Teagasc has appointed Dr Karl Richards as head of its new Climate Centre.

Dr Richards, who had been acting head of the centre since it was launched in December 2022, is a former head of the Teagasc environment, soils and land-use research department.

The scientist first graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in natural sciences and also completed a post-graduate diploma in statistics at Trinity College, before completing a PhD in environmental geology.

He joined Teagasc in 2002 as a bio-geochemistry research officer at Johnstown Castle, where subsequently he was promoted to principal research officer.

In this role, he led a team of researchers in the area of nitrogen cycling, including the impact of management practices on reducing nitrogen losses (nitrous oxide, nitrate leaching and ammonia).

He has published extensively on measures to reduce nitrous oxide and nitrate emissions, including leading the protected urea research that commenced in 2012.


In his role leading the Teagasc environment department, Dr Richards instigated the development of the National Agricultural Sustainability Research and Innovation Centre (NASRIC), which involves €12.7m investment building new laboratories at Johnstown Castle.

He led the modernisation and expansion of the research facilities, including the establishment of the National Agricultural Soil Carbon Observatory (NASCO) and the national soil greenhouse gas testing facility.

While in an acting capacity as head of the Teagasc Climate Centre since last December, Dr Richards commenced the establishment of the strategic research and innovation agenda for the Climate Centre, which included identifying key research gaps, recruiting key staff, establishing the governance structure and the publication of the new Teagasc marginal abatement cost curve in July of this year.

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