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Rachael Murphy

Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Interests

I am interested in the response of terrestrial ecosystems to agricultural activities and the capacity of these landscapes to serve as mitigation tool against climate change. My research focuses on how management practices and their associated greenhouse gas emissions can influence the capacity for managed pastures to store carbon over long periods of time. My research incorporates micrometeorological techniques such as eddy covariance, as well as field scale soil sampling campaigns and process based biogeochemical models.

Current Projects

I am currently working under the supervision of Professor Gary Lanigan where my research project in conjunction with Vistamilk and the national agricultural soil carbon observatory (NASCO) focuses on improving quantifications of carbon losses from managed grasslands by using process based models. This research utilizes a combination of techniques over different spatial and temporal scales, such as field scale CO2 fluxes measured using the eddy covariance technique, nationwide soil sampling at various  depths, online databases (i.e Pasturebase), grass growth models (MoSt GG model), remote sensing (Terrain AI) and biogeochemical models (i.e Rothamsted soil carbon model). 

Education

  • 2022  –  Ph.D.  in Botany, Trinity College Dublin
  • 2017  –  M.Sc . in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)
  • 2016  –  B.A (Hons) in Botany, Trinity College Dublin

Dr. Murphy has published several peer reviewed scientific papers:

Published articles

Murphy, R. M., Richards, K. G., Krol, D. J., Gebremichael, A. W., Lopez-sangil, L., Rambaud, J., Cowan, N., Lanigan, G. J. & Saunders, M. 2022a. Assessing nitrous oxide emissions in time and space with minimal uncertainty using static chambers and eddy covariance from a temperate grassland. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 313, 108743.

Murphy, R. M., Saunders, M., Richards, K. G., Krol, D. J., Gebremichael, A. W., Rambaud, J., Cowan, N. & Lanigan, G. J. 2022b. Nitrous oxide emission factors from an intensively grazed temperate grassland: A comparison of cumulative emissions determined by eddy covariance and static chamber methods. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 324, 107725.

Cowan, N., Maire, J., Krol, D., Cloy, J. M., Hargreaves, P., Murphy, R., Carswell, A., Jones, S. K., Hinton, N. & Anderson, M. 2021. Agricultural soils: A sink or source of methane across the British Isles? European Journal of Soil Science, 72, 1842-1862.

Conference proceedings

Murphy, R. M.,Richards, K. G., Krol, D. J., Gebremichael, A. W., Lopez-sangil, L., Girken, N. Lanigan, G. J. & Saunders, M. 2019, March. Spatial and Temporal Integration of Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Fertilized Grassland Ecosystems In DASIM Tracing Denitrification.

Murphy, R. M., Richards, K. G., Krol, D. J., Gebremichael, A. W., Lopez-sangil, L., Rambaud, J., Cowan, N., Lanigan, G. J. & Saunders, M. 2020, November. Eddy covariance and static chamber nitrous oxide emissions from grassland silage production. In ISCRAES Book of Abstracts (p.36).

Murphy, R. M., Richards, K. G., Krol, D. J., Gebremichael, A. W., Lopez-sangil, L., Rambaud, J., Cowan, N., Lanigan, G. J. & Saunders, M. 2021, April. Quantifying nitrous oxide emissions in space and time using static chambers and eddy covariance from a temperate grassland In EGU General Assembly Conference

Murphy, R. M., Saunders, M., Richards, K. G., Krol, D. J., Gebremichael, A. W., Rambaud, J., Cowan, N. & Lanigan, G. J. 2021, December. Nitrous oxide emissions from a grazed grassland: using eddy covariance and static chambers in tandem. In IFS Book of Abstracts (p. 18)

Murphy, R.M., Lanigan G.J. Richards, K.G. Krol, D. K. Gebremichael, A. W. Rambaud, J. Maire, J. Cowan, N. and Saunders, M. 2021, December. The net nitrogen, carbon and greenhouse gas budget of an intensively managed temperate grassland system at the field scale. In IFS Book of Abstracts (p. 19)