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Owen Fenton

Research Officer - Water Quality

Research Interests

I am a research officer with Teagasc since 2005. My research covers topics from soil physics, land drainage, hydrology, hydrogeology and environmental engineering. I presently am adjunct lecturer in NuiGalway, editor on Journal of Agriculture Science and the Irish Journal of Agriculture and Food Science, external examiner for Agriculture at WIT, on the management committee of an EU COST Action Connecteur representing Ireland and I am a leading partner of the H2020 Marie Curie ITN INSPIRATION due to start in April 2016 relating to soil and groundwater remediation.

Current Projects

Current PhD supervision

  1. Elisa Clagnan – “Developing microbial and molecular fingerprinting of land drainage systems as a tool to achieve sustainable intensification”. Second Year Walsh Fellow. Main supervisor
    Email: eclagnan1@sheffield.ac.uk
    Researchgate: www.researchgate.net/profile/Elisa_Clagnan/?dbw=true
  2. Dara Peyton – “Characterisation of land drainage systems on varying heavy soil types in Ireland”. First Year Walsh Fellow, Secondary Supervisor.
    Email: dara.peyton@teagasc.ie
  3. John Murnane – “Nutrient (N & P) removal from agricultural wastewaters using a zeolite amendment and subsequent regeneration of the captured phosphorus by desorption” Third Year, Primary supervisor.
    Email: john.murnane@ul.ie
  4. Thomas Forkan – “Use of the soil water characteristic curve to determine solute travel times in sensitive catchments” First year. Primary supervisor
    Email: t.forkan1@nuigalway.ie
  5. Stephen Nolan - ”Comparative risk assessment of survival of pathogenic organisms in anaerobic digestion and manure” First Year – ADPolicy RSF DAFM funded. Secondary Supervisor.
    Email: s.nolan16@nuigalway.ie
    Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Stephen_Nolan
  6. Robert O’ Hara – “Precision Agriculture tools and their application in land drainage issues in Ireland” Second year Walsh Fellow. Secondary supervisor.
    Email: robert.ohara@teagasc.ie
  7. Matthias Bacher – “Biological control of soil structural integrity”. DAFM SQUARE project. Second Year Walsh Fellow. Secondary supervisor.
    Email: matthias.bacher@teagasc.ie
  8. Nuria Valbuena Parralejo – “Gaseous emissions, carbon and nutrient losses from drainage systems in Ireland”. Third Year Walsh Fellow - Nuria Valbuena Parralejo. Secondary supervisor.
    Email: nuria.valbuena@teagasc.ie
  9. Sophie Sherriff – “Sediment dynamics and provenance in agricultural catchments – Walsh Fellow. Secondary Supervisor. Finishing in 2016.
    Email: Sophie.sherriff@teagasc.ie
    Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sophie_Sherriff2/?ev=hdr_xprf.
  10. Ian Thomas – “Defining Critical Source Areas of Nutrient Transfer in Agricultural Catchments”, Walsh Fellow. Secondary Supervisor. Finishing in 2016.
    Email: ian.thomas@teagasc.ie
  11. Jeremy Emmet Booth – “The evaluation of Visual Soil Examination and Evaluation (VSEE) techniques to develop a toolbox of procedures for the assessment of soil structure, for use in Ireland” Second Year Walsh Fellow. Secondary supervisor.
    Email: jeremy.emmet-booth@ucdconnect.ie
  1. Fenton, O., Healy, M.G., Brennan, F., Thornton, S, Lanigan, G, Ibrahim, T. 2016. Holistic evaluation of field scale denitrifying bioreactors as a basis to improve environmental sustainability. Journal of Environmental Quality, Special Issue.
  2. Healy, M.G, O. Fenton, P.J Forrestal, M. Danaher, R.B Brennan and L. Morrison 2016. Metal concentrations in lime stabilised, thermally dried and anaerobically digested sewage sludges. Waste Manag 48: 404-408.
  3. Minet, E.P, M.M.R Jahangir, D.J Krol, N. Rochford, O. Fenton, D. Rooney, G. Lanigan, P.J Forrestal, C. Breslin and K.G Richards 2016. Amendment of cattle slurry with the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide during storage: A new effective and practical N2O mitigation measure for landspreading. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 215: 68-75.
  4. Peyton, D.P, M.G Healy, G.T.A Fleming, J. Grant, D. Wall, L. Morrison, M. Cormican and O. Fenton 2016. Nutrient, metal and microbial loss in surface runoff following treated sludge and dairy cattle slurry application to an Irish grassland soil. Science of the Total Environment 541: 218-229.
  5. Clark, R., Healy, M.G., Fenton, O., Cummins, E. 2016. A quantitative risk ranking model to evaluate emerging contaminants in biosolid amended land and potential transport to drinking water. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal.
  6. Jahangir, M.M.R., Richards, K.G., Healy, M.G., Muller, C., Fenton, O. 2016. Carbon and nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions in constructed wetlands treating wastewater: a review. HESS. Open Access.
  7. Sherriff, S., Rowan, J., Fenton, O., Jordan, P., Melland, A., Mellander, P-E., O’hUallachain, D. 2016. Storm event suspended sediment-discharge hysteresis and controls in agricultural watersheds: implications for watershed scale sediment management. ES&T.
  8. Fenton, Owen, Karl G Richards, Laura Kirwan, Mohammed I Khalil and Mark G Healy 2009d. Factors affecting nitrate distribution in shallow groundwater under a beef farm in South Eastern Ireland. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 90: 3135-3146.
  9. Fenton, Owen, Rogier PO Schulte, Philip Jordan, Stanley TJ Lalor and Karl G Richards 2011b. Time lag: a methodology for the estimation of vertical and horizontal travel and flushing timescales to nitrate threshold concentrations in Irish aquifers. Environmental Science & Policy 14: 419-431.
  10. Healy, Mark G, Maria Barrett, GJ Lanigan, A João Serrenho, TG Ibrahim, SF Thornton, SA Rolfe, WE Huang and O Fenton 2015. Optimizing nitrate removal and evaluating pollution swapping trade-offs from laboratory denitrification bioreactors. Ecological Engineering 74: 290-301.
  11. Healy, Mark G, Tristan G Ibrahim, Gary J Lanigan, Ana João Serrenho and Owen Fenton 2012. Nitrate removal rate, efficiency and pollution swapping potential of different organic carbon media in laboratory denitrification bioreactors. Ecological Engineering 40: 198-209.
  12. Huebsch, Manuela, Brendan Horan, P Blum, Karl G Richards, Jim Grant and Owen Fenton 2013. Impact of agronomic practices of an intensive dairy farm on nitrogen concentrations in a karst aquifer in Ireland. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 179: 187-199.
  13. Huebsch, Manuela, F Grimmeisen, M Zemann, Owen Fenton, Karl G Richards, P Jordan, A Sawarieh, P Blum and N Goldscheider 2015. Technical Note: Field experiences using UV/VIS sensors for high-resolution monitoring of nitrate in groundwater. HESS
  14. Jahangir, Mohammad MR, P Johnston, M Barrett, MI Khalil, PM Groffman, Pascal Boeckx, Owen Fenton, John Murphy and Karl G Richards 2013. Denitrification and indirect N 2 O emissions in groundwater: hydrologic and biogeochemical influences. J Contam Hydrol 152: 70-81.
  15. Jahangir, Mohammad MR, P Johnston, MI Khalil, D Hennessy, James Humphreys, Owen Fenton and Karl G Richards 2012. Groundwater: A pathway for terrestrial C and N losses and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 159: 40-48.

