EU Swim Project

Meet the EU SWIM Project team

Programme Advisory Group

Who is the Project Advisory Group?

The Project Advisory Group (PAG) represents a wide range of stakeholders, involved both directly and indirectly with the EU SWIM Project. From local authority staff, who manage the beaches being monitored, to central government staff who oversee the legislation affected by the project – the PAG casts a large net over the academic, governance and NGO sectors to ensure that the EU SWIM Project is meeting its objectives, and delivering the best value for money on behalf of our funders, SEUPB.

Lead Partners
The Lead partners University College Dublin (UCD), Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful (KNIB) form the Scientific Technology and Management Board (STMB).

Dr Rosemarie Gannon
EU SWIM Project Manager, UCD
Rosemarie is the project manager based in University College Dublin (UCD). She has a lot of experience of successfully managing and completing research projects. She has a PhD in Information and Communication Studies from UCD, a BA in Applied Languages (French and German) from the University of Ulster (Coleraine) and a Certificate in Digital Marketing (QQI Level 7) from Dublin Business School. Rosemarie has a good appreciation of North/South collaboration. She is interested in environmental research and in particular, how the results of this research can be applied in our everyday lives.
Aurora Gitto
Research Scientist, UCD
Aurora Gitto is a Research Scientist in the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science in University College Dublin and has become particularly interested in water pollution and water quality. Aurora graduated from Sapienza University in Rome with a BSc in Environmental Science before obtaining her MSc in Environmental Monitoring and Regeneration from the same University in 2014. In October 2015 she won a scholarship from Rome University which allowed her to become specialized in working on root water uptake in heavy-metal stressed barley at the School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College of Dublin (UCD). Aurora graduated from Sapienza University in Rome with a BSc in Environmental Science before obtaining her MSc in Environmental Monitoring and Regeneration from the same University in 2014. Her research focused on heavy metal stress in plants, water and soil. In October 2015 she won a scholarship from Rome University which allowed her to become specialized in working on root water uptake in heavy-metal stressed barley at the School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College of Dublin (UCD). During this period she developed more experience in molecular techniques. Aurora became particularly interested in water pollution and water quality.
Dr Levent Görgü
Research Scientist, School of Computer Science, UCD
Prior to the SWIM project, he spent more than two years in IT & Software industry, mostly focusing on Finance and FinTech. While in industry, he also had teaching experience for a semester as an Assistant Professor at Cyprus International University. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCD. Right after his Ph.D, he was positioned as software engineer in AUTHENTIC, which was aiming to supply smart home environments for home area networks by using relatively new technologies. The result of his Ph.D. is a software framework focused on heterogeneous sensor and service discovery in IoT environment and wireless sensor networks.
Dr Dan Hawtree
Post Doctorate, UCD
Dan has a background in hydrologic modelling and analysis, and is currently a post-doc at the Dooge Centre for Water Resources Research (CWRR) at University College Dublin (UCD). His role on the SWIM project is to carry out the statistical modelling used to predict changes in key bathing water quality indicators (i.e. E. coli and Intestinal enterococci) under variable environmental conditions. In this modelling work, a wide range of regression based modelling methods and machine learning techniques are being tested and applied, in the development of a robust approach for predicting bathing water quality in Ireland.
Dr Bat Masterson
Adjunct Professor, UCD
Dr Bat Masterson was formerly a Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry at UCD. He is a member of the International Water Association and has had a long-standing involvement in research on the microbial pollution of recreational waters, including the SMART, iCREW and Smart Coasts = Sustainable Communities INTERREG funded projects and projects funded by the Irish EPA STRIVE programme. He is currently active in SWIM and Acclimatize another INTERREG funded projects.
Wim Meijer
Professor of Microbiology, UCD
Wim Meijer is Professor of Microbiology and Head of the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science at University College Dublin. His research focuses on pathogenic microbes in relation to animal and human health. Within this context he has directed research projects funded by national and International funding agencies including Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the European Union (ICREW, Smart Coasts, CODTRACE) and the Irish Environmental Protection Agency. He is the coordinator of the Acclimatize project ( which is part funded by the ERDF through the Ireland-Wales programme 2014-2020. Acclimatize focuses on pollution of at-risk bathing waters in Ireland and Wales and the effects of climate change.
Gregory O’Hare
Director Earth Institute, UCD
Gregory O'Hare completed his studies at the University of Ulster graduating with a B.Sc, M.Sc and Ph.D. He held the position of Head of the Department of Computer Science at University College Dublin (UCD) 2001-2004. Prior to joining UCD he has been on the Faculty of the University of Central Lancashire (1984-86) and the University of Manchester (1986-1996). He is a Professor within the School of Computer Science & Informatics at UCD. He has published over 350 refereed publications in Journals and International Conferences, 7 books and has won significant grant income. He is the Chair of the EU SWIM Project Advisory Group and the Scientific Technology and Management Board.
