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Dr Catherine Dalton

Dr Catherine Dalton

PhD (University College London), MSc (Trinity College), BSc (DIT)
Senior Lecturer/Assoc. Professor

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I am a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography with research interests in contemporary catchments, aquatic systems, sediment archives and community citizen science.  My main research concentrates on aquatic sediments and reconstructions of past environments (Anthropocene and Holocene timescales) using physical, chemical and biological materials. Recent research has additionally included work with Rivers Trusts and local communities to ensure that catchments, rivers and lakes can achieve their full potential both environmentally and recreationally.  I am Vice-Chair of the Maigue Rivers Trust, executive member of the All Ireland Climate and Biodiversity Network.  I am also an Editorial Advisory Board Member for Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy.


  • Weiner D. Bloomer, J. Ó Conchúir R. & Dalton C. (2022). The role of volunteers and citizen scientists in addressing declining water quality in Irish river catchments. Citizen Science Theory and Practice. 13 pp DOI: 10.5334/cstp.447
  • Dalton C.& McGlynn G. (eds.) (2019) Standing on the Shoulders of Giants:  A Quaternary Science Retrospective.  Irish Quaternary Association, pp. 116. ISBN 978-0-947920-60-9.
  • McGlynn, G., Lejju, J., Dalton, C., Mooney, S.D., Rose, N.L., Tompkins, A.M., Bannister, W. and Taylor, D (2019) Remotely-driven environmental changes in a global biodiversity hotspot: evidence from the Albertine Rift, central Africa.  Journal of Biogeography. 46(9): 2098-2114.
  • Dalton, C. (2018) Natural capital: An inventory of Irish lakes. Irish Geography, 51(1): 75–92. 
  • Dalton, Sparber, de Eyto (2018). Assessing sedimentation in a temperate dystrophic lake in the NE Atlantic seaboard region. Journal of Paleolimology 60(2): 117–131.
  • de Eyto, E. Dalton,C. Dillane, M. Jennings, E. McGinnity, P. O’Dwyer, B. Poole,Rogan, G. TaylorD. (2016). Partitioning the response of North Atlantic diadromous fish to multiple drivers: a five decade study. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 73(12): 1759-1769.
  • de Eyto, E.  Jennings, E. Ryder L. Sparber, L. Dillane, M. Dalton, C. Poole R. (2016).  The response of a humic lake ecosystem to an extreme precipitation event: physical, chemical and biological implications.  Inland Waters 06(4): 483-498.
  • Dalton, C., Jennings, E., O’Dwyer, B. and Taylor, D., 2016. Integrating observed, inferred and simulated data to illuminate environmental change: a limnological case study. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy (Vol. 116, No. 3, p. 1Á16).
  • Dalton, C, O’Dwyer, B, Taylor, D, de Eyto, E, Jennings, E, Chen, G, Poole, R, Dillane, M. McGinnity P.(2014). Anthropocene environmental change in an internationally important oligotrophic catchment on the Atlantic seaboard of western Europe. Anthropocene 5: 9–21.
  • Sparber, K., Dalton, C. de Eyto, E., Jennings, E., Lenihan, D. & Cassina F. (2015) Contrasting pelagic plankton in temperate Irish lakes: the relative contribution of hetero-, mixo- and autotrophic components, and the effects of extreme rainfall events.  Inland Waters 5: 295­310.
  • Cassina, F., Dalton, C. & de Eyto, E. (2013).  The palaeolimnology of Lough Murree, a brackish ecotonal lake in the Burren, Ireland. Biology & Environment – Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 113B(3): 311-327
  • Cassina, F., Dalton, C., Dillane, M. & de Eyto, E. (2013).  A multi-proxy palaeolimnological study to reconstruct the evolution of a coastal brackish lake (Lough Furnace, Ireland) during the late-Holocene.  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 383-384: 1-15.
  • Chen, G.,Dalton, C.& Taylor, D. (2010). Cladocera as indicators of trophic state in Irish Lakes. Journal of Paleolimnology 44: 465-481.
  • Dalton, C., Jennings, E. & Taylor, D. (2009).  Palaeolimnology and the Water Framework Directive.  Special Issue Biology and the Environment:  Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 109B (3): 161–174.
  • Leira, M., Dalton, C. Chen, G. Irvine K. & Taylor D. (2009). Patterns in freshwater diatom community distinctness along an eutrophication gradient.  Freshwater Biology  54(1): 1-14
  • Chen, G.,Dalton, C., Leira, M., & Taylor, D. (2008).  Construction of diatom-inferred pH and total phosphorus (TP) transfer functions for the Irish Ecoregion using palaeolimnological techniques. Journal of Palaeolimnology 40:143–163.


