Dr Joanne Fitzgerald

Phd BE

European Project Officer

Dargan Centre, Carlow Campus

e: Joanne.Fitzgerald@setu.ie      t: 059 915213

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-6996-501X

Dr. Fitzgerald is a European Project Officer in the Interreg-funded Ireland Wales project, CATALYST,which aims to foster sustainable innovation among SMEs in the food and drink and life sciences sectors. Her background is in investigating climate change impacts on food and forestry and evaluating sustainable resources for bioenergy from forestry and biomass crops.

  • Research Interests
  • Publications
  • Research Supervision
  • Engagement and Collaboration

Research Interests

During her PhD studies, Dr Fitzgerald used a modelling approach to investigate how climate change would impact Ireland’s grass-based dairy production systems and how these systems could adapt to future climate. She went on to study the role of bioenergy crops in Ireland and how privately-owned forests in Ireland could meet demand for bioenergy. Dr Fitzgerald then took up a position as senior researcher at the European Forest Institute in Finland where she studied climate resilience and adaptation of European forests to climate change as part of the FP7 MOTIVE project. She also used the EFISCEN model to predict forest resource availability for the bio-economy over the next decades. She contributed to several projects funded by FP7 and Horizon 2020 including as work package leader.

More recently Dr Fitzgerald has been working on sustainable innovation with SMEs in the food and drink and life sciences sectors as part of the INTERREG-funded CATALYST project.


  • Horizon 2020 Project GENTREE 2016-2020: Work Package Leader, Researcher, Project Manager. Developed proposal in conjunction with European partners and lead partner INRA. Implemented contract negotiation and kick off process. Member of Executive Committee. Developed European-wide survey of forest stakeholders.
  • FP7 Project S2Biom 2013-2016: Researcher and Project Manager. Update and expansion of European forest biomass potentials using EFISCEN, including updated forest inventory data. Development of cost-supply curves for forest biomass. Application of sustainability constraints to the available biomass.
  • Project RECEBIO for DG Environment at European Commission: Researcher and Project Manager. Examining resource impacts – both European and global - of increased biomass demand in Europe.
  • Project NGO Biomass Tender for three European NGOs: Updated European forest biomass potentials. Evaluated how various environmental and sustainability constraints affected biomass potentials.
  • FP7 Project MOTIVE 2009-2013: Evaluated climate impacts and adaptation options for European forests. Analysed global climate projections from a variety of model outputs. Examined sources of uncertainty, and how the decision maker may cope with them. Stakeholder engagement. Edited book synthesising research results of this FP7 project.
  • DAFM Stimulus project: Supplychip 2010-2012- The potential supply of biomass from privately owned forestry in the North West.
  • EPA STRIVE funded Climate Change in Ireland: Refining the Impacts. 2002-2005


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Verkerk, P.J., Fitzgerald, J.B., Datta, P., Dees, M., Hengeveld, G.M., Lindner, M., Zudin S. 2019. Spatial distribution of the potential forest biomass availability in Europe. Forest Ecosystems 6:5.

Martire, S., Tuomasjukka, D., Lindner, M., Fitzgerald, J., Castellani, V., 2015. Sustainability Impact Assessment for local energy supplies development - The case of the alpine area of Lake Como, Italy. Biomass and Bioenergy 83, 60-76

Lindner, M., Fitzgerald, J. B., Zimmermann, N. E., Reyer, C., Delzon, S., van der Maaten, E., Hanewinkel, M., 2014. Climate change and European forests: What do we know, what are the uncertainties, and what are the implications for forest management? Journal of Environmental Management, 146C, 69–83. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.07.030

Finnan J., Styles D., Fitzgerald J.B., Connolly J., and Donnelly A., 2012. Using a Strategic Environmental Assessment Framework to quantify the environmental impact of bioenergy plans. Global Change Biology Bioenergy, 4 (3), 311-329.

Donnelly A., Styles D., Fitzgerald J.B. and Finnan J., 2011. A proposed framework for determining the environmental impact of replacing agricultural grassland with Miscanthus in Ireland. Global Change Biology Bioenergy, 3 (3). 247-263.

Fitzgerald, J. B., Brereton, A. J. & Holden, N. M., 2009. Assessment of the adaptation potential of grass-based dairy systems to climate change in Ireland – The maximised production scenario. Agriculture and Forest Meteorology 149 (2), 244-255.

Fitzgerald, J. B., Brereton, A. J. & Holden, N. M., 2008. Simulation of the influence of poor soil drainage on grass-based dairy production in Ireland Grass and Forage Science 63 (3), 380-389.

Holden, N.M, Brereton, A.J., Fitzgerald, J.B., 2008. Impact of Climate Change on Irish Agricultural Production Systems in Sweeney, J. (ed.) Climate Change: Refining the Impacts. Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, Government Publications.

Fitzgerald, J. B., Brereton, A. J. & Holden, N. M., 2005. Assessment of regional climate variation effects on the management of dairy cow systems in Ireland using a simulation model. Grass & Forage Science 60 (3), 283-296.

