Meet the project Coordinator!
Name: Aodhán Fitzgerald
Institution: Marine Institute
My role in Eurofleets+: Aodhán is the lead Coordinator of the Eurofleets+ Project with overall responsibility for the management an execution of the project.
Who I am: Aodhan is the Section Manager of the Research Vessel Operations team at the Marine Institute. As such he is Program Co-ordinator for the RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager and also oversees the work class, 3000m depth-rated ROV Holland. Aodhán has previously chaired the Logistical review panel for the Transnational access (TNA) element of EUROFLEETS1 and was TNA activity coordinator in Eurofleets2 as well as leading the TNA2 WP on super-integration.
Growing up beside the sea in West Kerry, Aodhán spent his spare time fishing, sailing and building boats. His interest in the ocean, led him to study a Bachelors of Marine Science at NUI Galway and then a Masters of Environmental Science at Trinity College Dublin.
For the past 13 years, Aodhán has been coordinating the operations of Ireland’s two research vessels, the RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager. Collectively the two research vessels completed more than 570 survey days at sea in 2018. Equipped with wet and dry laboratories, the RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager enable scientists to undertake research on fisheries, the environment, climate, weather, and seabed surveying.
Aodhán and the Research Vessel Operations team, are coordinating the Eurofleets+, EU funded project which involves 42 marine institutes, universities and foundations from 24 countries.
“Through EuroFleetsPlus, industry and researchers will be able to apply for fully-funded ship time and access to a fleet of 27 research vessels, as well as equipment such as remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles. This is a really exciting project for the international science community, and it will be interesting to see the innovative and diverse research taking place across our oceans – from the North Atlantic, to the Pacific Southern Ocean to the Ross Sea,” Aodhán explained.
“EuroFleetsPlus is just one way the Celtic Explorer contributes to marine research in Ireland,” Aodhán says. “Our ocean still remains largely unexplored, but advancements in technology have enabled us to make new discoveries and understand more about our oceans.”