Dr Sheehy Skeffington is a plant ecologist with an interest in terrestrial ecosystems, especially wetlands including turloughs, peatlands, heathlands, river flood-meadows and salt marshes. She also carries out research on sustainable farming for conservation, with special focus on grassland management for conservation.
Interests also include sustainable agriculture in the tropics, with publications on Indonesian and Cuban sustainable forest and agricultural management.
All of her academic work has been concerned with protecting the wonderful wildlife habitats of the west of Ireland. She and her students have worked on over grazing in the uplands, the flora of the Burren and how to protect it, the wetland grasslands of the Shannon callows and how to put right recent damaging changes, and turloughs which are fascinating temporary lakes nearly unique to the limestone of western Ireland.
Appointed to The Heritage Council 1995-2000. Chaired Council Wildlife Committee 1999-2000.
Council Member Tropical Biology Association 1993-present. Taught on Uganda course 2012.
Appointed in 2005 to the Project Advisory Group for the international award-winning Burren LIFE programme and is newly-appointed to the Aran LIFE programme Advisory Board.
Academic representative on the Irish Ramsar Wetlands Committee
Dr Sheehy Skeffington took early retirement in September 2014
Courses: (to 2014) BPS302 Plant Ecology and BPS405 Ecology and Conservation Issues. MSc in Sustainable Resources, Policy and Practice; MSc in Biodiversity and Land-use Planning. All include residential and /or day field excursions.
Curator of the NUI Galway Vascular Plant Herbarium GALW
Photos show Micheline protesting during the visit of Ronald Reagan to Ireland
Most recent publications (2011-2014)
Hodd, R L, Bourke, D, and Sheehy Skeffiington, M. (2014) Projected range contractions of European protected oceanic montane plant communities: focus on climate change impacts is essential for their future conservation. PLoS ONE 9(4) e95147.
Maher, C., Gormally, M., Williams, C. and Sheehy Skeffington, M. (2014) Atlantic floodplain meadows: influence of hydrological gradients and management on sciomyzid (Diptera) assemblages. Journal of Insect Conservation DOI 10.1007/s10841-014-9630-z
Sheehy Skeffington, M. (2013) Turloughs -vanishing lakes or vanishing fields?. In: Jebb, M and C. Crowley (eds) Secrets of the Irish Landscape. Cork University Press, Cork. pp 87-92
Sullivan, C, Finn, J, Gormally, M & Sheehy Skeffington, M (2013) Field boundaries on lowland farms in western Ireland and their contribution to semi-natural habitat diversity. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 113B
Moran J, Gormally M, Sheehy Skeffington M. (2012) Turlough ground beetle communities: the influence of hydrology and grazing in a complex ecological matrix. Journal of Insect Conservation 16 (1): 51- 69.
Sheehy Skeffington M., and Hall, K. (2011) The ecology, distribution and invasiveness of Gunnera L. species in Connemara, western Ireland. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 111B(3): 157-175.
Hodd, R. and Sheehy Skeffington, M. (2011) Irish oceanic montane heath plant communities and possible impacts of climate change. Climate Change and Systematics, Systematics Association Special Series, Cambridge University Press. Pp 490-515.
Sullivan, C, Bourke, D, Sheehy Skeffington, M., Finn, J, Green S, Kelly, S. Gormally, M. (2011) Modelling semi-natural habitat area on lowland farms in western Ireland Biological Conservation 144: 1089–1099.
Williams, CD. Beltman, B., Moran, J., Sheehy Skeffington, M., and Gormally M J. (2011) Empirical support for the possible application of modified Ellenberg indices to the study of environmental gradients on dynamic Irish wetlands—evidence from Skealoghan turlough, County Mayo Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 111B(1): 19-31.
Ryder, L., de Eyto E, Gormally M., Sheehy Skeffington, M., Dillane M. and Poole R. (2011) Riparian zone creation in established coniferous forests in Irish upland peat catchments: Physical, Chemical and Biological Implications. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 111B(1): 41-60.
All publications (to 2011)
Wyse Jackson, P.S. and Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1984) The Flora of Inner Dublin .
Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, 173 pp.
Carter, R.W.G., Curtis, T.G.F. and Sheehy Skeffington, M.J , eds. (1992) Coastal Dunes Geomorphology, Ecology andManagement for Consevation. Proceedings of the third European Dune Congress, Galway, Ireland, June 1991. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.
Lysaght, L., Sheehy Skeffington, M. and Gormally, M. eds (2000) Recognising European Pastoral Farming Systems and Understanding their Ecology. European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastoralism and the Heritage Council, Kilkenny, Ireland. 51 pp.
Sheehy Skeffington M.J.and O’Connell C (1998) Peatlands of Ireland In: P. Giller (ed.) Studies in Irish Limnology. Invited chapter for the Societas Internationalis Limnologiae (SIL) conference, August 1998. pp. 39-66.
Sheehy Skeffington M. (1998) Maritime and sub-maritime communities:1) mud flats 2) sub-tidal and inter-tidal communities. In: D. Doogue, D.Nash, J. Parnell, S. Reynolds and P. Wyse Jackson (eds) Flora of County Dublin. Dublin Naturalists’ Field Club, Dublin. pp.63-66.
Nash D, Reynolds S. and Sheehy Skeffington M. (1998) Maritime and sub-maritime communities: 4) rocky cliffs 5) boulder clay banks and deeper coastal soils. In: D. Doogue, D.Nash, J. Parnell, S. Reynolds and P. Wyse Jackson (eds) Flora of County Dublin. Dublin Naturalists’ Field Club, Dublin. pp. 68-69.
Sheehy Skeffington, M. (2013) Turloughs -vanishing lakes or vanishing fields?. In: Jebb, M and C. Crowley (eds) Secrets of the Irish Landscape. Cork University Press, Cork. pp 87-92
Sheehy Skeffington, M. (1978) The influence of topography on the vegetation in the Camargue, France. Bulletin of the IrishBiogeographical Society, 2, 58 – 62.
Corre, J.J., Bigot, L., Billes, G., Bouab, M., Coulet, E., Gautier, G., Heurteaux, P., Pont, D., & Skeffington, M.S. (1982) Structure et peuplements des rives d’étangs temporaires en Basse Camargue. Bulletin Ecologique 13 (14), 339-356.
Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1985) Vegetation productivity in Rahasane turlough, County Galway. Bulletin of the British Ecological Society XVI (1),20-23.
Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. & Jeffrey, D.W. (1985) Growth performance of an inland population of Plantago maritima L. in response to nitrogen and salinity. Vegetatio 61, 265-272.
O’Connell, M and Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1985) Botanical notes from three sites in East Mayo and Sligo. Irish Naturalists’ Journal 21(9), 419-420.
Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1985) What is Rattan ? Voice of Nature 33, 34.
Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1986) Soils from cultivated stands of Shorea javanica K. & V. In: Multidisciplinary research project onShorea javanica K. & V. Progress Report. E. Torquebiau (ed.) Tropical Forest Biology Programme. BIOTROP, Bogor, Indonesia.
Scott, N.E. and Sheehy Skeffington, M.J.(1987) A new record for Oenanthe pimpinelloides L. in Ireland. Irish Naturalists’ Journal 22(8), 351-353.
Sheehy Skeffington, M.J and Jeffrey, D.W. (1988) Response of Armeria maritima (Mill.) Willd. and Plantago maritima L. from an Irish salt marsh to nitrogen and salinity. New Phytologist 110, 395-408.
Sheehy Skeffington, M.J (1989) Soils from Shorea javanica K. & V. plantations in Lampung Province, Sumatra, Jurnal Penelitian dan Pengembangan Kehutanan (Indonesian journal of forestry research and development) V(1), 11-19.
Lockhart, N.D., O’Connell, M., Sheehy Skeffington, M. and Van Doorslaer, L. (1989) Scraw (schwingmoor) plant communities at Loch an Chorcail, Carna, Co.Galway. Irish Naturalists’ Journal 23 (4), 125-134.
