Project Team

The key members of the project team are introduced below. The project team will be supported by external advisors, project partners, and a project steering group to include key stakeholder representatives.  

Dr Patrick Crushell, Project Manager

Patrick is a Chartered Ecologist, with over 17 years experience working as an environmental consultant. He has managed a large number of projects of varying scale and complexity. Based in his native Kenmare, County Kerry, he has been involved in environmental assessments across a wide range of sectors including; agri-environmental schemes, national infrastructure projects, renewable energy, tourism, and nature conservation projects from a local to national level. 


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Dr Derek McLoughlin, Project Assistant Manager

Derek is a professional ecologist that has been working in the area of ecology from his native Westport, County Mayo since 2003. Derek has extensive experience working on agri-environmental projects. He has provided advice to DAFM on the national GLAS farm agri-environment scheme and was responsible for writing the Twite measure for this scheme in addition to training DAFM staff, GLAS advisors, and farmers on its implementation. Derek has worked as Project Co-ordinator for the Results-based Agri-environmental Pilot Scheme (RBAPS) Project for the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism (ENFCP). 


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Dr Peter Foss, Project Publicity & Administrator

Peter is a Chartered Ecologist who is recognised as an expert in peatland and wetland ecology and conservation. He has a wide range of experience in public awareness, project administration and supervision, and data management. Peter's experience in these areas stems from his position as chief executive of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC) from 1989-2004. Since then Peter has worked in environmental consultancy and more recently has focused on raising environmental awareness through digital technology and social media.


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Dr Mary Catherine Gallagher, Project Ecologist

Mary Catherine has been working as a professional ecologist since joining Wetland Surveys Ireland in 2017. Mary Catherine completed her doctoral research on the impacts of an invasive barnacle species on native species and ecosystems. She has worked on the environmental assessments of projects across different sectors including; agri-environmental (GLAS scheme), nature conservation, water infrastructure, and renewable energy.


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Tara Challoner, South West Catchment Officer 

Tara has been working as a farm conservation advisor on hill farms in the UK since 2011 and has worked on several agri-environment schemes, including catchment sensitive farming and the development of  the results-based agri-environmental pilot scheme (RBAPS) project for the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism (ENFCP) in the Yorkshire Dales. She has trained several groups of farmers and set up a land manager group who have joined a Natural England facilitation fund, whereby they agree to work together to protect the environment at a landscape scale. Tara will be liaising and providing support to participating farmers on the project in the Cork and Kerry catchments.


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Mary McAndrew, West and North West Catchment Officer

Mary has spent the past two and 1/2 years advising farmers on behalf of both the Farm Relief Services and Teagasc, and working with farmers for the GLAS agri-environmental scheme. Mary also worked on the Knowledge Transfer Groups programme, hosting meetings for farmers on relevant topics. Mary will be liaising and providing support to participating farmers on the project in the Galway, Mayo and Donegal catchments.


Project Partners

Wetland Surveys Ireland Limited, an established environmental consultancy firm, are partners on the project and will provide resources and support to the project team as required.

O’Connor Pyne & Co. Limited, an established accountancy firm, are partners on the project and will provide financial advisory services and administrative support to the project team. 

External Advisors 

Dolores Byrne, Agricultural Science, Institute of Technology, Sligo
Con Curtin, 
Agricultural Consultant
Michael Gill, Hydro-environmental Services
Daireann McDonnell, Aquatic Ecologist
Evelyn Moorkens, Freshwater Pearl Mussel Expert

Photographic Copyright

The Pearl Mussel Project would like to thanks the following groups and individuals for providing photographic images and artwork used to illustrate this web site. The images remain copyright of the photographer. 

IRD Duhallow LIFE, La Buvette Ltd., Wetland Surveys Ireland, National Biodiversity Data Centre, Google Maps, European Environment Agency - European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity,  Kerry LIFE, International Union for Conservation of Nature, National Parks & Wildlife Service, National Rural Network, European Innovation Partnership (EIP-Agri), Teagasc, Patrick Crushell, Peter Foss, Helga Foss, Mary Catherine Gallagher, Brendan Kirwan, Derek McLoughlin, Evelyn Moorkens, Bruce Plante.

© Pearl Mussel Project Ltd 2018