“Follow your passion and let no-one discourage you”
Inland Fisheries Ireland marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science
On Sunday, 11th February, 2018, Inland Fisheries Ireland is marking International Day of Women and Girls in Science by highlighting the key role that women play in the organisation.
According to UN Secretary-General, António Guterres: "We need to encourage and support girls and women achieve their full potential as scientific researchers and innovators.”
As an organisation, Inland Fisheries Ireland carries out scientific fisheries research, monitoring and investigations which aim to manage, improve and protect the inland fisheries resource.
A Board Member of IFI, Dr Frances Lucy is also Chairperson of the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland. She is Head of Department of Environmental Science, and Director of Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability, at the Institute of Technology, Sligo.
“My advice to young girls and women interested in science is this: follow your passion, let no-one discourage you,” she says.
Photo: Dr Frances Lucy: "... let no-one discourage you"
“It is harder for women, though, because women face the challenge of trying to balance career, children and family. Never underestimate yourself. Science is a wonderful discipline and is very rewarding. It’s a career in its own right, but it also offers encouragement to others and makes an impact on science and on society.”
IFI staff member, Dr Fiona Kelly, is a Senior Research Officer at Inland Fisheries Ireland.
Fiona heads up a large team specialising in research on various freshwater fish species and has been interested in science since she was a child. Growing up in Kildare and then Kilkenny, beside the Rivers Liffey and Barrow, her father nurtured her interest in nature, leading to her being an exhibitor at the annual Young Scientist Expo in Dublin’s RDS, before going on to earn a BSc (Honours) in Zoology and PhD in freshwater ecology at University College Dublin.
“As a career, science is extremely interesting and rewarding. The work we do in Inland Fisheries Ireland has great variety and diversity,” she explains. “It’s not just a desk job, you get to work outdoors on rivers, lakes and estuaries on a regular basis. For example, I am currently leading the team who carry out the fish monitoring for the Water Framework Directive, to assess the status of fish stocks across the country.”
Photo: Dr Fiona Kelly: "It’s a varied and exciting career..."
Dr Kelly says Irish women scientists in the environmental and fisheries sector are well regarded. “As an island nation, we have a different perspective, so we have much to offer. For instance, I’m on the EIFAAC Technical and Scientific Committee, a sub-committee working under the aegis of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. Irish scientists, male and female, are regular speakers at international conferences. It’s a varied and exciting career I would encourage any girls and women who are interested in science to pursue it as a career.”
Wise words of advice as we celebrate UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
For more information on International Day of Women and Girls in Science, visit http://www.un.org/en/events/women-and-girls-in-science-day/.
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Notes to Editors:
About Inland Fisheries Ireland:
Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. Inland Fisheries Ireland promotes, supports, facilitates and advises the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. Inland Fisheries Ireland also develops policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling and advises the Minister on same.