PhD Supervision (Recent Past)

  1. Dr Sara Vero – “Time Lag - extending achievement of Water Framework Directive water quality timelines beyond 2015 without implementation of additional programmes of measures” Main supervisor. Finished Jan 2016.
    Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sara_Vero/?ev=hdr_xprf
  2. Dr Manuela Huebsch – “N losses from dairy systems underlain with karst limestone”. Main supervisor. Finished 2015. Winner of ARCADIS-award for geo- and environmental research in 2016 in Germany.
    Website: www.manuelahuebsch.de
  3. Dr Patrick Tuohy – “Factors Impacting on grass growth, the length of the grazing season and milk production on heavy wet soils”. Secondary supervisor.
    Email: patrick.tuohy@teagasc.ie

PhD Supervision (Further Back)

  1. Dr John Regan – “Nutrient and sediment losses in runoff from agricultural soils” Main supervisor.
  2. Dr Raymond Brennan – “Alum addition for the control of soluble phosphorus in runoff from grasslands”. Main supervisor.
  3. Dr Cornelius O’ Flynn – “Alum (aluminium sulphate) addition for the control of soluble phosphorus (P) in runoff from grasslands amended with pig manure” Main Supervisor.
  4. Dr Joanne Finnegan –“Assessment of the impacts of forestry on peats on the environment”. Main consultant supervisor.

M.Eng students (Finished)

  1. Novel agri-engineering solutions for amelioration of surface and ground water at critical source areas: technology development and a decision support blueprint for Irish farmers. Student - Ana Serrenho. Main supervisor.
  2. Determination of optimal application of municipal biosolids to tilled soils to optimize nutrient availability and minimize nutrient loss in surface runoff. (IRCSET with NUI-Galway). Student - Joe Lucid. Main supervisor.
  3. Measurement and modelling of health impacts arising from the landspreading of biosolids. EPA funded. Dara Peyton. Main Supervisor
  4. Characterisation of microbial communities in denitrifying bioreactors. University of Sheffield. Anthony Hall. Main Supervisor.
  5. Assessment of a novel method to ascertain phosphorus adsorption to zeolite. Attuaba Noudia. Main supervisor.