Sheehy Skeffington, M. and Wyse Jackson, P. (1989) A contribution to our knowledge of the flora of Inishmurray. In: D.C.F.Cotton (ed.) The Heritage of Inishmurray, 18-21, Regional Technical College, Sligo.
Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1990) The special nature of the Burren flora. Technology Ireland 22 (3), 22-25.
Brodie, J. and Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1990) Inishbofin – a resurvey of the flora. Irish Naturalists’ Journal 23 (8), 293-298.
Dyos, H., Proctor, J. and Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1991) Notes on the vegetation of the Dawros and other ultrabasic outcrops in Connemara. Irish Naturalists’ Journal 23 (10) 415-419.
Sheehy Skeffington, M. J. and Wymer E.D. (1991) Irish salt marshes-an outline review. In M.B.Quigley (ed.) A Guide to the Sand Dunes of Ireland. European Union for Dune Conservation and Management. c/o Trinity College Dublin 77-91.
Bleasdale, A.J. and Sheehy Skeffington, M. (1992) Influence of agricultural practices on plant communities in Connemara. In J. Feehan (ed.) Environment and Development in Ireland. The Environmental Institute, University College, Dublin pp. 331-336.
Keane, S. and Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1995) Vegetation in the east Burren uplands in relation to land use and conservation. In Jeffrey, D.W Jones, M.B. & McAdam J.H. (eds) Irish Grasslands. Royal Irish Academy, Dublin pp. 253-266.
Bleasdale, A and Sheehy Skeffington, M. (1995) The upland vegetation of north-east Connemara in relation to sheep grazing. In Jeffrey, D.W Jones M.B. & McAdam J.H. (eds) Irish Grasslands. Royal Irish Academy, Dublin pp. 110-124.
Sheehy Skeffington, M J, Bleasdale, A & McKee A-M (1996) Research in the Connemara Uplands: vegetation changes and peat erosion. (Sustainability and sheep grazing in the Connemara Uplands). In Hogan, D & Phillips, A (eds) Seeking a Partnership Towards Managing Ireland’s Uplands. Irish Uplands Forum, Co Galway.
O’Connor, M. and Sheehy Skeffington M. (1997) Roundstone Bog, Connemara: the challenges for conservation. In: J.R.Tallis, R. Meade and P.D. Hulme (eds) Blanket Mire Degradation causes, Consequences and Challenges Proceedings of symposium at Manchester, April 1997 Mires research group, British Ecological Society, London pp.189-202.
McKee A-M and Sheehy Skeffington M. (1997) Peat erosion and degradation in the Connemara uplands. In: J.R.Tallis, R. Meade and P.D. Hulme (eds) Blanket Mire Degradation causes, Consequences and Challenges Proceedings of symposium at Manchester, April 1997 Mires research group, British Ecological Society, London pp.81-82.
Conaghan, J. P. Dalby, C. Sheehy Skeffington M. and T. C. G. Rich (1998) Eriophorum. In: T. C. G. Rich & A. C. Jermy (eds) Plant Crib. Botanical Society of the British Isles in association with National Museums & Galleries of Wales.
McKee A-M., Bleasdale A. and Sheehy Skeffington M. (1998) The effects of different grazing pressures on the above-ground biomass of vegetation in the Connemara uplands. In: G. O’Leary and F Gormley (eds) Towards a Conservation Strategy for the Bogs of Ireland. Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Dublin pp. 177-188.
Curtis T.G.F. and Sheehy Skeffington M. (1998) The salt marshes of Ireland: an inventory and account of their geographical variation. Biology and Environment 98B 87-104 .
Guinan L, O’Connor A., O’Connor M. and Sheehy Skeffington M. (1998) Small-scale vegetation patterns in a raised bog, Co. Offaly and an Atlantic blanket bog, Co. Galway, Ireland. In: Standen V., Tallis J.H. and Meade R. (eds) Patterned Mires and Mire Pools.Origin and development; flora and fauna. British Ecological Society, Mires Research Group Proceedings.
Sheehy Skeffington M.and Curtis T.G.F. (2000) The Atlantic element in Irish salt marshes. In: B. Rushton (ed.) Biodiversty: the Irish dimension. Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. pp.179-196.
