Welcome to the Palaeoenvironmental Research Unit

The Palaeoenvironmental Research Unit (PRU) is an active, interdisciplinary research cluster in the School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway. Since its initiation in the Department of Botany in the early 1980s, the PRU has been involved in cutting-edge research on human-environment interactions and long-term climate change. The PRU was incorporated into the School of Geography and Archaeology in 2011, and now includes research expertise palynology, palaeoceanography, foraminifera, subfossil chironomid analysis, dendroclimatology, historical climatology, glacial dynamics and long-term human-environment interactions 

Through the integration of expertise from Geography, Archaeology and Botany, the PRU provides a truly interdisciplinary research setting from which to investigate long-term environmental change. Members of the PRU are active in research programmes across the University, including the Moore Institute and Ryan Institute, effectively bridging the gap between the Arts and the Natural Sciences. Through its active international collaborations and cross-disciplinary publication record, the PRU continues to build on its reputation for excellence in palaeoenvironmental research.

We house state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and field equipment for palaeoenvironmental investigation. We have an array of field equipment for sediment coring, as well as facilities for core cold-storage and sediment subsampling. Our newly refurbished laboratory facilities include a dedicated pollen lab; a laboratory dedicated to sample preparation for cosmogenic isotopes analysis; and laboratory facilities for laser diffraction particle size analysis (MS3000), energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) analysis, tree-ring analysis, and a full suite of microscopes and consumables for palaeoenvironmental investigation.