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Department of Zoology



I completed my BA in Zoology at Trinity College Dublin where I examined the effects of urbanisation intensity on urban pollinator and floral communities across Dublin City as part of my final year thesis. I was further awarded a gold medal, the W.C. Campbell Undergraduate Award, and the W.C. Campbell Undergraduate Research Award. 

Following this, I completed my MSc in Wildlife Conservation and Management at University College Dublin. In my project thesis, I examined the effects of weather conditions, local floral resource density, and sampling effort on the perceived activity and diversity of pollinator communities in an Irish wildflower meadow. I further considered means of reducing zero counts of foraging pollinators and optimizing data collection by examining the combined effects of sampling effort and local floral resource densities on the probability of detecting pollinators.

I then undertook a role as a research assistant at University College Dublin with the SUSPOLL project, where I gained extensive experience identifying Carabid beetles and pollen, bee husbandry, flight arena and behavioural studies, measuring plant morphological traits, and data extraction for a systematic review. 


My research interests are broadly in ecological interaction networks, agroecology and entomology. I am particularly fascinated with beetles as a research group given their wonderful morphological and functional diversity, as well as the vital roles they play in ecosystem functioning and service delivery. I am also eager to work with dragonfly communities in agricultural settings and to continue my work with pollinators. Through my research, I am keen to address key knowledge gaps surrounding the historic and ongoing impacts of climate change, agricultural intensification, and even other conservation practices on these wildlife communities, particularly in a UK and Irish context. 


Key publications: 

Mahon, N., & Hodge, S. (2022). Evaluating the effects of observation period, floral density, and weather conditions on the consistency and accuracy of timed pollinator counts. Journal of Pollination Ecology, 31, 124-138.

Mahon, N., & Hodge, S. (2022). High density floral patches attract more pollinators, but not as an ideal free distribution. The Wētā, 56, 51-58.

Dirilgen, T., Herbertsson, L., O’Reilly, A. D., Mahon, N., & Stanley, D. A. (2023). Moving past neonicotinoids and honeybees: A systematic review of existing research on other insecticides and bees. Environmental Research, 235, 116612.