In 2021, the Marine Institute is profiling our people, sharing their study and career paths, the work they do at the Marine Institute and the important contribution their work delivers.
Bernadette Ni Chonghaile
EurofleetsPlus Project Administrative Coordinator
What is your current role at the Marine Institute and what's involved in your daily work?
Within the Research Vessel Operations Team, my current role is as administrative and logistical coordinator of a European Commission funded project called EurofleetsPlus. The main objective of the EurofleetsPlus project is to enable European and international marine scientists to apply for funding to access research vessels and marine equipment in locations outside of their own countries. For example, a marine scientist from Ireland can apply for access to a vessel in the Mediterranean, if that vessel is part of the Eurofleets+ project. There are 27 research vessels and 14 pieces of marine equipment (ROVs and AUVs) available to scientists. As the Marine Institute is the lead partner and coordinator of the project, my role involves working with all 41 European and international partners. I'm the main contact for the European Commission on all reporting and financial obligations, and also liaise with the infrastructure operators, scientists and project stakeholders and coordinate the logistical evaluations of scientifically successful proposals.
What did you study and why?
After school, I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Irish and Archaeology and returned to college a few years later to obtain a Higher Diploma in Information Technology. I also have a Diploma in Project Management. I worked in a variety of administrative roles before joining the Marine Institute in 2003 where I worked in various service areas before joining the Research Vessels Operations Team in 2006.
What are you interests and passions?
I enjoy spending time outdoors - running and walking mainly and recently gardening, although I have a lot to learn still! I grew up on Inis Oirr, the smallest of the Aran Islands, literally surrounded by the sea. I love walking by the seashore and investigating the rock pools with my kids during the summer.
What is the best thing about working in the Marine Institute? What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best thing about working in the Marine Institute is hearing about all the amazing scientific research that is taking place and the state-of-the-art technology that's currently available and developing each year to enable it to happen. The most satisfying part of my job is helping to make that science possible, albeit in a very small way!
What is something you think everyone should know about the ocean?
The ocean influences all aspects of our lives, from the air that we breathe to our climate and the food we eat.