Our people

‘Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange’ (TalX) is a collaborative project working across Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales and is an Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded research project.

Barry O’Dwyer is a senior postdoctoral researcher in the SFI Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine (MaREI), Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork and the Lead Researcher in the area of climate change and adaptation. Barry is currently principal researcher on a number of national projects (EPA-Funded) – ‘A Climate Information Platform for Ireland’ and ‘UrbADAPT’.  This research focuses on supporting decision-making for climate adaptation in Ireland and involves the development of supports at local and sectoral levels to facilitate decision-making for adaptation to the ongoing and anticipated impacts of climate change. Understanding user needs and translating available scientific information to satisfy these requirements forms a key part of Barry’s research. In addition, Barry is involved in a number of European projects (H2020 and ESA funded) which aim to support the efforts of the EU to protect aquatic biodiversity and also to support the employment of Earth Observation data in planning for ongoing and future climate changes.

Denise McCullagh is a post-doctoral researcher in the SFI Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine (MaREI), Environmental Research Institute at University College Cork. Denise is a climate resilience researcher on the TalX (Transboundary adaptation and learning exchange) project, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded initiative, working on climate change adaptation. This research focuses on creating a collaborative learning network to develop transferable skills and enable adaptation actions and solutions. Previous to this Denise received her PhD in marine geology in 2019 from Ulster University, working on seabed mapping and Holocene environmental changes.

Jane McCullough coordinates the Climate NI programme and other adaptation projects delivered by Northern Ireland Environment Link. Her recent work included the development of the first Civil Society and Local Government Climate Change adaptation programme for NI and development of tools and resources to support local government adapt to climate change. Prior to her time at Climate NI she completed a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast which explored the influence of architectural design decisions on occupant energy behaviours. Jane is also active in architectural practice, with a particular interest in embedding climate action in housing design.

Dr Jade Berman is working on the Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange project (TalX) as a Climate Resilience Researcher. She is based at Climate NI (NIEL) working in partnership with SNIFFER Scotland and MAREI Institute University of Cork.  Jade has almost ten years’ experience working in Northern Ireland previously working at Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful and Ulster Wildlife, as an honorary lecturer in Marine Policy at Queens University and sitting as a Committee Member for CNCC and JNCC advising Government Departments.  Previously Jade has worked all over the world from New Zealand and Antarctica to Panama and Hawaii above and below the sea and is looking forward to getting up to speed with international climate adaptation best practice and the best ways to share with others.

Anna joined sustainability Charity Sniffer in 2009 and has managed the Scottish Government funded Adaptation Scotland programme since 2012. Anna and her team provide tools, resources, training and advice on all aspects of climate change adaptation. Anna helped set up partnership initiatives such as Edinburgh Adapts and Aberdeen Adapts and works closely with the Scottish Government to inform national adaptation planning.

Ellie Murtagh is a Climate Resilience Coordinator at Sniffer, a Scottish sustainability charity. She works on the Adaptation Scotland programme, a Scottish government funded initiative which provides advice and support to help organisations, businesses and communities prepare for and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Her role involves supporting the public sector and benchmarking their adaptation progress, collating learning on place based adaptation and climate finance. Concurrently, Ellie is completing a PhD on decision making for climate resilience in Glasgow at the University of Strathclyde.

Cathy Burns

Cathy Burns is the Climate Programme Manager, Derry City & Strabane District Council. She has led the development of the first council Climate Adaptation Plan in Northern Ireland and is currently managing the development of the North West Climate Action Plan, a cross border multi-agency initiative. Cathy has a background within museums, natural, cultural and built heritage. She has over 20 years’ experience across the public sector and NGOs specialising in project management, communication and engagement. Cathy has worked as a Consultant for the National Trust leading on projects and strategic planning. She has also lead landscape and environmental regeneration projects across Northern Ireland. Cathy has a particular interest and expertise in stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, leadership and climate change. She is also on the Advisory Board for the Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange (TalX) project.

