New Executive Secretary of Marine Board - ESF Appointed

The Marine Board Secretariat (left to right): Aurélien Carbonnière (Science Officer), Dina Eparkhina (Administrator), Niall McDonough (Executive Scientific Secretary), Maud Evrard (Science Officer), Jan-Bart Calewaert (Science Officer), Rome May 2009.Dr Niall McDonough, formerly of the Marine Institute’s European Research Funding Desk, has taken up the prestigious post of Executive Scientific Secretary of the Ostend-based Marine Board-European Science Foundation  (MB-ESF).

“Niall will be a huge asset to both the Marine Board and to European marine science, as well as a perfect ambassador for Irish marine science and technology” said Geoffrey O’Sullivan, Manager of the Institute’s International Co-operation Programme and a Vice-Chair of the MB-ESF.   

The MB-ESF, established in 1995 and which moved from Strasburg to the InnovOCEAN Centre in Ostend in 2007, is a network of 30 leading European Marine Research Institutes from 20 European countries. The Marine Board is actively involved in promoting the marine research agenda at both European and Member State levels and in fostering research cooperation between its Member Organisations and Member Countries.

The Marine Board has had significant input to the European Research Framework Programme (FP) Agenda and  the recent European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research (2008) through, amongst other initiatives,  the publication of Navigating the Future-III: Perspectives on Marine Science and Technology in Europe (2006), a series of strategic position papers and through the influential Galway (2004) and Aberdeen (2007) Conferences and Declarations.  

Niall takes over the helm of the MB-ESF from Dr Niamh Connolly, formerly a Director of the Coastal and Marine Resources Centre at University College Cork, who was the Marine Board’s Executive Scientific Secretary from  2002 to 2008 and has now taken up a post as Associate Vice Provost at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Niall,  who trained as a professional marine biologist, received his BSc from Trinity College Dublin and his PhD from Queen’s University, Belfast. Before joining the Marine Institute in 2007, he had worked as Manager of the Centre for Marine Resources and Mariculture (C-MAR) at QUB; as Development Manager at Environmental Change Institute (NUI-Galway) and as a Resource Development Officer on the Cross-Border Aquaculture Initiative.  

Niall took up is new position in Ostend on 1st June 2009 and is accompanied in Ostend by his wife Oonagh and two young sons.