News | Latest News | Appointment of Projects Support Officer with the VWT in Ireland

12th January 2015

Ruth Hanniffy is the newly appointed Ireland Projects Support Officer with The Vincent Wildlife Trust. Originally from Co. Galway, she grew up beside the sea, with a love of all things marine. Ruth graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway where she completed a BSc Degree in Zoology. For her final year thesis she undertook a dietary analysis of the lesser horseshoe bats at Dromore Stables in County Clare.

After a spell teaching English in Germany, Ruth moved to the UK to attend the University of Reading, where she completed a Masters in Wildlife Management and Conservation. For her thesis Ruth studied the density and habitat preferences of small mammals on Paxton Pits Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire. This involved a programme of Longworth trapping where she surveyed bank voles, field voles, wood mice, common, pygmy and water shrews, and carried out hair tube surveys of harvest mice. This gave her a great insight into how different habitats are used by small mammals…and she learned that everything bites!

Following her masters Ruth joined the Environment Agency as a Biodiversity Officer, firstly in the midlands of England, before moving to the Thames region. She covered much of London and the South East, working on river restoration and enhancement of the River Thames and its tributaries. Improving and managing river corridors for wildlife such as bats and otters, and adaptation of riverine habitats to climate change was a key part of my work. Ruth worked closely with planners, architects, NGOs and voluntary groups in a hugely enjoyable and very varied role, and contributed to projects including the London Rivers Action Plan, the Urban River Survey and RESTORE – a partnership for sharing knowledge and promoting best practice on river restoration in Europe.

Ruth loves to travel and recently returned from eight months travelling through the incredible landscapes and countries of South America. She learned to dive, surf and speak Spanish, but not all at the same time! She was fortunate enough to travel to South Georgia, the sub Antarctic islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. As a wildlife and landscape photographer this was a dream come true. Her goal is to contribute to conservation through photography. (Ruth’s personal work can be viewed here:

Following her travels Ruth worked with Inland Fisheries Ireland as a Fisheries Assistant, where she worked with a team of scientists carrying out National Water Framework Directive fish surveys of lakes and rivers throughout Ireland, followed by lab analysis of the results. This was a wonderful reintroduction to the beautiful and varied Irish landscapes in what was luckily a very good summer!

Ruth is excited to take on my new role with The Vincent Wildlife Trust, in particular working with all the organisations at the forefront of species and habitat conservation in Ireland. She’s also delighted to contribute to studying and conserving our mammal species, in particular the lesser horseshoe bat, the Irish stoat and the pine marten.