  • Ryan Smazal (2020-to date): Title: SEQUESTER: SEdiment Quantities - UndErstanding Sediment Temporal Environment Records. Dundalk Institute of Technology Landscape Postgraduate Scholarship
  • Donna Weiner (2020-to date):  Title: Citizen Science Investigations – river environmental stewardship (CSI-River). EPA Scholarship # 2019-PhD-AF-26 & Mary Immaculate College Geography Department Assistantship
  • Niall Walsh (2015-2017): Title - Using lake sediment recordsto examine recent productivity in Lough Gur, Co. Limerick. Co-supervisor Dr. Norman Allott (TCD).  Examiners: Prof. Anson Mackay (UCL) & Dr. Aaron Potito (NUIG). Examiners report 14/7/2017.
  • Joyce Novak (2011-2017): Title. Holocene environmental reconstruction in Galway Bay, a shallow coastal embayment along Ireland’s North-East Atlantic margin.   INFOMAR award # INF-09-19-DAL. Co-supervised with Dr. Caroline Cusack, Marine Institute.  Examiners: Dr David Ryves (University of Loughborough), and Dr. Aaron Potito (NUIG); Viva date March 14th 2017.
  • Rosaleen Mylotte (2009-2014):  Isolation and Characterisation of Organic Components in Sediments from an Estuarine Environment.  Principle Supervisor Prof. Michael Hayes, Co-supervisor JJ Leahy  & C. Dalton, University of Limerick. Examiners: Professor Roger Swift (University of Queensland, Australia), Professor Jim Burdon; Viva Voce May 15th2014.
  • Filippo Cassina (2007-2012): Title. A late-Holocene assessment of two Irish coastal  lagoons. Co-supervised with Elvira de Eyto, Marine Institute.  EPA Doctoral Scholarship # 2007-PHD-B-2. Examiners: Dr Kaarina Weckstrom (Geological Survey of Denmark), and Dr Ken Byrne (University of Limerick); Viva date July 6th 2012.
  • Karin Sparber (2007-2013): Neo- and palaeolimnological investigations in a humic and a clear water lake in the west of Ireland. EPA Doctoral Scholarship # 2008-PhD-W-d .  Co-supervised with Elvira de Eyto, Marine Institute.  Examiners: Dr Lauri Arvola (University of Helsinki), and Dr. Tom Harrington (University of Limerick); Viva date 10th December 2012.
  • Marzena Olas (2006-2008): Working title.  Past and current interactions between pressures, chemical status and biological quality elements for lakes in two contrasting instrumented catchments in Ireland.  EPA Project # 2005-W-MS-40. Co-supervised with Elvira de Eyto, Marine Institute.  
  • Guangjie Chen (2003-2006):  Construction of total phosphorus (TP) quantitative models based on diatoms and cladocera for the Irish Ecoregion using palaeolimnological techniques.  Funding body:  EPA Doctoral Scholarship # 2002-PHD2-34. Examiners: Dr. Catherine Duigan (Countryside Council for Wales) & Dr. Tom Harrington (UL); Viva date 2nd October 2006.
  • Shane Cullinane (2003-2012):  An assessment of algal biodiversity and water quality in Loughs Atedaun, Cullaun and Inchiquin, three lakes on the river Fergus.  EPA SSS # 2004-SS-30-M1. Examiners: Prof. David Taylor (TCD) & Dr. Angela Hayes (MIC-UL). Examiners report 15th June 2007.