The Ryan Institute (Book Chapters)

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  • Publication
    Saving lives and saving the planet: The readiness of Ireland's healthcare manufacturing sector for the circular economy
    (Springer, 2020-09-11) Gaberščik, Carla; Mitchell, Sinéad; Fayne, Audrey; Scholz et al
    Healthcare manufacturing is one of the leading creators of single-use products in Ireland and accounts for 11% of waste generated. Industry and businesses can play a significant role in tackling unsustainable production and consumption levels. Circular Economy (CE) practices could play a major role in the sustainability of health care and medical device manufacturing. This study aimed to develop an understanding of the current state of these company s readiness for the Circular Economy. An online survey was carried out with key employees in this industry to understand their perception of CE and what might drive more circular models. This study found that there was very little knowledge of CE within this industry. Despite this, some aspects of CE had been implemented, driven by cost saving initiatives. The barriers to implementation identified included a lack of prioritization and funding to develop more sustainable models of production. It was also found that financial assistance (e.g. grants) together with policy and legislation could unlock opportunities to develop a more circular model. This study adds to the limited empirical literature on CE barriers and opportunities to manufacturing organisations operating in Ireland.
  • Publication
    Interactions in the deep sea
    (Cambridge University Press, 2019-08) Allcock, A. Louise; Johnson, Mark P.; Science Foundation Ireland; Marine Institute, Ireland; European Regional Development Fund
    The deep–ocean floor extends over two thirds of the world’s surface, and is thus the largest benthic habitat on the planet. The myth of depauperate deep–sea communities was debunked in the 1960s by the pioneering work of Hessler and Sanders (Hessler and Sanders, 1967; Sanders and Hessler, 1969) with their newly developed epibenthic sled. They showed deep–sea diversity to be equivalent to that found in shallow tropical marine habitats, and greater than in boreal tropical and temperate estuaries and boreal shallow marine habitats. They also identified depth as the most important correlate of faunal abundance and as a factor driving community composition. Technological developments over the last 50 years have continued to drive advances in our knowledge of this diverse and heterogeneous biome. Efforts to enumerate and catalogue the diversity have led to claims of high levels of endemism (E.g., Wolff, 1970; Belyaev, 1989; Stocks and Hart, 2007; Ebbe et al., 2010) but poor knowledge of the global species pool and uneven regional sampling probably artifactually inflate these estimates (e.g., Rowden et al., 2010; Clark et al., 2012). The term “deep sea” encompasses many different habitats, shaped by their physical characteristics – geographic location, slope, depth – which determine their biodiversity and dominant fauna, and their connectivity. Here, we first explore biogeography and phylogeography of these habitats, and consider some of the molecular work which is testing various biogeographic schemes. We then look briefly at some of the abiotic parameters that characterise various deep-sea habitats. Interactions in the deep sea are many, but they are often not well investigated. Few studies on competition and predation match the detail of those conducted in shallow waters. In constrast, symbioses have been better researched, being the basis of much productivity at hydrothermal vents and cold seeps, and highly prevalent in filter-feeder dominated habitats on the steep slopes of submarine canyons and seamounts. Finally we explore where sufficient bodies of work exist to allow us to infer processes from patterns, and conclude that very much more work on ecological interactions in the deep-sea is needed.