Ní Bhriain, B, Sheehy Skeffington, M and Gormally, M (2002) Conservation implications of land use practices on the plant and carabid beetle communities of two turloughs in Co. Galway, Ireland. Biological Conservation, 105: 81-92.
Geerling G., van Gestel C., Sheehy Skeffington M, Schouten M.G.C., Nienhuis P.H. and Leuven R.S.E.W. (2002) Blanket bog degradation in river catchments in the west of Ireland. In: Leuven R.S.E.W., Poudevigne I and Teeuw R.M. (eds) Application of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing in River Studies. Pp. 25-40.
Poole, A, Gormally, M and Sheehy Skeffington, M (2003) The flora and carabid beetle fauna of a mature and regenerating semi-natural oak woodland in south-east Ireland. Forest Ecology and Management, 177: 207-220.
Ní Bhriain, B, Gormally, M and Sheehy Skeffington, M (2003) Changes in land use practices at two turloughs, on the east Burren limestones, Co. Galway, with reference to nature conservation. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 103B (3): 169-176.
Moran, J, Gormally, M J and Sheehy Skeffington, M (2003) Records of Panagaeus crux-major (Linnaeus) and Pterostichus aterrimus (Herbst) recorded on turloughs in Counties Clare and Mayo. Irish Naturalists Journal 27 (8): 309-311
O Connor, Á, Bradish, S, Reed, T, Moran, J, Regan, E, Visser, M, Gormally, M & Sheehy Skeffington, M. (2004) A comparison of the efficacy of pond-net and box sampling methods in turloughs – Irish ephemeral aquatic systems. Hydrobiologia: 524: 133-144.
Coroi, M., Sheehy Skeffington M., Giller P., Smith C. Gormally M., and O’Donovan. (2004) Vegetation diversity and stand structure in streamside forests in the south of Ireland. Forest Ecology and Management 202, 39-57.
Sheehy Skeffington , M. and Gormally, M. (2005) Turloughs, west of Ireland. Seven web pages in Cultbase, Cultural Landscape Database for Europe. Atlantic central. Archived in August 2005. http://pan.cultland.org/cultbase/?document_id=264
Sheehy Skeffington M. (2006) Organic fruit and vegetable growing as a national policy: the Cuban story. Published on 21 Feb 2006 by Energy Bulletin / FEASTA. Archived on 21 Feb 2006. http://www.energybulletin.net/13067.html
Sheehy Skeffington, M. Moran J., O Connor Á., Regan E., Coxon, C. E., Scott, N. E., and Gormally, M. (2006) Turloughs – Ireland’s unique wetland habitat. Biological Conservation 133/3, 265-290.
Visser, M, Regan, E, Moran, J, Gormally, M and Sheehy Skeffington, M. (2006) The rise and fall of turlough typologies: a call for a continuum concept. Wetlands 26 (3), 745-764.
Coroi, M., Sheehy Skeffington , M., Giller, P., Gormally, M., Smith, C., O’Donovan, G. (2006). Using GIS in the mapping and analysis of landscape and vegetation patterns along streams in southern Ireland. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 106B(3):287-300.
Sheehy Skeffington , M. and Gormally M. (2007) Turloughs: a mosaic of biodiversity and management systems unique to Ireland.Acta Carsologica. 36/2 217-222.
Sullivan, C., Sheehy Skeffington, M., Gormally, M., Finn, J. and Kelly, S. (2007). Identifying High Nature Value Grassland in the West of Ireland. High Value Grassland: providing biodiversity, a clean environment and premium products, Proceedings of conference, University of Keele, Staffordshire, 17-19 April 2007, pages 325-328. (peer-reviewed).
