Dr Tara Dirilgen

Biology, Human Health Institute

Lecturer/Assistant Professor
Environmental Biology and Sustainability

Callan Building
(01) 474 7261


Tara is an ecologist with interests spanning many areas which centre around biodiversity.

Upcoming projects:
Watch this space for research on soil-plant-pollinator interactions under multiple, interacting, global change pressures.
Ongoing projects:
From Roots to Pollinators: How above- and below-ground organisms interact through
Plants (IRC, lead PD)
Relationships between functional diversity and food production and quality under ecological intensification (EPA, Biodiversa, project contributor)
Past projects:
Climate change and its effects on Pollination Services (FNRS/FWO, project contributor)
Sustainable Pollination Services in a Changing world (SFI, project PD)
Soil Microarthropod Community Assembly And Their Value As Indicators Of Soil Biodiversity (EC, EcoFINDERS, lead PG)

Twitter: @taradirilgen

Google scholar

Join the Terrestrial Ecology Lab
Postdoctoral Researchers
Reach out to me if you are interested in pursuing support for collaborative projects.
Some options include:
Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral Fellowship
Prospective Graduate Students
Contact me to discuss potential opportunities for pursuing an MSc or PhD.

NUIM John & Pat Hume Doctoral Awards 2024-2025

Hume Fellow Scholarship, 4 years (full time, EU fees paid):

€22,000 stipend + research allowance

Eligibility: First class or upper second-class honours

bachelor’s or Master’s degree, or the equivalent, in Biology (to encompass environmental biology and sustainability incl. zoology, botancy,etc). Open to all nationalities.

Closing deadline for applications: Tuesday 5 March

2024 9am

https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/graduate-research-academy/john-pat-hume-doctoral-awards (important note: funding is available for a limited number

of projects across the University, award is not guaranteed)

Research Interests

Community ecology, Terrestrial biodiversity (above and belowground), Soil-Plant-Pollinator interactions, Global change, Sustainability

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2022 Karbassioon, A; Yearlsey, J; Dirilgen, T; Hodge, S; Stout, JC; Stanley, DA (2022) 'Responses in honeybee and bumblebee activity to changes in weather conditions'. Oecologia, 201 (3). [DOI]
2018 Dirilgen, T.; Juceviča, E.; Melecis, V.; Querner, P.; Bolger, T. (2018) 'Analysis of spatial patterns informs community assembly and sampling requirements for Collembola in forest soils'. Acta Oecologica, 86 . [Link] [DOI]
2016 Griffiths, B.S.; Römbke, J.; Schmelz, R.M.; Scheffczyk, A.; Faber, J.H.; Bloem, J.; Pérès, G.; Cluzeau, D.; Chabbi, A.; Suhadolc, M.; Sousa, J.P.; Martins Da Silva, P.; Carvalho, F.; Mendes, S.; Morais, P.; Francisco, R.; Pereira, C.; Bonkowski, M.; Geisen, S.; Bardgett, R.D.; De Vries, F.T.; Bolger, T.; Dirilgen, T.; Schmidt, O.; Winding, A.; Hendriksen, N.B.; Johansen, A.; Philippot, L.; Plassart, P.; Bru, D.; Thomson, B.; Griffiths, R.I.; Bailey, M.J.; Keith, A.; Rutgers, M.; Mulder, C.; Hannula, S.E.; Creamer, R.; Stone, D. (2016) 'Selecting cost effective and policy-relevant biological indicators for European monitoring of soil biodiversity and ecosystem function'. Ecological Indicators, 69 . [Link] [DOI]
2016 Creamer, R.E.; Hannula, S.E.; Leeuwen, J.P.V.; Stone, D.; Rutgers, M.; Schmelz, R.M.; Ruiter, P.C.d.; Hendriksen, N.B.; Bolger, T.; Bouffaud, M.L.; Buee, M.; Carvalho, F.; Costa, D.; Dirilgen, T.; Francisco, R.; Griffiths, B.S.; Griffiths, R.; Martin, F.; Silva, P.M.d.; Mendes, S.; Morais, P.V.; Pereira, C.; Philippot, L.; Plassart, P.; Redecker, D.; Römbke, J.; Sousa, J.P.; Wouterse, M.; Lemanceau, P. (2016) 'Ecological network analysis reveals the inter-connection between soil biodiversity and ecosystem function as affected by land use across Europe'. Applied Soil Ecology, 97 . [Link] [DOI]
2016 Dirilgen, T.; Arroyo, J.; Dimmers, W.J.; Faber, J.; Stone, D.; Martins da Silva, P.; Carvalho, F.; Schmelz, R.; Griffiths, B.S.; Francisco, R.; Creamer, R.E.; Sousa, J.P.; Bolger, T. (2016) 'Mite community composition across a European transect and its relationships to variation in other components of soil biodiversity'. Applied Soil Ecology, 97 . [Link] [DOI]
2016 Martins da Silva, P.; Carvalho, F.; Dirilgen, T.; Stone, D.; Creamer, R.; Bolger, T.; Sousa, J.P. (2016) 'Traits of collembolan life-form indicate land use types and soil properties across an European transect'. Applied Soil Ecology, 97 . [Link] [DOI]
2015 Mangan, R.; Dirilgen, T.; Baars, J.R. (2015) 'Responses of adult Hydrellia lagarosiphon to a revised diet: Implications for life cycle studies and laboratory culturing techniques'. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 157 . [Link] [DOI]
2023 Leclercq, N; Marshall, L; Weekers, T; Basu, P; Benda, D; Bevk, D; Bhattacharya, R; Bogusch, P; Bontšutšnaja, A; Bortolotti, L; Cabirol, N; Calderón-Uraga, E; Carvalho, R; Castro, S; Chatterjee, S; De La Cruz Alquicira, M; de Miranda, JR; Dirilgen, T; Dorchin, A; Dorji, K; Drepper, B; Flaminio, S; Gailis, J; Galloni, M; Gaspar, H; Gikungu, MW; Hatteland, BA; Hinojosa-Diaz, I; Hostinská, L; Howlett, BG; Hung, KJ; Hutchinson, L; Jesus, RO; Karklina, N; Khan, MS; Loureiro, J; Men, X; Molenberg, JM; Mudri-Stojnić, S; Nikolic, P; Normandin, E; Osterman, J; Ouyang, F; Oygarden, AS; Ozolina-Pole, L; Ozols, N; Parra Saldivar, A; Paxton, RJ; Pitts-Singer, T; Poveda, K; Prendergast, K; Quaranta, M; Read, SFJ; Reinhardt, S; Rojas-Oropeza, M; Ruiz, C; Rundlöf, M; Sade, A; Sandberg, C; Sgolastra, F; Shah, SF; Shebl, MA; Soon, V; Stanley, DA; Straka, J; Theodorou, P; Tobajas, E; Vaca-Uribe, JL; Vera, A; Villagra, CA; Williams, MK; Wolowski, M; Wood, TJ; Yan, Z; Zhang, Q; Vereecken, NJ (2023) 'Global taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity of bees in apple orchards'. The Science of the total environment, 901 . [DOI]

