct information.
Next week, I am scheduled to meet with Brendan Dunford so I will keep revising his interview questions. As well as meeting with Brendan, I will also meet Cathal O Donoghue in NUIG. Cathal is working directly with the Farm ECOS project. This will give further information on how these schemes are designed and what he thinks is the most efficient design in an environmental scheme.
I am now just over midway in my research project timeline. We recently had our GRC Presentations and meetings to assess our current progress. At the minute, the animal feed trial is complete and ADG of all groups have been recorded. I have completed Fibre Analysis of all faecal samples. The last couple of weeks I have been creating Lowry Assays for protein determination of faecal samples. My next step in the project is to carry out C&N analysis of faecal samples and then start extracting RNA from blood samples. A busy few months are ahead!
The aim of this trial was to see if RFID chips affected sperm quality. Three bulls, FR4021, FR2298 and AA2123 were used in the trial starting the 25th of March. Technicians in the barn received 50ml universal tubes containing the dilution INRA. Ejaculates were placed into the pre-warmed INRA and then stored in the transport box to the lab. On arrival in the lab the sample underwent initial subjective assessment and the concentration was determined. All data was put into the database and the sample was split into three treatments, A= a small FDX-B chip, B= a large FDX-B chip and C= control. The sample was fully diluted in INRA and then placed in a transport box to regulate the temperature over the three days. Samples were scanned every hour in order to activate the chip to assess the effect on the sample.
We are trying to resolve the issue of the dye staining the glass, once I get these specs removed I will re do this PCR with a higher concentration of DNA
The forestry sector in Ireland is growing rapidly each year. This is for many reasons, one of which is because of the continued demand for timber and wood products worldwide. The demand for pulpwood is growing rapidly as the use of bio-fuels is increasing in Ireland and abroad. People are becoming more economical and less reliant on fossil fuels as they are seeing how harming they are to the environment. Wood chipping/pellets/pulp are being used worldwide to produce energy instead of fossil fuels which is encouraging to see.
Had my first proper working week at Algentech last week. It was an intensive learning experience without any doubt. The large majority of my work involved completing the different stages of molecular cloning of different DNA constructs. I have a small knowledge of cloning from my undergrad but not on this level! The first few days Anna would show me how to carry out a specific experiment and then supervise when I would carry it out. Towards the end of the week I was working independently with guidance from Anna when needed. This week is more of the same with me working on DNA constructs at different stages of cloning.
Should be all for now,
Plant and Agribioscience Website:
Soil temperatures and grass growth were continued to be monitored. Soil temperatures were up to 13/14°C on all three farms between the 10th – 20th June. However, between the 24th and 28th of June temperatures on all 3 farms were up to 15-16°C, which is consistent with the increase in air temperatures. Received results back from FBA which will be statistically analysed along with all other results. Soil and herbage samples were taken and sent to FBA for SR3 and Mineral trace scan and feed analysis. Prof Charles Spillane and Dr Galina Brychkova visited all three farm plots on Monday 17th June. On advisement a weed assessment was carried out on Farm A and Farm C as well as a red clover : ryegrass % was calculated and both results will be analysed. On Thursday all 3 farm plots were mown and the grass was gathered and weighed to compare digestate v’s chemical fertilizer plots. There was exponential differences with digestate fertilized showing much higher yields. Another round of digestate and chemical fertilizer will be applied next week.
These are the samples which were ran in the PCR using the ITS2 primers. these should detect whether roundworm DNA is present in the sample. it used the ITS2 region of DNA which is common too all roundworm species.
I will follow up with results under UV light in next post!!!!
Today I am learning to blog. The system was a bit slow.
The thesis has officially been submitted, the presentation will given on Monday so that s my masters completed. I have a few weeks to breath before the I start the next stage of my life. But those weeks will quickly get filled with preparations for this next stage. It s been a really hard year, sprinkled with amazing moments and memories. So I m excited to be done and to move on. The future is bright, so I need to pick myself up and brush off the dust and continuing taking the bull by the horns .