Clive Walmsley

Clive provides the functional lead for Natural Resources Wales (NRW) on strategic climate change issues, providing expert advice to ensure that risks and impacts are evaluated and managed internally, and advises externally on the implications of climate change for Wales. A key focus is to ensure an evidence-based approach to integrating both mitigation and adaptation into the work of NRW and ensure that climate change is addressed through the sustainable management of natural resources. He has contributed to the production of guidance on adaptation to climate change within the UK, and internationally for the Convention on Biological Diversity. This has particularly focused on the interactions between climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Clive has been responsible for a range of environmental monitoring initiatives, including production of The Living Environment of Wales, the first State of Environment report for Wales and managing the production of a meta-database of environmental monitoring datasets for Wales. Clive previously undertook ecological research, specialising in coastal plant ecology and habitat restoration. He has been a member of the Climate Change Commission for Wales and Director of Outreach for the Climate Change Consortium for Wales. He is also on the Advisory Board for the Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange (TalX) project.

John Barry

John Barry is father of two children and Professor of Green Political Economy and Director of the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action at Queens University Belfast.  What keeps him awake at night is the life opportunities and future wellbeing of his children.  His areas of academic research include post-growth and heterodox political economy; the politics, policy and political economy of climate breakdown and climate resilience; and socio-technical analyses of low carbon energy transitions. His latest book is The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability: Human Flourishing in a Climate-Changed, Carbon-Constrained World (Oxford University Press).  Since January 2020 he has is co-chair of the Belfast Climate Commission, and was a Green Party councillor from 2011-2018 on Ards and North Down council.  He is also on the Advisory Board for the Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange (TalX) project.

Lesley Hinshelwood

Lesley Hinshelwood is the Sustainable Development Officer for South Lanarkshire Council. Lesley has 30 years’ experience in local government, mostly at South Lanarkshire Council, and has worked on policy and strategy development for more than 10 years.  Lesley’s current role of Development Officer at South Lanarkshire Council covers all aspects of policy and strategy development relating to sustainable development and climate change.  She has a corporate lead on the public sector climate change duties and contributing to the UN’s sustainable development goals at a local level. In addition, Lesley is a on the board of Climate Ready Clyde and a member of Sustainable Scotland Network’s (SSN) steering group.  Being part of the steering group has given Lesley the opportunity to engage at a national level and to help guide the development and delivery of the network. She is also on the Advisory Board for the Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange (TalX) project.

Tara Murray

Tara Murray is a Sustainability and Climate Change Officer with Aberdeenshire Council. Her role is to implement and evaluate environmental and sustainability strategies, policies and business cases, create and implement employee engagement and behaviour change initiatives and provide sustainability and climate change advice and support to employees and services. She is the Project Lead for Aberdeenshire’s climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy, Climate Ready Aberdeenshire, acting Advisor to the North Sea Commission’s Energy and Climate Change Group and a member of the Climate Week North East Steering Group and Adaptation Scotland’s Benchmarking Working Group. She is also on the Advisory Board for the Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange (TalX) project.

Kristen Guida

Kristen Guida is manager of the London Climate Change Partnership, appointed in November 2015 after ten years at Climate South East, where she held the posts of Program Assistant and Coordinator/Director. In 2011 she co-founded Climate UK and chaired its Board of Directors until 2016. Her main interests are in supporting adaptive capacity, helping organisations formulate and share effective responses to the challenges presented by climate change, and bridging the gap between scientific evidence and action. She previously worked as a Senior Researcher on political rights, civil liberties, and press freedom at Freedom House, a human rights organisation in New York. She is also on the Advisory Board for the Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange (TalX) project.

Kate Lonsdale

Kate Lonsdale is currently one of two UK Research and Innovation Champions for the Strategic Priority funded UK Climate Resilience Programme.  This role includes consulting with academics and practitioners to understand research and innovation gaps and opportunities to shape and ensure the success of the research programme. She has worked on adaptation to a changing climate as a researcher, trainer, facilitator, consultant, mentor, evaluator and in an advisory capacity for over 24 years in both developed and developing country contexts and has lead and managed projects in a range of settings including civil society, academia and government policy and within organizations that aim to create a bridge between these different sectors.  Kate also has 15 years of experience in designing and facilitating participatory research processes, workshops and events. She is also on the Advisory Board for the Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange (TalX) project.

Matt Ellis

Matt Ellis works for the Environment Agency employee and has been supporting the Greater Manchester Combined Authority as a Climate Resilience Lead officer. Matt is a qualified land use planner with over 20 years’ experience supporting public sector organisations and their partners to address a range of environment and sustainability issues. His work with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, supports it and its local, national, and international partners to help understand, plan for, and increase Greater Manchester’s resilience to a rapidly changing climate and address the climate emergency. He is also on the Advisory Board for the Transboundary Adaptation Learning Exchange (TalX) project.