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Fowler Group

This group has a strong skill set in producing and analysing mathematical models of continuous and discrete processes.  Many of the modelling efforts arise from collaboration with government, industry, and other university partners and are eager to assist with a wide array of scientific problems.

Some of the areas where the group has developed mathematical models include but are not limited to are geosciences, chemistry, biology and physiology, and environmental science

The Fowler group also plays an active role in solving industrial problems through participation in the European Study Groups with Industry.  Current industrial collaborators include Teagasc and the Limerick Country Council.

Mathematical Modelling of Soil Biomass - Funded by Science Foundation Ireland’s Investigator Programme.

Agricultural nutrient transport and on-site domestic wastewater treatment by percolation through soil are both situations in which soil biomass plays a fundamental role; the interplay between water flow, soil matrix, and biomass growth controls the outputs of polluting excess of nutrients to ground- and surface-waters which can lead to eutrophication.

Professor Fowler’s group propose to build regional and field-scale mathematical models of soil biomass and nutrients to describe these two related situations. Key ingredients include unsaturated flow, interactions between plant, fungal, and microbial biomass growth due to differential access to nutrients, biomass effects on permeability, and sorption.

Simplifying the models with analytical techniques and validating them against field and experimental data, this group provide easily-applied predictive tools for use in design, regulation and policy.

Professor Fowler’s group propose aim to compare natural and agricultural field settings, identifying timescales and focusing on biomass uptake and cycling of phosphate and sulphate. They will assess implications of different fertiliser regimes on sustainable productivity and pollution. Professor Fowler’s group’s models of on-site domestic wastewater treatment will predict the dependence of contaminant output.