So I hope you enjoyed accompanying me on this adventure and best of luck with your lives.
Go n-éirghidh an bóthar libh - may the road rise up to meet you.
With the thesis handed in, it is now time to focus on creating a poster and presentation for the symposium on Monday. It is hard to believe that this time last year I was starting the course, the time absolutely flew! The course has opened my eyes to aspects of climate change, agriculture and food security that I never thought about and has significantly increased my desire to work with organisations that are for positive change, especially for the resilience of vulnerable populations which my thesis was so focused on. The results of my thesis has also brought environmental policies to the forefront of my mind. Through effective governance and cooperation and collaboration amongst institutions and agencies, greater change can happen when working as one team. Resilience is measured at different aspects along a continuum of incremental changes. By analysing the project documents for WFP and IFAD it is evident that there are many important themes which recur in building adaptive capacity. A focus on social inclusion by incorporating marginalised groups into project activities and identifying common challenges faced during climate change will enable a more productive, sustainable environment and agricultural sector.
I am looking forward to seeing all my classmates and catching up with them to see how they got on over the summer!
Can t believe that three months have already come and gone already! I finished up a final draft of the thesis last week and as a treat to myself, I headed down to a ryokan （旅館, traditional Japanese hotel）in Atami. Since the rainy season ended in Tokyo, the summer heat is really kicking into high gear and being next to the ocean and feeling the breeze was quite a welcomed relief. As usual, we tool the local JR line down and took the Shinkansen on the way back. The food was top notch and very fresh!
Getting back to thesis progress, I presented my current research yesterday at JIRCAs and got some great feedback. I m going to try my best and finish up everything by the end of this week so that when I go back to the states I can proof it (Read more ...)
Nothing more Irish than learning how to say thank you in the native language of any country you visit!
So to from me to you at the end of this journey with all the highs and lows, in all the ways I know how, I must say...
(and of course)
Go raibh míle maith agaibh
For joining me on this adventure of a lifetime to Asia to carry out this thesis research!
I do hope you all enjoyed my research and antics!
Today I genuinely have heavy heart as I leave TBL. It marks the end of fieldwork. Every time I come here, I feel motivated, inspired and downright happy. The people here are so welcoming I can’t even begin to describe how comfortable they have made me feel.
Let me share with you about what we did today! in the morning, we headed to Nong Truong village where we carried out Key informant interviews with a female farmer, the head of Nong Truong village and the head of Muong village. Here we gathering some basic socioeconomic data which is necessary to know before beginning a project. Data such as population in in the village, average wage, education and main/other livelihoods of people in the village. Understanding the situation in each village is key to ensuring any CSA interventions are successful and can help researchers identify openings/barriers to uptake of CSA technologies and practices.
After the interviews, I jumped on the back of the village chief’s bike, and made my way to the house of one of the Commune Party leaders- lovely gentleman by the name of Thui! He prepared a massive lunch for all of us including chicken, pork, beef, dog, veggies and rice 🍛; and of course he was so thoughtful and made loads of vegetarian food for me too. I then sang a few tunes in one of many (Read more ...)
Sunday the 25th of August I could finally say I had completed my thesis and there was no going back. What a year it has been, returning to college, meeting great people and getting the chance to travel. There is too many people to mention in my acknowledgements but off the top of my head I would like to thank Professor Charles Spillane, Dr Peter McKeown, Dr Gina Pighetti and Collin McCorkel both from University of Tennessee.
Now I must find a job !!!
I am back to my usual seat in the library, where I sat majority of last year when completing my thesis for my undergrad. I am swapping between here and the lab in Arus de Brun where I am working with three Vietnamese students who came to Ireland as part of the VIBE program. We are working together to see if any of our results are significant enough to produce a publishable paper. My blood is 80% coffee and the weather at home hasn t been great so its perfect thesis writing settings. I m missing the university life in Vietnam which often consisted of breaks with my colleagues Cian and Chris to drink smoothies and sugar cane juice in the sun but I feel like I m finally settling back into life in Galway.
