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Personal profile


Thomas is a final year Ph.D. candidate in the Molecular Ecology Research Group based in the Department of Science in the South East Technological University. Prior to beginning his Ph.D., Thomas was awarded a B.Sc. (Hons) in Environmental Bioscience from Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Thomas' Ph.D. is titled "Development of eDNA methods for the surveillance of mosquitoes in Ireland" and is co-funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Thomas' research focuses on the development of DNA-based identification methods for mosquitoes using a range of DNA methodologies. 

Using mosquito larvae and adults Thomas identifies species' occuring in Ireland via DNA barcoding. Throughout Thomas' Ph.D. a number of mosquito species-specific assays have been developed to allow for the detection of target species from a range of environemental samples, such as mammal faecal droppings and water, using Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR).

In collabroation with the University of Salford, Thomas undertook a study that aimed to reveal the diet of the lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) in Ireland via DNA metabarcoding. DNA metabarcoding is the simultaneous and parallel identification of multiple species/taxa from a single sample. In this study, Thomas used DNA extracted from lesser horseshoe bat feacal pellets and using Next-Generation Sequencing was able to identify the range of insects consumed by this bat species in Ireland. In doing so, the breadth of ecosystem services offered by this bat species could be further investigated.


Thomas has delivered the laboratory element for the following modules:

  • Cell Biology and Biochemistry (1st Year: Agricultural Science, Common Entry Science, Food Science) 
  • Microbiology 1 (2nd Year: Agricultural Science, Food Science)

Thomas has also assisted in site visits for the following 3rd Year Forestry modules:

  • Forest Inventory
  • Principles of Silviculture  

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelors Degree, Dundalk Institute of Technology

01 Sep 201431 May 2018

Award Date: 01 Nov 2018


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