Meet the Speakers!

We are honoured to welcome these distinguished speakers to take the stage on our TEDxCrannTreesforIreland Debut!

Diarmuid McAree

Director, Crann, Trees for Ireland

Formerly Chief Inspector of the Irish Forest Service, Diarmuid is now a Forestry Consultant and Advisor. He is currently Vice Chairman of a UN/ECE/ILO Team of Specialists on Green Jobs in the Forest Sector (based in Geneva) and a Director of Crann-Trees for Ireland. He has degrees in Forestry, Microbiology, Entomology and Pathology from University College, Dublin and the University of Florida. He was Chairman of Woodlands of Ireland and a board member of COFORD (Council for Forest Research and Development). He is a part-time lecturer on Forest Protection at UCD and he is Crann’s representative on the Tree Council of Ireland. Diarmuid has a grá mór for the outdoor life and and he is a member of the Irish Mountaineering Club. Birdwatch Ireland, The Society of Irish Foresters and the Irish Environmental Network. Diarmuid is an enthusiastic advocate of forest ecotherapy and ecotourism and believes in the environmental benefits they bring to local communities.

Éanna Ni Lamhna

President, Tree Council of Ireland

Éanna Ni Lamhna holds science degrees from UCD. Her thesis on the ecology of sand dunes and salt-marshes was published in the Journal of Life Sciences. She set up the Irish Biological Records Centre in 1974 and is responsible for the original distribution maps of mammals and insects. She lectured post graduates on sustainability for 20 years in TU Dublin. Her publications include a series of five studies on Irish Air Quality, six books including “Wild Dublin” and her most recent – “Our Wild World”. She was President of An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland from 2004 – 2009 and is currently President of the Tree Council of Ireland. She is a highly respected radio and television broadcaster on environmental issues. She was included in Ireland’s “influential hundred “ list in 2012.

Gerhardt Gallagher

Forestry and Land Use Consultant and Artist

Gerhardt Gallagher of Waterford studied Forestry in UCD, qualifying with a B.AgrSc (For) and later receiving a PhD for his thesis on Forestry and Land Use. Gerhardt joined the Forestry Division, Dep. Lands working on forest inventory & land acquisition. He became a researcher in crop structure, growth & yield during which time he participated in international research groups. He became a divisional research leader with responsibility for forest inventory, genetics, crop management & economics, then Senior Manager for forest operations & wood supply. He joined Coillte on its formation as Estates’ manager/ leader of its continuous improvement initiative. He has served as consultant to the Forest Service and others and is past President of the Society of Irish Foresters. He has authored and co-authored numerous scientific forestry papers & was RDS Forester of the Year. Gerhard, a renowned artist whose work graces many important collections illustrates his talk with some of his own works.

Joan Whelan

Chairperson, Irish Forest School Association

Joan Whelan is a founder member and presently Chairperson of the Irish Forest School Association, which was founded in 2016. She is a retired primary school principal and educational psychologist She started the first Irish Forest School project in her primary school in 2012. She is currently completing a PhD on Forest School pedagogy.

Sarah Blake

Horticulturalist and Human Resources CIPD Associate

Sarah Blake’s background is a combination of both Human Resources (CIPD Associate) and After studying Sustainability at Cambridge University, Sarah established Earthology to help companies and individuals become more sustainable, one step at a time. Sarah communicates sustainability practices to businesses and individuals in a straightforward way, through talks, workshops and strategy. She believes in the power of SDG 17, Partnership for the goals, and that working as a team is essential when it comes to climate change. With more than 20 years of talent management and employee engagement, Sarah knows what it takes to get people on board to put sustainability at the heart of business, enabling companies to be Planet Positive while reducing risk, retaining staff and increasing revenue. Through studying with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Sarah combined her interest in the natural world with sustainability.

Tom Houlihan

Forestry Specialist with Teagasc the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland

Tom has many years of experience working in the forest sector in Ireland. Having initially worked in the private sector, he joined the Teagasc Forestry Development Department in 2000 and since then, has worked as a Forestry Development Officer and currently as a Forestry Specialist with Teagasc. His work involves linking forest research and knowledge transfer, working with and supporting Teagasc colleagues and promoting the many positive aspects of trees and forests. Tom holds a B.Agr.Sc (Hons) in forestry from University College Dublin (UCD) and a M.Sc. degree from Munster Technology University, Kerry. He also completed a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Sustainability through UCD (2016). He has an interest in a wide range of forestry issues, including Geographic Information Systems, climate change mitigation, water quality, forest economics and the role of our forest resource in the bioeconomy.

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