When I submitted my thesis last year I promised myself that I d never do that again but here I am drafting another thesis, this time for a masters degree. One thing I learned last year was don t leave everything to the last minute so I ve been consistently working away at all the different parts of my thesis. Working with the Vietnamese students to draft a paper has helped greatly and there are lots of great ideas floating around, it s just a matter of getting all these ideas down on into a word doc to see what angle we will take. With (Read more ...)
So it seems that the lattice filter was the best choice for filtering the slurry, it acted to concentrate the most nutrients out of all the filters tested.
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM Research Africa) Initiative : Turning lives around with water ://www.ibm.com/thought-leadership/water/?cm_mmc=PSocial_Facebook-_-Corporate+Advertising_Branded+Content-_-IME_NG-_-1074954136_Tracking+Pixel&cm_mmca1=000038OF&cm_mmca2=10008441&cm_mmca4=1074954136&cm_mmca5=1079157274&cm_mmca6=0a22335b-05d6-48f5-adb6-e311424caa6d
So I am back again to provide a clearer view of GAIN, the programs this organisation has been running over the years and just how my project fits in to what they have been doing;
In the year 2002, Global alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) was officially established with a goal of working together with public and private sectors to end malnutrition (Moench-Pfanner and Van Ameringen, 2012) . GAIN has adhered to this commitment by striving to making healthier food choices more affordable, more available and more desirable. In these efforts GAIN, has leveraged to improve nutrition outcomes by enhancing the consumption of nutritious and safe food, especially to the vulnerable, in recognition that the food system can only be fixed by a collective global effort. Their work has been organized into different following programme areas, operating in an interlinked way along the food value chain, concurrently cooperating with various partnerships and alliances as described in fig 1.
To enhance nutrition outcomes by improving the consumption of nutritious and safe food for all people, especially the most vulnerable. - GAIN s Vision and Purpose
One of GAIN s (Read more ...)
Be a butcher!
I don t want to say but... I did kill 58 fishes by myself! Pray for them!✝✝✝ Cut off the head, peel off the skin, remove the bones and organs and clean the blood.
Smash them to paste!
The pretreatment of samples
The pretreatment is a series of operations to extract the fatty acids from fish flesh. It usually includes three key steps: hydrolyzation, saponification and methyl esterification as well as extraction. The pretreatment of each fish usually takes at least 5 hours if everything goes well and the operator is skillful. To ensure the efficiency and the accuracy of the experiment, it would be better to deal with 4 samples at a time.
The pretreatment requires much patience and time for each step. The fish flesh must be clean and with as few impurities as possible; The usage of reagent must be in the right sequence; The (Read more ...)
Brachiaria grass species are found in natural grassland and originated primarily from Africa (Boonman, 1993), their capacity to grow on acidic soil with low fertility has made them an important forage grass, especially in South America where Brazil alone count 99 million hectares of land sown with Brachiaria species (Jank, Barrios, Valle, Simeão, & Alves, 2014). Despite being originally from Africa, the improvement of pasture through selection that took place in eastern Africa in the 1960s and 1970s did not include Brachiaria specie. Thus, the grass did not benefit from the scale-up promoted by commercial agriculture which resulted in only a small number of African countries cultivating the specie including Congo, Uganda and Kenya (Boonman, 1993).
Despite being originally excluded for pasture improvement, several recent projects pushed the come back of Brachiaria in Africa. This come back is due to its high forage quality, drought stress resistance, and several other characteristics of the grass making it a useful addition to agriculture and forage systems (Maass et al., 2015).
Brachiaria species aptitude to grow in a wide range of habitats allow its presence in agriculture for a wide range of utilisation: in coffee plantations in Kenya to restrain soil erosion and as a supplement income through its use as green manure, in maize fields to curb the spreading of armyworms, in brazil integrated with grain crops to reduce pasture degradation and many (Read more ...)
