Burren Geology Field School Academic Staff

John MurrayJohn Murray

Dr. John Murray is a Lecturer in Earth and Ocean Sciences (NUI Galway) and is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin.

His research interests include Irish Carboniferous stratigraphy, carbonate sedimentology and palaeontology, in particular around the area of the Shannon Basin in Counties Clare, Limerick and Kerry in southwest Ireland.

He has also investigated unusual discoidal fossils, Pleistocene to Holocene marine sediments in the Irish offshore and hominid migration through the southern Caucasus during the Pleistocene.

John, as lead, recently accepted the National University of Ireland Galway Presidents Award for Teaching Excellence, which was awarded to the Earth and Ocean Sciences Final Year Project Team.

John’s taught classes include: Introductory palaeontology, applied palaeobiology, the history of life and fieldskills and mapping. He has also supervised a number of postgraduate students who conducted fieldwork in the Burren region.


Eamonn Doyle

Eamon Doyle

Dr. Eamon Doyle is contract geologist for the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, one of the key developers of the Burren Geology Field School. This position is supported by Clare County Council and the Geological Survey of Ireland.

Eamon got his PhD in Geology in 1989 from NUIG, after that he lectured in sedimentology in the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, for 4 years.

Later he worked as a high school science teacher in Santa Cruz, Bolivia for a year as well as an English teacher in Mexico.

He ran his own art gallery in Ennistymon for 6 years.

He is currently working with Prof. Mike Williams (NUIG) on holocene sediments from Co. Clare as well as a study of a rare carboniferous fossil with Dr. John Murray from NUIG.




Mike Williams

Mike Williams

Mike Williams is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Galway University.

He lectured in Surface Processes, Historical Geology, Sedimentary Petrology and Sedimentology.

He worked in Lapland for his Ph.D. research on late Precambrian deformed sediments and has also worked in central Norway on Palaeozoic rocks.

Since coming to Ireland his research has included lower Palaeozoic sedimentary environments, suspect terrane analysis and more recently the occurrence of extreme waves in the north Atlantic and their effects on coastal erosion including the parameters of identification of past tsunami.

He has also worked on a number of major civil engineering projects in Ireland such as hydroelectric schemes.


Colin BunceColin Bunce

Colin Bunce has had an interest in rocks and landscapes from an early age.

This lead him to study Geology at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, graduating in 1982 and then working on oil rigs for 3 years.

During this time he discovered the Burren and became fascinated by the geological landscape above and below ground.

He now works at the Burren Outdoor Education Centre trying to get 17 – 18 year old students to understand aspects of this unique landscape for school projects.

During the last 25 years he has been responsible for discovering, exploring and mapping several major new cave systems in the Burren.

He is currently investigating a set of silica veins that cross parts of the Burren.


Tiernan HenryTiernan Henry

Tiernan Henry is a hydrogeologist with more than 20 years of industry, education and research experience.

After graduating from Trinity College Dublin he completed an MSc in hydrogeology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He worked in consultancy for a number of years before taking up his current position as a lecturer in environmental geology in the Earth and Ocean Sciences unit at NUI Galway.

His current research interests are in the better understanding of the distribution of metals in groundwater and in the hydrogeology of coastal karst catchments.

He leads the Griffiths funded Groundwater section of the Biogeoscience Group in EOS where projects focus on monitoring groundwater and saline water interaction in coastal areas, and in understanding the source and distribution of metals (such as Arsenic) in groundwater around Ireland.


Ronan HennessyRonan Hennessy

Ronan Hennessy is the Senior Technician in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) at NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy research.

Ronan also teaches at NUI Galway’s Department of Earth and Ocean Science, where he was awarded a PhD in 2009.  Ronan has many years of research experience in the field of geoscience, geo-heritage, GIS, and geo-visualisation.

In 2011, Ronan was invited to present his research on Google Earth at Google Headquarters in California. He has presented his research throughout Ireland, the UK, USA, and Scandinavia.

Ronan worked as Geopark Geologist with the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Global Geopark from 2009 to 2011, where he helped to secure the designation of the Burren as a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Ronan has a keen interest in the geological and railway heritage, and recently completed an Irish Heritage Council-funded project to publish an animated timeline map of the history of the Irish railway network in Google Earth.

As well as publishing many science-press articles and academic papers, Ronan has co-published two books: Stone, Water: A Geology Trip through the Burren, and Galway’s Living Landscapes: Part 1 Eskers.