Books and Book Chapters

Lindner, M., Dees, M., Anttila, P., Verkerk, P., Fitzgerald, J., Datta, P., Glavonjic, B., Prinz, R., Zudin, R. 2017. Assessing Lignocellulosic Biomass Potentials From Forests and IndustryIn: Modeling and Optimization of Biomass Supply Chains, Academic Press.

Fitzgerald, J. and Lindner, M. (eds.) 2013. Adapting to climate change in European forests - Results of the MOTIVE project. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia, 108 pp.

Fitzgerald, J., Jacobsen, J.B., Blennow, K., Thorsen, B.J. and Lindner, M. 2013. Climate Change in European Forests: How to Adapt. EFI Policy Brief 9. European Forest Institute, Joensuu, Finland.

Conference Proceedings and Papers

Fitzgerald J and Lindner M. (2016). Adaptive Challenges for European Forests. Symposium - Adapting forests to climate change. SFecologie 2016, Marseille, 25th October 2016

Fitzgerald J. (2014). An overview of climate change impacts on forests. PhD Course on International Forestry and Global Issues. Champenoux, France, 19-23 May 2014

Fitzgerald J (2013) Forest management and planning in a changing climate. “Northern Forests in a Changing Climate” Hallormsstaður Iceland, 17-18 September 2013.

Fitzgerald, J.B., (2012) SUPPLYCHIP: Locating the Resource. Teagasc National Bioenergy Conference 2012, Athlone, Ireland.

Fitzgerald, J.B., (2011) Facilitating the supply of wood chip from forest plantations as an energy source in the North West. Teagasc National Bioenergy Conference 2011, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford.

Fitzgerald, J.B., Finnan, J. and Burke, J.I., (2009) The environmental consequences of increased Miscanthus cultivation in Ireland. Environ ‘09, The 19th Irish Environmental Researchers’ Colloquium. P.69.

Fitzgerald, J.B., (2009) Using a dynamic system simulation model to assess the influence of climate, soil and climate change on grass-based dairy production. Oral Presentation, 25th Meeting of AGMET, The Coach House, Dublin Castle, December 2009.

Fitzgerald, J.B., (2009) Life cycle analysis to evaluate the environmental consequences of increased Miscanthus cultivation. Poster Presentation, 25th Meeting of AGMET, The Coach House, Dublin Castle, December 2009.

Brereton A., Fitzgerald J.B., and Holden, N.M., (2004) Climate change: reduced rainfall, seasonal re-distribution of herbage and the cost of milk production in Ireland. EGF2004 General Meeting Land use systems in grassland dominated regions. Luzern, Switzerland. 21-24 June 2004.

Fitzgerald, J.B., Brereton, J.B. and Holden, N.M., (2003) Dairy farm system simulation for assessment of climate change impacts on dairy production in Ireland. Agricultural Modellers Group Meeting, Royal Society, London, in, J. France and L. A. Crompton, Proceedings of the Thirty-fifth Meeting of the Agricultural Research Modellers' Group, Journal of Agricultural Science, 140: 479-487

Brereton A., Fitzgerald J.B. and Holden, N.M., (2003) A grassland/dairy farm simulator for assessment of climate change impacts. American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Annual International Meeting, Las Vegas, 27-30 July, 2003. (ASAE paper number 033005, 11pp.)

Published Reports

Forsell N, Korosuo A, Havlik P, Valin H, Lauri P, Gusti M, Kindermann G, Obersteiner M, et al. (2016) Study on impacts on resource efficiency of future EU demand for bioenergy (ReceBio). Final report. Project: ENV.F.1/ETU/2013/0033. Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 43 pp.

Holden, N.M, Brereton, A.J., Fitzgerald, J.B., (2008). Impact of Climate Change on Irish Agricultural Production Systems in Sweeney, J. (ed.) Climate Change: Refining the Impacts. Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, Government Publications.

IINAS (International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy), EFI (European Forest Institute), JR (Joanneum Research) 2014: Forest biomass for energy in the EU: current trends, carbon balance and sustainable potential; Fritsche U., Fitzgerald J. et al.; commissioned by BirdLife Europe, EEB and T&E; Darmstadt etc.

Other Research Outputs

Fitzgerald, J.B., Phillips, H., and Farrelly, N. (2012) Quantifying the wood energy potential of farm forestry. T Research, Autumn 2012.

Fitzgerald, J.B., (2009) Life cycle assessment of energy crops. T Research. Winter 2009. pp28-29.

Research Supervision

2016 Nenad Simunovic - Sustainability Impact Assessment of a large Biorefinery mill in Aanekoski Finland. EFI traineeship.

I would consider supervising students in any area that aligns with my research.

Engagement and Collaboration

  • Carlow Food And Drink Strategy Steering Group 2019
  • Business Supports Exhibit at InCarlow Tent National Ploughing Championships 2019
  • Collaborating with University of Wales Trinity Saint David, WRAP Cymru, Carlow Local Enterprise Office and Tipperary Local Enterprise Office as part of CATALYST
  • Designed and organised a ‘Residency’ in sustainable packaging with 10 SME’s from Ireland and Wales in conjunction with DESIGN+ Technology Gateway, WRAP Cymru, The PackHub