Tipperary woman receives prestigious Irish Research Council award

Dr Tara Dirilgen wins Thomas Mitchell Medal of Excellence

Dr Tara Dirilgen

Dr Tara Dirilgen, winner of the Irish Research Council's Thomas Mitchell Medal of Excellence

Kilshane, Tipperary woman, Dr Tara Dirilgen of University College Dublin has been awarded a prestigious Irish Research Council award.

Dr Dirilgen was awarded the Thomas Mitchell Medal of Excellence for being the top-ranked postdoctoral researcher in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) category. 

Her research investigates soil, plant and pollinator interactions.

Congratulating the awardees, the director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown said “I congratulate Dr Dirilgen on winning this award. Our annual Researcher of the Year awards are about recognising the very best and brightest of the council’s current and former awardees.

“We launched our five-year strategic plan this year and supporting excellent ideas and talent across all disciplines is at the heart of the council’s mandate.

“Having a vibrant research community and fostering public support for research is vital, as we continue to see the positive impact it has on society, the environment and the economy.

“We are very proud of Dr Dirilgen and I look forward to seeing what comes next for her.”

Commenting on what attracted her to this area of research, Dr. Dirilgen said “the diversity of life that surrounds us (be it plants, insects, birds and so on) fascinates me no end.

“With this comes the desire to understand biodiversity, the threats causing its loss and the subsequent impact on services the environment provides (i.e. ecosystem services) such as pollination. 

“I am driven by curiosity and a desire to add to the existing pool of knowledge that feeds into developing solutions to current threats to biodiversity.”

The winners of this year’s awards were announced online, via the Irish Research Council’s social media channels, in place of an official event. Full details of the awardees can be found at: http://research.ie/

Every year, in addition to the Researcher of the Year awards, the Irish Research Council (which operates under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority) presents medals of excellence to four early-career researchers.

Each medal of excellence has been named after previous chairs of the Irish Research Council and recognises excellence in the 2020 postgraduate and postdoctoral funding calls run by the council in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and the arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS).

For more Tipperary news read Short stay inpatient care 'discontinued' at Carrick-on-Suir hospital