Teagasc has appointed Professor Pat Dillon as Director of Research. The Teagasc Authority approved the appointment at its meeting on Wednesday, 1st December. Professor Dillon will take up this new role straight away.
He will have responsibility to lead the four Programmes in the Teagasc Research Directorate; Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation; Crops, Environment and Land Use; Food; Rural Economy and Development.
These Programmes operate across six research centres at Ashtown, Athenry, Grange, Johnstown Castle, Moorepark, and Oak Park. In addition to research departments, these Programmes also include the Knowledge Transfer (Specialist) Departments and the Pigs, Horticulture and Forestry Development Departments.
Professor Dillon graduated from University College Dublin with a B.Ag.Sc. in 1986 and went on to complete his PhD in Grassland Science in UCC. He joined the research staff in Teagasc in 1990. He was Head of the Animal Production Research Centre in Moorepark from 2004 to 2009.
He has been Head of the Teagasc Animal & Grassland, Research and Innovation programme since September 2009. He is internationally recognised as a leading scientist in sustainable, pasture-based livestock production and brings a wealth of experience in technology development and industry engagement to the role.
As Director of Research, Professor Dillon will lead Teagasc’s research programme forward, working in partnership with the advisory and education functions in Teagasc, the farming, food and related industries, third level institutions, as well as other State support organisations and international institutions and partners.
He will work to ensure that Teagasc is positioned as a scientific leader in strategic research in agriculture and food science and related areas.
Congratulating Professor Dillon on his appointment, Teagasc Director, Professor Frank O’Mara said: “Pat has led the organisation’s research in Animal and Grassland production for the last 12 years and I look forward to working with him as we seek the new knowledge needed for the food system approach outlined in FoodVision 2030.
“To meet the challenges and seize the opportunities outlined in the strategy, cutting-edge research allied to top class advice, education will be required, and Pat will play a key role in ensuring that Teagasc will deliver on its potential as an agent for change.”
Speaking following his appointment, Professor Dillon said: “Irish agriculture must continue to build on its comparative advantage in grass based food production, while developing opportunities for a more diverse range of crop production options. Teagasc are pursuing research into environmentally sustainable systems of production, led by our Environment Research Centre in Johnstown Castle.
“I am confident the challenges of water quality, climate change, ammonia emissions and biodiversity can be successfully addressed through the science based technologies being explored.”