I was born in Shannon in the west of Ireland, but grew up and went to school in Dublin. I developed an interest in mountains, the landscape, cycling, Ordnance Survey maps and (most importantly) the weather from an early age. I kept a weather diary from the age of 4-5 onwards. I later went on to study Earth Sciences as a Bachelor's degree at Trinity College Dublin because it was the subject closest to my interests at the time - I was also attracted to the beautiful architecture of Trinity College.
My obsession with the weather and climate continued to grow, and as there was no meteorology degree of any kind in Ireland at the time, I left the country in 1994 to study for a Masters in Meteorology at the University of Reading in England. It was here, in Reading, that I met my wife-to-be, June Christine, from Glasgow. After graduating, I worked as a weather forecaster and meteorologist in various guises, as well as temping for Yellow Pages (electronic media) on two occasions. We grew fond of Reading and made many friends. We stayed near to Reading until late in 1999.
An itchy foot (or two) intuitively helped me to move on - and when a chance to go to Canada came up in early 2000, we grabbed the opportunity (my wife had obtained a post-doctoral fellowship there). Soon after arriving, I was lucky to obtain a number of contracts with Environment Canada (Toronto), initially as a webmaster working on the display of real-time snow and ice conditions across Canada. Later I worked on the digitisation of historical Canadian climate records and climate reconstruction with renowned climate experts Dr. Victoria Slonosky and Prof. Francis Zwiers.
Alas, our Canadian dream ended suddenly in 2002, when my wife got a new job at the University of Bern (Switzerland), where we eventually stayed for the next 7 years. The snow was not quite as deep, nor the cold as intense as Canada, but there were new opportunities - I learnt French and German, and also learnt to ski! But the biggest lesson learned by far was living in and closely participating with a foreign culture. Switzerland is unique and was much unlike what we had been used to previously. Furthermore, our lives changed completely with the birth of our first daughter, Ailsa in 2003; Daniel arrived later in 2006.
Soon after arriving in Switerland, I enrolled on a rather unique PhD (site selection for large telescopes using climate data, funded by the European Southern Observatory) at the University of Fribourg (Geography under Prof. Martin Beniston), later transferring to the University of Bern (Applied Physics, with Prof. Christian Matzler), which I finally completed in 2008 after great struggles.
I had been aware of, and was very much interested in the developing University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) in Scotland for some time, and so when the time came to move on from Switzerland, I applied for a research position in renewable energy at Lews Castle College, Stornoway, Scotland. The possibility of living in a Scottish Gaelic environment was a considerable factor in our decision to move here. Initially, I joined the Greenspace Green Building research team at Lews Castle College, but soon switched to become a lecturer in climate change, sustainable development and Geography-related topics.
As a family, we have very much enjoyed the adaptation to Island life - the children are in the Gaelic education - and a further baby boy arrived (Brendan) in July 2009.
In 2013, I was awarded the magnificent prize of UHISA (UHI Students' Association) "Most Engaging Video Conference Tutor" of the Year, which I was simply delighted to receive. In 2015, I won the "Most Engaging Online Tutor of the Year" award too, and I was nominated for other awards as well.
You can catch me, almost daily, on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/eddy_weather