The Teagasc Authority has confirmed the appointment of Dr. Karl Richards as the permanent head of the Teagasc Climate Centre.
Dr. Richards has been acting head of the center, since December 2022, when the Teagasc Climate Action Strategy was launched.
The climate center is one of the key pillars of the strategy.
Dr. Richards graduated from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) with a degree in natural sciences.
He completed a post graduate diploma in statistics at Trinity College, before completing a PhD in environmental geology.
He joined Teagasc in 2002 as a biogeochemistry research officer, at Johnstown Castle, where subsequently he was promoted to principal research officer.
Dr. Richards led a team of researchers in the area of nitrogen cycling including the impact of management practices on reducing nitrogen (N) losses.
He has published extensively on measures to reduce nitrous oxide and nitrate emissions, including leading the protected urea research that began in 2012.
In 2012, Dr. Richards was appointed head of the Teagasc environment, soils and land-use research department.
He instigated the development of the National Agricultural Sustainability Research and Innovation Center (NASRIC), which involved a €12.7 million investment building new laboratories at Johnstown Castle.
Dr. Richards led the modernization and expansion of the research facilities including the establishment of the National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory (NASCO) and the National Soil Greenhouse Gas testing facility.
In recent months, Dr. Richards has undertaken the establishment of the strategic research and innovation agenda for the climate center.
This included identifying key research gaps, recruiting key staff, establishing the governance structure and the publication of the new Teagasc MACC (Marginal Abatement Cost Curve) in July of this year.
Teagasc director, Prof. Frank O Mara congratulated Dr. Richards on his appointment.
“Karl brings a wealth of research experience to this role and has a strong track record in research collaboration nationally and internationally, and in publishing research in peer reviewed journals.
“The Teagasc Climate Center will lead and co-ordinate climate research and innovation both within Teagasc and nationally.
“It will greatly facilitate the Irish agriculture sector in meeting its national commitments in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and enhancing biodiversity,” he said.