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Rachel Irwin

Walsh Scholar

Research Interests

Growing up on a drystock farm in the west of Ireland nurtured my interest in agroecology, sustainable food production and policy.

Throughout academia, I have developed a keen research interest in agroforestry and the benefits it provides both to the individual farmer, and furthermore wider society. I believe that it is a major tool in climate change mitigation and adaption. 

Current Projects

My current research project “Increasing tree cover on dairy and drystock farms; the main barriers and perceptions that impede agroforestry uptake” aims to identify the attitudes, willingness and intentions of Irish dairy and drystock farmers to plant trees in the form of agroforestry and the barriers to adoption.

The project also discusses the impacts of trees and agroforestry on biodiversity, carbon sequestration, ecosystem services and livestock production; to inform policy and create management guidelines. The impact of terminology on farmers’ decision making is also investigated.”


  • B.Sc. (Hons) Zoology with Conservation, Bangor University, Wales.