International Research Experiences for Students (IRES)
Project Title: Imminent change in a European marine reserve
19 Aug - 22 Sep 2012
18 Aug - 21 Sep 2013
9 Aug - 13 Sep 2014
Application forms available at:
This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1130978. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
- No-take marine reserves are important tools to learn about marine systems and to protect areas for future generations. These ideas, encapsulated by national and regional marine reserve programs, offer an ideal opportunity to train young marine scientists about international marine reserves: their structure, function, and management.
- Four outstanding American students per year (2 undergraduate and 2 graduate students) will conduct marine ecological research with foreign colleagues at Europe's first statutory marine reserve (Lough Hyne Marine Reserve in Co. Cork, Ireland) that is faced with imminent change due to large-scale alterations in the lough biota.
- IRES students will participate in a 5-day orientation workshop at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology and then will travel together to Cork, Ireland for the 4-week project period between summer and fall academic terms.
- Students will work at the University College Cork Renouf Lab, a field station accessible by boat, and live in a nearby cottage (photo to left).
- Each IRES student will take the lead on one aspect of the rapid, community-level changes of lough biota. All projects will involve intertidal shore surveys and shallow-water snorkel surveys. Graduate students will also conduct plankton tows and field experiments to investigate larval abundance and settlement.
Invasive Japanese seaweed in lough
IRES Students will:
- participate in crucial conservation efforts (eradicating Sargassum muticum, an invasive brown alga that first entered the lough in 2003)
- assist in long-term monitoring of invertebrates and seaweed species at historical sites surveyed annually since 1994 and originally in the 1950s
- create online blog
- produce electronic identification sheets for Irish schools and visitors
- give an oral presentation to UCC colleagues
- share their unique experiences with peers at their home institutions
- Baseline studies, experimental results, conservation and eradication work, and project products will contribute to the education of 12 American students and the local Irish stakeholders as well as assist the Irish NPW agency in its management objectives.