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Michael Gaffney

Research Officer - Entomology & Horticulture

Research Interests

Investigating the impact and control of native and invasive insect pests on horticultural and arable crops, focusing on Integrated Pest Management approaches. Current pests under study include the Grain Aphid in arable crops, Spotted Wing Drosophila in soft fruit crops, Sciaird flies in commercial mushroom production and root flies in field vegetable crops. I also work on crop quality projects related to potential microbial and heavy metal contamination.

Current Projects

  • Boosting 4 BEST practices for soil health in Europe 2018 – 2021 (EU Funded)
  • Cadmium and other Heavy Metals – Detection and Mitigation in Horticultural Produce, Soil and other Crops 2018 – 2022 (DAFM Stimulus Funded)
  • Towards Integrated Pest Management for Pine Weevil in Ireland 2018 – 2020 (DAFM Stimulus Funded)
  • National Spotted Wing Drosophila monitoring programme 2017 – 2019 (Industry Funded)
  • Integrated control of root-feeding fly larvae infesting vegetable crops 2017-2020 (CIPM ERA NET)
  • Pan-European Assessment, Monitoring and Mitigation of Stressors on the Health of Bess 2018 -2023 (EU Funded)
  • Surveillance, Epidemiological and phenology studies of the invasive fruit fly, Drosophila suzukii on Irish Fruit farms 2017 – 2022 (Teagasc Funded)
  • Impact of emerging pests on the Integrated Pest Management systems in Mushroom production 2017 – 2022 (Teagasc Funded)
  • Identifying the role of the soil microbiome in the occurrence and potential control of Leatherjackets (Tipula sp.) 2018-2023 (Teagasc Funded)
  • Establishing a platform for Integrated Pest Management in Irish Crop production 2015-2019 (DAFM Stimulus Funded)
  • Alternative crops for cut foliage sector 2016 – 2020 (DAFM Stimulus Funded)


  • BSc Biology (2002) Maynooth University
  • PhD (2012) University College Dublin

Walsh, L. E., Gaffney, M.T., Malloch, G.L., Foster, S.P., Williamson, M.S., Mangan, R., and Purvis, G. (2019) First evidence of retained sexual capacity and survival in the pyrethroid resistant Sitobion avenae (F.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) SA3 super-clone following exposure to a pyrethroid at current field-rate. Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research (in press).

Ren, F., Perussello, C.A., Zhang, Z., Gaffney, M.T., Tiwari, B. (2018) Enhancement of phytochemical content and drying efficiency of onions (Allium cepa L.) through blanching. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Vol. 98, Issue 4, p1300-1309

Ren, F., Perussello, C.A., Zhang, Z., Gaffney, M.T., Kerry, J.P., Tiwari, B. (2018) Effect of agronomic practices and drying techniques on nutritional and quality parameters of onions (Allium cepa L.). Drying Technology.  Vol. 36, 4. P 435-447

Guy, A., Gaffney, M., Kapranas, A., Griffin, C.T. (2017) Conditioning the entomopathogenic nematodes Steinernema carpocapsae and Heterorhabditis megidis by pre-application storage improves efficacy against black vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) at low and moderate temperatures. Biological Control, Vol 108, 40-46

Hinds, L., Kenny, O., Hossain, W.B., Walsh, D., Sheehy, E., Evans, P., Gaffney, M., Rai, D.K. (2017) Evaluating the antibacterial properties of polyacetylene and glucosinolate compounds with further identification of their presence within various carrot (Dacus carota) and Broccoli (Brassica oleracea)cultivars using high-Peformance Liquid Chrmatography with a diode array detector and ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analyses. J. Agric Food Chem, 65 (33), 7186-7191

Ren, F., Reilly, K., Kerry, J., Gaffney, M., Hossain, M.,  Rai, D. (2017) Higher antioxidant activity, Total Flavonols, and specific quercetin glucosides in two different onion (Allium cepa. L) varities grown under organic production: Results from a 6-Year Field Study. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol 65, Issue 25, 5122-5132

Ren, F., Hossain, M., Reilly, K., Gaffney, M., Kerry, J., Rai, D. (2017) Evaluation of polyphenolic content and antioxidant activity in two onion varities grown under organic and conventional production systems. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Vol 97, Issue 9, 2989-2990

Murphy, S., Fanning, Gaffney, M., Burgess, C. (2016) Potential for transfer of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella Senftenberg from contaminated food waste derived compost and anaerobic digestate to lettuce plants. Food Microbiology 59: 7-13

Valcarel, J., Reilly, K., Gaffney, M., O’Brien, N.  (2016) Levels of potential bioactive compounds, including carotenoids, vitamin C and phenolic compounds, and expression of their cognate biosynthetic genes vary significantly in different varieties of potato (Solanum tubersum L.) grown under uniform cultural conditions.  Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture Vol. 96, Issue 3 p1018-1026.

McGee, C., Gaffney, M., Doyle, O (2016) Influence of exogenous cholesterol in Pythiaceae resistance to inhibition by Trichoderma antibiosis. European Journal of Plant Pathology, Vol 145, Issue 4, 1013-1018