Richard Fitzgerald Award



Richard Fitzgerald

Richard Fitzgerald was involved in research and development in aquaculture for almost 30 years. Richard was one of the founding fathers of AquaTT, set up in 1992, and proved to be a seminal figure in the company’s early years. Richard helped submit the application for EU funding to establish the company, and was also the first chairman on the board.

Due to Richard’s prolific work, he was appointed to the Irish Aquaculture Licensing Appeals Board in 1998. He joined the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) in 2006 as a senior research fellow, and shortly after became research co-ordinator and manager of the NUIG aquaculture research lab at Carna until the end of 2015, managing large-scale projects, personnel and the facility itself.

He was also extremely interested in natural freshwater and marine fish populations, with a rare and extensive knowledge in both aquatic environments developed over the span of his career. He published over thirty peer reviewed publications, which are widely cited.

Richard was an excellent researcher, a gifted and inspiring lecturer and extremely generous with his time, especially with students and colleagues.

Richard passed away on December 5th, 2016, following a short illness at University Hospital, Galway.

To honour the legacy Richard left behind, it was decided to create an award in his honour. Sponsored by AquaTT, the Richard Fitzgerald award consists of a prize for best poster in Aquatic Environment. The prize will be handed out annually at Environ, the Irish environmental researchers’ colloquium. Environ 2018 will be hosted by the Cork Institute of Technology.    

Richard Fitzgerald Award Winners


Jayne Stephens

University College Dublin

"Tide: A driver of faecal indicator bacteria levels in bathing waters"

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Environ 2020 conference was held online from 20-22nd October 2020. Jayne Stephens, PhD student at the School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Sciences in University College Dublin.

Jayne received a €250 prize proudly sponsored by AquaTT for her poster.


Raymond Wilson

University of Ulster

"Environmental change in Ireland’s small marl lakes"

Prizegiving Frances Lucy ESAI Presents Raymond Wilson University of Ulster with award Richard Fitzgerald Memorial Prize Best Aquatic Env Poster

The winner of the 2019 Richard Fitzgerald Aquatic Environment Poster Award was presented to Raymond Wilson at Environ 2019: 29th Annual Researchers Colloquium, which was held on 15-17 April 2019 in IT Carlow. Raymond, a researcher from University of Ulster, received a €250 prize proudly sponsored by AquaTT for his poster entitled “Environmental change in Ireland’s small marl lakes”. Information on his project can be found here; Environmental Change in Ireland’s Small Marl Lakes



James O'Connor

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology

"Potential pathways, trophic transfer and bioindicators of microplastics within freshwater systems".    

Richard Fitzgerald Best Aquatic Env Poster Environ 2018 James O Connor GMIT receives his award from ESAI Chair Prof Frances Lucy

James accepting his award from ESAI Chair Prof Frances Lucy. Photographer’s Credit: Darragh Kane.



Daithi Maguire

National University of Ireland, Galway

"The application of Copernicus satellite-borne remote sensors for monitoring coastal erosion and ecosystems in Ireland."

       Richard Fitzgerald Awardposter 2017 winner

Daithi accepting his award from ESAI Chair Prof Frances Lucy