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Full NameDr Dearbháile Morris


Organisation:National University of Ireland Galway

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields

  • genetics, genomics and molecular biology
  • infectious disease and the immune system
  • epidemiology/population health research
  • Other

Other Research Fields:

Microbiology, bioinformatics

Postgrad Medical Specialties

  • General Practice
  • Public Health

Medical Subspecialties

  • Clinical Trials
  • Community Medicine
  • Health Informatics
  • Infectious diseases
  • Immunology

My Work

My research is focused on antimicrobial resistance mechanisms and molecular epidemiology; water and food borne pathogens and emerging contaminants (e.g. nanomaterials) and the wider societal impact of infection. I established the Antimicrobial Resistance and Microbial Ecology (ARME) group in 2010 and am co-Director of the Centre for Health from Environment at NUI Galway. Our group has a close working relationship with the National Carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae reference laboratory service, the National Salmonella, Shigella and Listeria reference laboratory and the Department of Medical Microbiology, Galway University Hospitals as well as key collaborations with national and international institutions, providing a vibrant, active and progressive environment for any researcher. I have supervised eight PhD and Masters students to completion all of whom have progressed to successful careers.

Some examples of recent publications include:
• Mahon, B.M., Brehony, C., McGrath, E., Killeen, J., Cormican, M., Hickey, P., Keane, S., Hanahoe, B., Dolan, A., Morris, D. 2017. Indistinguishable NDM-producing Enterobacteriaceae isolated from recreational waters, sewage, and clinical specimens in Ireland in 2016/17. Euro Surveill. 2017; 22(15): pii = 30513. DOI:

• McGillicuddy, E., Murray, I., Kavanagh, S., Morrison, L., Fogarty, A, Cormican, M., Dockery, P., Prendergast, M., Rowan, N., Morris, D. 2017. Silver nanoparticles in the environment: Sources, detection and ecotoxicology. Science of the Total Environment. 575, 231-246.

Potential Projects

Research within the ARME group is diverse and can be tailored to the PhD candidate’s specific research interests. Our primary areas of research include antimicrobial resistance, food and water borne infection, emerging contaminants and the wider societal impact of infection. Our research is multidisciplinary in nature, and has involved collaborations with colleagues across a range of disciplines including public health, engineering and economics, thereby providing for exciting and impactful research.

Potential project:
Antimicrobial resistance is recognised as one of the greatest threats to human health in the 21st century. It is estimated that if action if not taken by 2050, 10 million people a year will die from infections associated with antimicrobial resistant organisms. The WHO list carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) as organisms of critical priority. Through work completed by our research group and others we are now detecting these priority organisms in recreational waters and other environmental settings. It is critical to understand the relationships between CPE isolated from clinical, environmental and agricultural settings not only in terms of variant type but also the role mobile genetic elements play in the persistence and dissemination of resistance mechanisms. This project will examine isolates of CPE collected from a variety of niches and using whole genome sequencing technologies and bioinformatics tools decipher the relationships between, not only the isolates themselves, but the genetic contexts and constructs associated with the resistance mechanisms present.