Research Masters in UCD Forestry

FarmForBio – High Nature Value Farmland and Forestry Systems for Biodiversity




The FarmForBio project is funded by DAFM; it is led by Dr. James Moran of GMIT with Teagasc and UCD as partners.

Maintaining biodiversity is key to developing robust and sustainable ecosystems and at EU level, the conservation of natural resources, halting the loss of biodiversity and stemming the degradation of ecosystem services are key environmental objectives.

To develop appropriate measures to protect and enhance biodiversity, it is necessary to classify, identify, map and monitor areas of high or potentially high biodiversity value. The ‘High Nature Value’ (HNV) concept evolved early in the 1990s, recognising the need to better protect natural and semi-natural vegetation and associated biodiversity in EU farmland and forest areas, both within and beyond protected areas. In Ireland, farming and forestry occur across diverse landscapes with varying intensities and while research work has already been undertaken on the characterisation and mapping of HNV farmland (in the ‘IdealHNV’ project), little work has been conducted to date on characterising and mapping HNV forests.

This project aims to develop a (geo-spatial) methodology to identify, characterise and map the national extent of both HNV farmland and forest areas and to develop an approach towards assessing the quality of these areas. Additionally, the project aims to formulate the structure and costings of a national monitoring system and to produce a model for incentives to maintain and enhance ecosystem services associated with HNV farmland and forest areas.


Masters Project

The tasks associated with this Masters by Research are to:

  • review existing literature and develop indicators of HNV Forestry
  • identify appropriate datasets that can be used to indicate the distribution of HNV forest
  • develop a list of HNV Forestry Typologies in Ireland
  • contribute to the work of costing a monitoring programme for HNV



Applicants should have (or expect to achieve) a First- or Second-class Honours degree in forestry, or related disciplines (for example, applied ecology, environmental science or agricultural science) that had a focus on forestry. Experience with using GIS and a full driving licence are additional requirements.

The successful candidate should be highly motivated, have good communication skills and enjoy working in a team.



The scholarship funding is €24,000 per annum for two years; this includes payment of University fees of €6,000 per annum.


Application Procedure

Applications should be submitted to and should comprise of:

1) a letter indicating interest in the topic and suitability for the position

2) a CV and

3) a copy of your transcript


Closing date

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 @ 5.00 pm.

Updated: 05/06/2020 — 12:50 pm