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Applied Proteomics Research Group

Dr James Carolan

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Research in my group (Applied Proteomics Laboratory) investigates interactions, specifically those involving important plant, insect and microbial species of economic, biomedical and agricultural significance. We adopt an integrated approach employing genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics to identify and investigate the interactions at the molecular and cellular level. My work has elucidated the molecular basis of many interactions and is leading us to the development of practical strategies for pest management and insect conservation. I have considerable expertise in non-model organism proteomics and data analysis and routinely develop bespoke proteomic strategies for groups and collaborators applying proteomic methodologies to their research for the first time. 

Dr Felipe Guapo de Melo

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Applied Proteomics Lab Alumni, Maynooth University

I graduated from the Federal University of São Carlos – Sorocaba campus with a BSc in Biological Sciences and teaching in 2015. Throughout my degree I had the opportunity to work as an undergraduate researcher in different projects that investigated the impact of environmental contaminants and pesticides on honeybees and marine macroinvertebrates. In 2016, I started my PhD project at the Maynooth University as part of the Applied Proteomics Laboratory. My Research has focused mainly on characterising deleterious effects of insecticide exposure on the bumblebee brain. Apart from the environmental sciences, I am also interested in insect neuroscience, molecular biology and science communication. I hope with my posts that I get to share some of the amazing and interesting facts I have learned about bees, insects and the amazing world filled with science that surrounds us.

Merissa Cullen

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Second year PhD student, Applied Proteomics, Maynooth University.

I graduated from Maynooth University with a BSc in Biological Science in 2018. Throughout my degree, I gained experience carrying out research on both insects and insect parasites. My main research area is pollinating insect molecular biology. I am currently a PhD student in the Applied Proteomics laboratory at Maynooth University researching the effects of fungicides and herbicides on bee health. My PhD research is associated with the PROTECTs (Protecting Terrestrial Ecosystems Through Sustainable Pesticide Use) project funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

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Sarah Larragy

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Second year PhD student, Applied Proteomics, Maynooth University
Irish Research Council, Government of Ireland Scholarship

Having always been interested in the natural world and animals in particular, I decided to pursue a degree in General Science in 2013 in Trinity College Dublin and specialised in Zoology in 2015. After graduating in 2017, I interned in the Applied Proteomics where I got my first taste of working with bumblebees. I then worked as a researcher for a nature documentary series being produced by Blink Films.

Motivated by my interested in conservation, pollination ecology and molecular entomology, I have began a PhD in October 2018 in the Applied Proteomics lab funded by an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Scholarship. I am under the supervision of Dr James Carolan and Prof Jane Stout. The main aim of my research is to evaluate the molecular and ecological differences between native and commercial buff-tailed bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) in Ireland.

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Contributing authors

Rachel Ward

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Second year research Masters student, Medical Mycology lab, Maynooth University

I am a bee lover, naturist and all around save the planet advocate! I am currently in my first semester of my a two-year research masters. I graduated in September with a Biology Degree from NUIM and first became involved in research in bees during my third year. I completed a literature review on the reasons why bees were declining in numbers. I developed a huge interest in honeybees during this dissertation. My family have had honeybees for a couple of years, so I was naturally curious to investigate what existing literature was published about bees and what was causing their decline. When the opportunity arose to further investigate the decline in honeybees and work towards helping beekeepers both in Ireland and worldwide into reducing hive losses, I knew this was the path I had to take. I am studying in the Medical Mycology lab in Maynooth University under the supervision of Prof Kevin Kavanagh and Co-Supervision of Dr Mary Coffey.

Peter Lillis

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Third Year Biology PhD Student, Behavioural Ecology and Biocontrol Lab, Maynooth University

I graduated from Maynooth University with a BSc in Biomedical science in 2017. I worked as a research assistant in the Behavioural Ecology Lab when I was an undergrad.

My current research interest involve the investigation on how temperature affects the physiology and behaviour of parasites. We hope to use these parasites as an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical pesticides. I am currently pursuing my PhD investigating the “Molecular Determinants of Adaptive Plasticity in Parasitic Behaviour” supervised By Prof. Christine Griffin and Dr. Jim Carolan.