Visser, M, Moran, J, Regan, E, Gormally, M and Sheehy Skeffington , M. (2007) How users and non-users perceive turlough management under the converging EU agendas of Natura 2000 and CAP in Ireland. Land Use Policy. 24 362–373
Chollett, D; Ferguson, B; Furusawa, K; Furusawa, M; Hollis, S.; Hollis, A; Kent, A.; Sheehy Skeffington , M.; Sugai, M; Rosset, P; and Martinez-Torres, M.E. The Cuban Agroecological Transformation: from Necessity to a Way of Life. Report of the Organic Farming and Sustainable Agriculture Research and fact-Finding Delegation to Cuba, May 4-12 2006 Organized by Desarrollo Alternativo, AC, Mexico http://www.desal.org.mx/report.php3
Regan, E.C., Sheehy Skeffington , M. and Gormally, M.J. (2007) Wetland plant communities of turloughs in the west of Ireland in relation to environmental factors. Aquatic Botany 87 22–30.
Roden, C., Sheehy Skeffington , M. and D’Arcy, G. (2007). Three Oak woods in the valley of the Owendalulleegh river in the Slieve Aughty Hills, South east Galway H15. Irish Naturalists’ Journal. vol 28 (9) p361-371
Scott N and Sheehy Skeffington, M. (2007) Turloughs –Ireland’s vanishing lakes. British Wildlife 19(2) 109-117.
Moran, J. Regan, E.C., Visser, M., Gormally, M. and Sheehy Skeffington, M. (2008) Past and present land management of 12 turloughs in the west of Ireland. Tearmann 6: 83-102.
Moran, J, Kelly, S, Sheehy Skeffington, M and Gormally, M. (2008) The use of GIS techniques to quantify the hydrological regime of a karst wetland (Skealoghan turlough) in Ireland . Applied Vegetation Science 11: 23-34.
Moran, J, Sheehy Skeffington , M and Gormally, M. (2008) The influence of the hydrological regime, soils and management on the plant community composition and species richness of Skealoghan turlough, Ireland. Applied Vegetation Science 11: 11-22.
Sheehy Skeffington M, Morales, H. and Ferguson, B. G. (2008) Lessons from two contrasting organic growing systems –Chiapas, Mexico and Cuba. 18pp. In: Healy, C (ed) Developments Futures eBook. Proceedings of conference at NUI, Galway 24th & 25thNovember, 2007. Development Education Network (DERN), NUI Galway & Irish Aid http://www.nuigalway.ie/dern/ebook.html
Sheehy Skeffington , M. and Scott, N.E., (2008). Do turloughs exist in Slovenia? Acta Carsologica 37/2-3, 291-306.
Conaghan J., and Sheehy Skeffington , M. (2009). The Distribution and Conservation of Eriophorum gracile Koch ex Roth in Ireland. Watsonia.27 no.3, 229-238.
Sheehy Skeffington , M. and Gormally M. (2009) Turloughs: a mosaic of biodiversity and management systems unique to Ireland. In: Krzywinski, K. O’Connell M. and Küster H. (eds) Cultural landscapes of Europe, Fields of Demeter, Haunts of Pan. Aschenbeck Media, Bremen. pp 170-171.
Sullivan, C.A., Sheehy Skeffington, M, Gormally, M.J and Finn, J.A. (2010) The ecological status of grasslands on lowland farmlands in western Ireland and implications for grassland classification and nature value assessment . Biological Conservation143: 1529-1539.
Canning, B, Bell, A, Mongan, B, Gormally, M, Sheehy Skeffington, M and van Rensburg, T (2011) Upland commonages in Connemara – can biodiversity be used to inform agri-environmental policy? Conserving Farmland Biodiversity: Lessons Learned & Future Prospects. Teagasc Biodiversity Conference: 50-52.
Maher, C, Sheehy Skeffington, M, Gormally M. (2011) Hay meadow plant communities on the Shannon callows: responses to summer flooding and changes in management. Conserving Farmland Biodiversity: Lessons Learned & Future Prospects. Teagasc Biodiversity Conference: 72-73.
Sullivan, C, Bourke, D, Finn, J, Sheehy Skeffington, M & Gormally, M (2011) Mapping high nature farmland in Ireland. Conserving Farmland Biodiversity: Lessons Learned & Future Prospects. Teagasc Biodiversity Conference: 94-96.