Our chairman has been involved in both research and light pollution activism since a European light pollution meeting held in Armagh in 2009. Brian is an Associate Professor of Astrophysics at Trinity College Dublin and has both astronomy and outdoors interests. He has been involved in monitoring light pollution from space and ground and has given many talks to local and national groups. He was awarded the Dr. Arthur Hoag and William T. Robinson Award of the International Dark Sky Association in 2020 for his work in educating governmental organizations, businesses, and the public about the merits of outdoor lighting control ordinances.
Albert has the longest track record of us all in terms of light pollution activism dating back to 2006 and co-founded the Irish Light Pollution Awareness Campaign, the precursor of Dark Sky Ireland. He holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from University College Dublin and currently works as a software engineer. He also holds a Master of Science in Astronomy from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia and is an amateur astronomer and member of South Dublin Astronomical Society.
Georgia was instrumental in setting up Gold-Tier Mayo Dark Sky Park and works for the National Parks and Wildlife Service as the Dark Sky Park’s Development Officer. Georgia has a background in Outdoor Studies and is currently studying for a PhD in dark skies tourism impacts on local communities at the University of Galway. She won the International Dark Sky Association’s Dark Sky Defender Award in 2019 for her exceptional efforts to promote and advance the mission and programs of IDA, and also Outdoor Ireland’s Eco Hero Award in the same year for her work towards the Mayo Dark Skies project.
Astronomy / Astrophotography & Western Representative
Ray is a Lecturer in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Galway. He has a strong interest in measuring, protecting, promoting and imaging the night skies of Connemara, which has some of the last truly dark skies left in Europe. He is one of the founders of the Connemara Dark Skies group, and his sky survey data supports their primary goal of establishing International Dark Sky Park within Connemara. His widefield, deep-sky astrophotography hobby keeps him up very late on clear nights.
Prof. Andrew Coogan is a behavioural neuroscientist with an interest in sleep disruption and the impact light pollution has on circadian rhythms and physical and psychological health. As part of this work he has been involved in a number of Citizen Science projects examining sleep and light levels in urban and rural environments, public perception of man-made light-at-night and the associations of perceptions of light pollution with mood and cognition. Light is understood to be the most important stimulus for the circadian clock, and the circadian clock is understood to be a key determinant of health and wellbeing, and as such Prof Coogan’s work examines the impact of man-made light-at-night on sleep, circadian rhythms and health.
Joe is an entrepreneur (EY Entrepreneur of the year winner 2011) who has built and sold two businesses in the legal and telecom software sectors. He is active in the Irish startup community with investments in over 10 companies, board member of five, Chairman of two. He is an active amateur astronomer and has assisted in the fundraising for construction of Lofar radio telescope at Birr Castle and campaigned for Ireland’s entry to ESO. Joe is involved with two charities, a board member of https://food.cloud/ (food redistribution) and Chairman of https://thebigidea.ie/ (promoting creativity in second level schools).
Dr Kate McAney
Kate is a staff member of the Vincent Wildlife Trust and is Head of Conservation Development in Ireland. Her work covers a wide range of duties, from engaging with statutory and other bodies, managing bat reserves, fundraising, producing educational material and conducting practical research. With more than 25 years’ experience working in Ireland in the conservation and research of Irish mammals, she is also an experienced educator and adept at public engagement and partnership building. She has recognised the importance of managing conflict to reduce the impact on all parties (including wildlife), and this experience has helped her bring conservation projects to successful outcomes.
Astronomy & Northern Representative
Terry is a well-known amateur astronomer and space exploration enthusiast in Irish circles and is a member of the Irish Astronomical Association. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of astronomy and is keenly involved in projects to protect the night sky and the environment, dating from his involvement in hosting the European Dark Sky Symposium in Armagh in 2009. Most recently, he has been involved in work leading to the setting up of OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory – an IDA-recognised DS area.
Astronomy, Outreach, and Southern Representative
Niall has a long background in astronomy and is founder-director of Munster Technological University’s Blackrock Castle Observatory which is an important outreach centre which has had over 1.2 million visitors to date and has also provided training for over 800 teachers in the use of astronomy in the classroom. Niall was the recipient of the 2020 Research Image of the Year from Science Foundation Ireland in which techniques used to measure the brightness of astronomical objects were used instead to determine the efficacy of Covid-19 masks. He writes a monthly column in the Irish Examiner called ‘Skymatters’.
Kerem Asfuroglu is the founder of Dark Source, a London-based lighting design studio driven by social and environmental values. Following his graduation from Wismar University – Architectural Lighting Design MA, Kerem has worked at Speirs + Major as a senior member of the creative team for 8 years. Throughout his career, he has won several design awards including Red Dot, Vox Juventa, PLDC and LAMP. Kerem specialises in dark sky friendly lighting design for the urban and rural public realm. In 2017, he was awarded with the title of Dark Sky Defender by the International Dark Sky Association for advocating the importance of darkness through design. Some of his environmental lighting projects include the Plas Y Brenin Outdoor Centre, Presteigne Dark Sky Masterplan, Newport Dark Sky Masterplan, Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Clwydian Range & Dee Valley and Dark Sky Planning Guidelines for Cumbria.