John O’Sullivan
Lecturer/Assistant Professor, School of Civil Engineering, UCD
John O’Sullivan studied at Trinity College Dublin and graduated with a Civil Engineering degree. He completed an MSc at the Queen's University of Belfast and following this started a seven-year period that would involve working in a research capacity at the University of Ulster on a number of externally funded projects. He completed his PhD in 1999 after spending time at the UK Flood Channel Facility in HR Wallingford and have also spent time at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Present research interests are concerned with water resources.
Malcolm Taylor
Agri-Food and Biosciences Insitute
Malcolm Taylor is a Project Leader in the Bacteriology Branch, Veterinary Sciences Division, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Belfast, Northern Ireland. AFBI is a multi-disciplinary science-based organisation with ca 650 staff involved in high technology research and development, diagnostic and analytical testing for DAERA and other Government departments, public bodies and commercial companies in Northern Ireland and further afield. Through Malcolm Taylor’s leadership, the Food Hygiene Unit that he heads has provided an ever increasing role in conducting both conventional microbiological and source apportionment analysis of environmental waters associated with multiple Interreg and Northern Ireland Interdepartmental Government funded projects associated with implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFR). Malcolm’s group also undertakes rapid, large scale diagnostic analysis supporting the red meat industry to implement control strategies associated with the spoilage microorganisms.
Elaine Mitchell
Agri-Food and Biosciences Insitute
Elaine Mitchell joined the SWIM project as a Higher Scientific Officer in AFBI Food Hygiene Unit in September 2017. Elaine has a background in marine environmental research and consultancy with a PhD in benthic ecology of coastal and estuarine environments from the University of Hull. Elaine’s role in the SWIM project is primarily preparation and maintenance of microbiological, meteorological and hydrological Northern Ireland data archive and predictive model validation.
Dr Ian Humphreys
CEO, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful
Dr Ian Humphreys has over 20 years’ experience in the management of environmental education, developing public engagement programmes and building strategic partnerships. Previously, he worked for 14 years with The Conservation Volunteers, latterly as the Northern Ireland Operations Manager. As CEO of Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Ian has been responsible for delivery of the international programmes Eco-Schools, Young Reporters for the Environment and Blue Flag along with local programmes such as Live Here Love Here (building civic pride through environmental action), The BIG Spring Clean, Adopt A Spot, Eco-Home and marine litter surveys.
Dr Jade Berman
Dr Jade Berman
Local Environment Quality & Business Development Manager, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful
Jade joined Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful in December 2018 as Business Development and LEQ Manager after over 7 years as Living Seas Manager at Ulster Wildlife. She has almost 20 years of international experience as a marine biologist, scientific diver, lecturer, and conservation manager and has worked in many places including Antarctica, New Zealand, Panama and the UK. Jade has a PhD in marine biology on the spatial and temporal variability of sponge assemblages and an MSc in Marine Resource Development and Protection.
Emma Johnston
EU SWIM Officer, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful
Emma joined KNIB in June 2019 as the Communications lead on the EU SWIM Programme. Emma has a BSc (Hons) Zoology from Queen’s University Belfast and is just completing an MSc in Communication, Public Relations and Political Lobbying at Ulster University. She enjoys exploring nature with her daughter and two dogs, especially around our local coastlines.

PAG Members
Mr Andrew King Special EU Programmes Body
Ms Helen Donaldson Special EU Programmes Body
Ms Claire Vincent Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
Ms Charlene Little Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
Ms Angela Halpenny Northern Ireland Water
Mr Andrew Harte Northern Ireland Water
Mr Anthony Mannix Environmental Protection Agency
Mr Wayne Egan Environmental Protection Agency
Dr John O’Neill Dep of Comms, Climate Action and Environment
Dr Paula Treacy Waterways Ireland
Ms Trudy Higgins Irish Water
Ms Rosie Morrissey Sligo County Council
Dr Joe Ferry Donegal County Council
Ms Bernadette Gault Donegal County Council
Ms Emer O’Gorman Louth County Council
Mr John O’Hagan Louth County Council
Mr Ben Gallagher Louth County Council
Mr Simon Boyle Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
Mr Niall Curneen Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
Mr Richard Gillen Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
Mr Mark Strong Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
Mr Michael McConaghy Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
Mr Marcus Potts Ards and North Down Borough Council
Ms Diane Martin Ards and North Down Borough Council
Ms Pamela Arthurs East Border Region
Ms Dette Hughes East Border Region
Mr Jimmy McVeigh Local Authority Waters Programme

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