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Project title: Optimisation of upland/lowland resources within farming systems to deliver a range of ecosystem services across multifunctional agricultural landscapes

Overview: Alessio Volpato is currently carrying out a PhD funded by the Walsh Scholarship. The PhD research programme, titled “optimisation of upland/lowland resources within farming systems to deliver a range of ecosystem services across multifunctional landscapes”, will focus on multifunctional agricultural landscapes and will use the Burren agricultural landscape as a living laboratory to investigate the potential for the development of an integrated agricultural system. An ecosystem services mapping/modelling approach combined with bio-economic models will be carried out with the aim to promote/develop a more holistic agricultural system through a better understanding/appreciation of Burren farm resource and the development/implementation of optimal farm management strategies to improve the socio-economic viability of Burren farms while delivering wider ecosystem services.

Alessio Volpato have completed a BSc and a MSc in Environmental Science in Ca’ Foscari University (Venice, Italy) with a thesis on High Nature Value farming. In 2018 he moved to Ireland where he started to work as Research Assistant in NUIG at the Applied Ecology Unit under the supervision of Prof Mike Gormally. In 2019 he moved to GMIT where he worked as a Research Assistant in the Agro-ecology and Rural Development Group under the supervision of Dr James Moran on various projects.

Main research topics include:

  • Agroecology
  • High Nature Value Farming
  • Multifunctionality in Agriculture
  • Rural Development
  • Ecosystem Services

Programme area: Rural Economy and Development Programme

Supervisors: Dr Cathal Buckley, Dr James Moran

Location: Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (Galway campus) and Teagasc Athenry (Mellows campus, Co. Galway)

Funding Source: Teagasc (Walsh Scholarship)