Welcome to EcoHydroInformatics Research Group (EHIRG)

Surface waters are an essential renewable natural resource for both humans and the environment. However, surface water bodies are threatened by the synergistic effects of multiple, co-occurring anthropogenic-driven environmental pressures that result in multiple, often compounds hydroclimatic events such as floods, droughts, nutrient enrichment or spread of invasive species. The EcoHydroInformatics Research Group (EHIRG) is interested in understanding the causes of these events and quantifying their impacts across various scales.  

The EHIRG teams specializes in hydrological and water quality process in surface waters with a particular interest in coastal and transitional (TraC) waterbodies, which being conduits between rivers and oceans, play many important hydrological and ecological roles. TraC waters are most ecologically and economically important environments on Earth yet they are also some of the most threatened. 

Hydrological process 

The coastal waterbody is a dynamic, complex region where multi-scale processes interact and create conditions suitable for socio-economic services (e.g. marine renewable energy, blue-growth, tourism). As such, marine and coastal waters provide important economic and ecosystem benefits. The global marine market for marine renewable energy (MRE), oil and gas, seafood, tourism and shipping industry is worth €1,200 billion. However, the coastal waters are substantially impacted by climate change that is responsible for alterations to temperature, sea level rise, extreme storm surges and waves. These compound multivariate changes will most profoundly affect the total sea levels and result in coastal flooding, erosion and alterations to marine resources. Such events will have enormous implications for coastline management, MRE sector, aquaculture, tourism and shipping industry.  

Biogeochemical processes 

TraC waters are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, many of which provide food sources for humans, they serve as recreational areas, provide shipping/boating access to ports and offer coastal protection. Most importantly, TraC waters act as natural filters for land-generated pollutants such as nutrient run-off from agriculture and domestic/industrial effluents, thus preventing pollution of our oceans. Over the past decades, TraC water quality has been deteriorated due to increasing population, urbanization, and industrialization, which have contributed to diverse environmental pressures on the aquatic environment such as eutrophication and acidification. 

The site is under construction. Please contact 

Dr. Indiana A. Olbert 

she/her/hers
Lecturer in Civil Engineering
Programme Director Project and Construction Management
Leader EcoHydroInformatics Research Group
College of Science and Engineering 
University of Galway
Tel: +353 91 493433
e-mail: indiana.olbert@universityofgalway.ie  
https://www.nuigalway.ie/our-research/people/indianaolbert/