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Fiona Brennan

Research Officer - Soil and Environmental Microbiology

Research Interests

  • The soil microbiome
  • Microbial cycling of nutrients in agronomic systems
  • Greenhouse gas emissions mitigation
  • Enteropathogens in the environment
  • Soil persistent E. coli
  • Microbial adaptation to the environment

Research group details 


Fiona completed a BSc in Environmental Biology (University College Dublin) and a PhD in Microbiology (NUI Galway) prior to holding postdoctoral research positions within Teagasc and INRA (The French National Institute for Agricultural Research). Prior to her current appointment she was a lecturer in Microbiology in NUI Galway and a research scientist in the James Hutton Institute, Scotland.


Somorin, Y., Abram, F., Brennan, F., and O'Byrne, C. The general stress response is conserved in long-term soil-adapted strains of Escherichia coli. Applied and Environmental microbiology. In Press

Fenton, O., Healy, M.G., Brennan, F., Thorton, S., Lanigan, G., and Ibrahim, T. (2015) Holistic Evaluation of Field-Scale Denitrifying Bioreactors as a basis to improve Environmental Sustainability. Journal of Environmental Quality – In press.

Moynihan, E.L., K.G. Richards, F. P. Brennan, S.F. Tyrrel and K. Ritz. (2015) Enteropathogen Survival in Soil from Different Land-Uses Is Predominantly Regulated by Microbial Community Composition. Applied Soil Ecology 89, 76-84.

Jones, C.M., Spor, A., Brennan, F.P., Breuil, M.- C., Bru, D., Lemanceau, P. et al. (2014) Recently identified microbial guild mediates soil N2O sink capacity. Nature Climate Change 4:801–805. (IF 14.547)

Brennan, F.P., Moynihan, E., Griffiths, B.S., Hillier, S., Owen, J., Pendlowski, H., and Avery, L.M. (2014) Clay mineral type effect on bacterial enteropathogen survival in soil. Science of the Total Environment 468–469: 302-305.

Ernfors, M., Brennan, F., Richards, K., McGeough, K., Griffiths, B.S., Laughlin, R.J. et al. (2014) The nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide increases mineralization-immobilization turnover in slurry amended grassland soil. Journal of Agricultural Science 152: 137-149.

Fenton, O., Healy, M.G., Brennan, F., Jahangir, M., Lanigan, G.J., Richards, K. et al. (2014) Permeable reactive interceptors – blocking diffuse nutrient and greenhouse gases losses in key areas of the farming landscape. Journal of Agricultural Science 152: S71–S81.

Brennan, F.P., Grant, J., Botting, C., O' Flaherty, V., Richards, K., and Abram, F. (2013) Insights into the Low Temperature Adaptation and Nutritional Flexibility of a Soil Persistent Escherichia coli. FEMS Microbial Ecology: 84: 75-85.

Moynihan, E., Richards, K., Ritz, K., Tyrrel, S., and Brennan, F. (2013) The impact of soil type, biology and temperature on the environmental persistence of non-toxigenic E. coli O157 Biology and Environment: 113B: 41-46.

Brennan, F.P., Kramers, G., Grant, J., O' Flaherty, V., Holden, N.M., and Richards, K. (2012) Evaluating E. coli transport risk in soil using dye and bromide tracers  Soil Science Society of America Journal 76: 663-673.

Kramers, G., Holden, N.M., Brennan, F., Green, S., and Richards, K.G. (2012) Effect of initial soil water content and soil type on preferential nutrient transport from slurry. Vadose Zone Journal: doi:10.2136/vzj2011.0059.

Harris, J.A., Tyrrel, S.F., Ritz, K., Lanigan, G.J., Griffiths, B.S., Brennan, F.P. et al. (2011) Does soil biology hold the key to optimised slurry management?: a manifesto for research. Soil Use and Management 27: 464–469.

Brennan, F.P., O'Flaherty, V., Kramers, G., Grant, J., and Richards, K.G. (2010) Long-Term Persistence and Leaching of Escherichia coli in Temperate Maritime Soils. Applied and Environmental Microbiolology 76: 1449-1455.

Brennan, F.P., Abram, F., Chinalia, F.A., Richards, K.G., and O'Flaherty, V. (2010) Characterization of Environmentally Persistent Escherichia coli Isolates Leached from an Irish Soil. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76: 2175-2180.

Creamer, R.E., Brennan, F., Fenton, O., Healy, M.G., Lalor, S.T.J., Lanigan, G.J. et al. (2010) Implications of the proposed Soil Framework Directive on agricultural systems in Atlantic Europe – a review. Soil Use and Management 26: 198-211.

Scholar profile

Researchgate profile