Other Publication

Year Publication
2023 Dirilgen, T; Herbertsson, L; O'Reilly, AD; Mahon, N; Stanley, DA (2023) Moving past neonicotinoids and honeybees: A systematic review of existing research on other insecticides and bees. [DOI]
2020 White, H.J.; León-Sánchez, L.; Burton, V.J.; Cameron, E.K.; Caruso, T.; Cunha, L.; Dirilgen, T.; Jurburg, S.D.; Kelly, R.; Kumaresan, D.; Ochoa-Hueso, R.; Ordonez, A.; Phillips, H.R.P.; Prieto, I.; Schmidt, O.; Caplat, P. (2020) Methods and approaches to advance soil macroecology. [Link] [DOI]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
All Ireland Climate and Biodiversity Research Network Member -
Irish Soil Biodiversity Research Network (ISBRN) Founder -
UCD Earth Institute Affiliate Member -
Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative Member -
Soil Biodiversity Observation Network (BON) Member -
Soil BON Foodweb co-National Coordinator for Ireland -
Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland Member -
British Ecological Association Member -
Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland Member -
International Society of Root Research Member -
Irish Ecological Association Member -
Soil Science Society of Ireland Member -
Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation Member -
Irish Pollinator Research Network Member -
Society for Open, Reliable, and Transparent Ecology and Evolutionary biology Member -

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
09/12/2020 Thomas Mitchell Medal of Excellence GOI Irish Research Council


Committee Function From / To
Soil Science Society of Ireland Member -
Irish Ecological Association Ordinary member -
Sustainable Ecosystems Group, Department of Biology Member -
All Ireland Climate and Biodiversity Research Network Executive Group Executive Group member -


Employer Position From / To
Maynooth University Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Environmental Biology and Sustainability 11/09/2023 -
University College Dublin Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Applied Entomology 01/10/2022 - 01/08/2023
University College Dublin Postdoctoral researcher | GOI Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship 01/01/2021 - 01/10/2022
University College Dublin SFI Postdoctoral Researcher | SUSPOLL (Sustainable Pollination Services in a Changing World) project 01/07/2020 - 01/01/2021
University College Dublin Research Asssistant | SFI SUSPOLL (Sustainable Pollination Services in a Changing World) project 01/02/2019 - 01/07/2020
University College Dublin Academic Manager | MSc Environmental Sustainability 01/08/2018 - 01/12/2018


Start date Institution Qualification Subject
University College Dublin PhD Ecology
University College Dublin BSc Zoology


Language Reading Writing Speaking
Turkish Fluent Fluent Fluent
English Fluent Fluent Fluent

Editorial / Academic Reviews

Amount Role From / To
Insect Conservation & Diversity Reviewer -
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment Reviewer -

Outreach Activities

Organisation Type Description
International Day for Biological Diversity 2021 Civic Society As part of UCD Earth Institute video series "What is biodiversity?" Target audience: primary school children, general public [Link]
Soapbox Science Civic Society One of 12 women in STEM taking part in Soapbox Science Dublin, Ireland event on Dublin's South King street, standing on a soapbox, using 2 props, I spoke to the general public about my ongoing research “Do soil animals interact with bees through plants?” [Link]
Rising Star Fellowship feature piece, UCD Institute for Discovery Civic Society [Link]
Mooney Goes Wild radio piece as part of the Global Soil Biodiversity Conference coverage Civic Society
“Ask a scientist” tent at Farming for Soil Health public event, Teagasc, Wexford Civic Society

Teaching Interests

Teaching interests include: Ecology, Entomology, Zoology, Animal behaviour, Insect-Plant interactions, Philosophy