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ATU ethical marine taxidermy project

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ATUATU ethical marine taxidermy project goes on public display

Project features in “Bringing Ireland’s Wildlife Back to Life” exhibition at The People’s Museum of Limerick, opening Sat 28 May


Wildlife encounters a wide range of pressures in their natural environments. This is the subject of an exciting taxidermy exhibition “Bringing Ireland’s Wildlife Back to Life” by taxidermist Donal Mulcahy which opens in The People’s Museum of Limerick on Saturday 28 May 2022. Donal started taxidermy when he was 12 years old and enjoys sharing his love for nature and animals through his taxidermy work.

The exhibition also features an Atlantic TU marine science project funded by the Irish Research Council’s New Foundations programme which involves combining art and science to highlight some of the challenges facing seabirds in particular.


The project team have developed an exciting marine science educational project focused on ethical taxidermy (stuffing and preserving animals found dead), to raise awareness of the effects of pollution and climate change on seabirds. The team includes Donal Mulcahy of Glenameade Taxidermy; marine biologist and artist Sabine Springer; media producer Peter Cutler and scientist Dr Andrew Power, both of Crow Crag Productions; and ATU Galway marine biologists Drs Katie O’Dwyer, Ian O’Connor and Heidi Acampora, all based at the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre in ATU Galway’s Dublin Road campus.

“The project has given us the opportunity to communicate science in a unique and creative way. We are delighted to have the project going on display and we all look forward to seeing the public’s reactions to the pieces as they feature in a traditional museum environment” says Dr Katie O’Dwyer, project leader and ATU Galway lecturer in aquatic ecology.

“Through this project we are highlighting a range of man-made problems facing seabirds in their natural environment. The issues we have focused on include plastic pollution, oil pollution, lost fishing gear and changing prey distributions due to climate change. It is our hope that the project will motivate more people to take an active role in conserving our marine environment.”

Dr Heidi Acampora has been collecting beached seabirds, with the help of the public, for the purpose of plastic litter research through the project Republic of Ireland Beached Bird Survey (RIBBS), since 2014. Besides research, the birds now get a new life through education and awareness.


“The art of ethical taxidermy in marine science education” goes on display at the People’s Museum in Limerick on Saturday 28 May 2022. For more information on The People’s Museum and its opening hours see the link here:

Northern Gannet on nest of plastic

[Photo courtesy of Dr Katie O’Dwyer, ATU Galway] Northern Gannet on a nest of plastic.

For more information on those involved in the project follow the links below:



For more information on the RIBBS project, see

For details on programmes in ATU Galway’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, see: here ...


For more details on the Marine and Freshwater Research Centre at ATU Galway, please see:

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