Analysis of past research reveals that until the 1980s, relief and development were perceived as strictly distinct scopes of aid provision carried out in sequence and separate from each other. Over the past decade, the intensity, cost, and duration of humanitarian assistance provision have grown dramatically, mainly resulting from the protracted nature of recent crises (OCHA, 2017). Within this period, the duration of United Nations inter-agency humanitarian programs increased to an average of seven years, while average budget size increased by about four hundred percent, thus prompting the need for the long-overdue discussion around better connectivity between humanitarian and development efforts within the UN system (OCHA, 2017).
Albeit the idea of ‘linking relief, rehabilitation and development’ has been around in the development sector since the 1980s, for decades there did not seem to be a shared understanding of what the concept means or its practical relevance. However, from reviewing several pieces of literature on this concept, it can be deduced that the generally associated idea is structuring humanitarian and development interventions in a way that gradually reduces reliance on humanitarian aid and promotes developmental ideals pre, during and post emergencies. The potential of this concept is captured in a quote by Buchanan-Smith and Maxwell (1994), where they wrote “The basic idea is simple and sensible, emergencies are costly in terms of human life and resources. They are disruptive to development. They demand a long period of rehabilitation. And they have spawned (Read more ...)
Now the thesis is handed in, the poster is ready to go, and the presentation..well I must do that next, I really cannot believe the year is over. It flew by. Last year when I decided to apply for the MSc CCAFS. It seemed like such a big commitment, a lot of money and a whole year of my life and I m no spring chicken either. But actually overall, it wasn t too bad. The last three months were definitely the longest and the hardest but for the most part, it flew, and I m coming out of with a lot more knowledge than when I went in. Most importantly I m coming out of it more employable (I hope!!). The job hunt will be in full swing after the presentations next week. Although being a student is great I m more than ready to work again, and I d rather not see another academic journal for a while!
In recent decades, the occurrence and intensity of climate related hazards such as drought and desertification have increased. It is arguably that the industrial revolution of the 21st century have contributed to increase the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which inevitably is warming the earth faster than before. At the same time, rising temperature and lower rainfalls have resulted in drought and desertification in some latitude, while in other latitudes lower temperature and heavy rainfall have cause cold spell and flooding. The Lake Chad region is no exception. In the past, the lake chad region was a major source of livelihoods for millions of people in sub Saharan Africa, but currently, it is unlikely that the lake can continue as a viable source of livelihoods for millions of people. The lake chad is increasingly shrinking due to desertification, drought, lower rainfall and the rising temperature, which is attributed to climate change. This easy will examine how climate change has affected food security and fuel insecurity in the region and argued that while population has increased in the region, the quality of livelihoods supporting system has decreased.
Climate change has contributed to increase the food insecurity and fuel insecurity around the world in several ways. First, the unreliable rainfall and rising temperature is increasingly affecting the intensity and occurrence of drought than before, which obviously had contributed to the shrinking of the lake chad basin. According to UNDP, from 1960 (Read more ...)
On Monday, we present our results.
This is good news for me, as I m one of those people that prefers public speaking to death - by a large margin. I like it.
It s also good news because I feel like my work has advanced progress on an issue that matters, in a country I care deeply about.
The only bad news is that I have to make the decision about whether I want to maintain this blog - this could well be my last post, at least on here. I m planning on picking up my other blog again (in which I think critically about often vacuous books) once I ve graduated and am back at home.
So if this my last post, looking back at the arc of what posted here is interesting. At first, the blogs were all about content: who does what, how it works. This past month, though, I ve spent more and more of my time thinking not about how things work but what constitutes a good choice and and what our moral obligations and rights are.
These thoughts have led me directly back to Ishmael.
No, not Call me Ishmael. And not the Biblical Ishmael.
This (Read more ...)
A blog within a blog:
In this post I will walk you through how I put together an inventory for LCA. I use margarine as an example here.
I wanted to find out the carbon footprints associated with producing margarine globally. After doing some researching of margarine products online, I realized there is no *one * standardized way to produce margarine, the ingredients vary from country to country and also among margarine producers…so I decided to do my LCAs based on all the formulations I could find, and then I would calculate an average value based on the global warming potential I calculated for each formulation.
Firstly, I searched for LCA studies on margarine- and I found one that one included detailed information on the composition of 4 different margarines products (from 4 different European countries):
Next, I looked for more formulations online…
It was hard to find more detailed margarine formulations, as margarine products often consisted of multiple edible oil varieties (such as soya oil, palm oil/palm kernel oil, sunflower oil,etc.) and while the percentage of total edible oils used was given in the ingredients list, I had no idea how much of each was used to produce the margarine.
Eventually, I found one product that had only one edible oil ingredient- margarine (Read more ...)
Ive arrived home in galway. 2 and a half short months in vietnam has come to an end. However, its not time to rest now as in the next 6 weeks ill need to finish and submit my thesis.
I m Brian and I m currently undertaking a MSc in Agribiosciences at NUIG.
The 2019 Galway Climathon took place last Friday (25/10). A great group of innovative mids came together and got involved to try and find solutions to dome of the current climate issues facing Galway city. All the ideas from the day are solid and have a real chance in helping drive solutions in Galway city and beyond! I am proud to say that the team i was involved in, Team ELF s", were the winners on the day, creating a task orientated climate education programme.
Eoin Dunne was selected on a very competitive basis to work as a Research Assistant in Teagasc, Athenry. Well done Eoin!
Gillian Cummins is working now in NCBC, in the department, where she was doing her Reseach Placement. Well done Gillian!
Before discussing the contribution of women to society and their position and importance as I described in the previous post, I would like to provide an update on the analysis of the literature I have been working on in relation to the project I have done with CIAT, Rome, Italy.
As a quick reminder, my project with CIAT was on Climate-Security and Peacebuilding and I wrote Should I stay, or should I go? Climate, Rural Youth Migration, and Social Protection formerly called Climate Change, Rural Youth Migration, and Social Protection. In this review, I discuss climate and future climate change impact on migration patterns, looking at the rural youth context. I reviewed about 165 literature/articles from various topic-related sources; the effects on migration, climate and climate change impact on youth (global & rural), and the response steps, in particular programs and policies for social protection.
This paper finds that different countries/regions have different response systems depending on their geographic area and vulnerability level. This is largely influenced by a country s situation whether it is developed or developing, the availability of resources and infrastructure, and a person, household, or community s power. Developing countries generally have weak infrastructure, so their ability and capabilities are usually limited, often forcing them to move to other, safer, nearby areas. Africa, for example, has the highest number of youth (15-24 age) indicating a poor climate change adaptation mechanism has highly affected youth, pushing them to (Read more ...)
The word extinction has always been associated with world life (animals and plants). But today, this word is closer to the human race more than ever before. The more humans interact with wold animals the closer they bring their race to extinction. In their efforts to be the most fashionable and have the most exhotic dish in their diets, humans have brought diseases that were present only in the animal world into human s habitats. As much as most of it is through fashion and avoidable dishes, some of this interaction has been accelerated by the impacts of climate change. Livestock and crops fail to produce under the impacts of climate change and people are forced to go into the wild to either hunt world animals or gather wild fruits. As they do this, they come into contact with disease causing pathogens which cause pandemics in humans. Not only are animals hunted down and killed in their habitats but they are brought alive into the human world! A wild animal under stress is more likely to spread it s viruses to humans as they interact with it than any other. Whether climate change, fashion or diets, humans have to leave wild animals where they belong... In the wild.
Some of the best practices implemented by organic and FairTrade certified farmers that increase resilience against climate change impacts. They are applying mulching or/and cover crops like beans; they also dig terraces, and diversifying their crops. Mulching, terraces, and trees conserve soil water, reduce erosion, and, at the same time, add soil fertility. Mulch and cover crops surpass weeds @MScCCAFS_NUIG
I submitted my thesis a few days ago and I am now back in the U.S. after a lengthy day of travel. It is definitely a bittersweet feeling to be done with the MScCCAFS program and to have left Galway. There is a lot I will miss but I’m mostly feeling grateful for this experience and optimistic for what the future holds.Keep on (Read more ...)