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Dr. Bruce Dudley Misstear

Fellow Emeritus (Fellows Emeritii)


Fellow Emeritus (Civil Struct & Env. Eng.)

Dr Misstear is an Adjunct Professor in hydrogeology and environmental engineering at Trinity College Dublin, and Fellow Emeritus. His recent research topics include effects of climate change on groundwater recharge, impacts of domestic wastewater treatment systems on water quality in private wells, water pollution pathways, sustainable groundwater development in Africa, and impacts of transportation options on air quality. He is currently researching the hydrogeology of Irish holy wells. Dr Misstear is the author or co-author of over 150 publications, including the international textbook "Water Wells and Boreholes" (the 2nd edition was published in 2017). Dr Misstear served as the university's first Dean of Students between 2003 and 2007, when he was involved in the strategic development of student services and accommodation services for the university's 15,000 student population. Previously worked for 18 years as a consultant hydrogeologist, becoming head of the Groundwater Department of Consulting Engineer Mott MacDonald and a Director of the firm's Environment and Water Resources Division. Professional experience includes water resources and environmental projects in Ireland, UK, Oman, Czechoslovakia, Bahrain, Sudan, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Nigeria. Dr Misstear is both a Chartered Geologist and Chartered Engineer. He was elected a Vice President of the International Association of Hydrogeologists in 2012 and served as Secretary General between 2016 and 2020. In 2020, he received the Presidents' award of the IAH. This award is given annually to a person who has made outstanding international contributions to groundwater science and to furthering IAH's mission to promote understanding and management of groundwater resources for the benefit of humankind and the environment.
  Air pollution monitoring and assessment   Groundwater engineering   Groundwater recharge   Groundwater vulnerability and contamination
 Assessing, modelling and managing water and contaminant movement along pathways, from the land surface to aquatic receptors
 Air quality modelling fellowship
 The impacts of domestic wastewater treatment systems on private wells and rivers
 Water is Life

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Details Date
Secretary General International Association of Hydrogeologists 2016-2020
Vice President (Finance and Membership) of the International Association of Hydrogeologists. 2012-2016
Associate Editor Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology & Hydrogeology 2007 to present
Member of the Scientific Committee of the 44th congress of the Intenrational Association of Hydrogeologists, Dubrovnik 2017
Member of the Scientific Committee for the 42nd Congress of the International Association of Hydrogeologists, Rome, September 2015 2015
Member of the Scientific Committee for the 39th congress of the International Association of Hydrogeologists, Niagara Falls, Canada, September 2012. 2012
Associate Editor of the Hydrogeology Journal 1999 - 2003
Member of the Scientific Committee for the International Water Association conference, Dublin May 2012
Advisor to the EPA at the Oral Hearing in connection with a proposed landfill in County Fingal 2008-2009
Member of the Irish National Committees of the International Hydrological programme and the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage 2003 - present
Member of the Scientific Committee for the 34th WEDC international conference on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. May 2009
Member of the Scientific Committee for the 35th WEDC international conference on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Loughborough, UK July 2011
Independent chairman of the Groundwater Monitoring Committee concerned with potential impacts of the Kildare bypass on the hydrology of Pollardstown fen 2000 - 2003
Member of the committee of the Water and Environmental Engineering Section of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland 1996 - 2002
Secretary of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (Irish Group) 1996 - 1999
Member of the organising committee for the Int. Conference on Groundwater: Drought, Pollution and Management, Brighton 1994
Member of the UK Groundwater Forum 1994
Chairman of the steering committee for the Int. Groundwater Conference, Cranfield 1990
Member of the EPA/GSI working group on the groundwater protection response for landspreading. 2002 - 2006
Member of the Hydrogeological Group Committee of the Geological Society of London 1987-1990
Advisor to the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) on the preparation of guidelines for delineating Nitrate Vulnerable Zones. 2000-2001
Advisor to the EPA on the proposed Oral Hearing in connection with the proposed decision on a waste licence for a landfill at Silvermines, Tipperary (NR) 2000
Advisor on EPA project concerned with guideline and intervention values for the protection of groundwater in Ireland. 1999-2000
Member of EU thematic network on Civil Engineering education in Europe (EUCEET I and II Programmes) 1999-2004
Assessor to An Bord Pleanála for the planning appeal in connection with the proposed development of a landfill facility at Mulhuddart, Co. Fingal. 1995-1996
Supervisor of the hydrogeological aspects of the Avoca Mine Site Characterisation Study carried out by the Geological Survey of Ireland as part of the Avoca/Avonmore Catchment Conversion Project (EC Life Programme) 1995-1996
External reviewer for the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board for a proposed remediation strategy for the Avoca mines area 2003
Advisor on a contaminated land investigation at a Dockland site in Dublin 1998
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
Details Date From Date To
Fellow of the Geological Society 1976 present
Member of the International Association of Hydrogeologists 1986 present
Member of Institution of Engineers of Ireland 1995 present
Member of the Institute of Geologists of Ireland 2009 present
B D R Misstear, Wells and Wellbeing: The Hydrogeology of Irish Holy Wells, First, Dublin, Geological Survey Ireland, 2023, 1 - 176pp, Book, PUBLISHED
The water sources and chemistry of Irish holy wells in, editor(s)C. Ray and F. McCormick , Holy Wells of Ireland, Sacred Realms and Popular Domains, Indiana, USA, Indiana University Press, 2023, pp77 - 89, [2. Misstear B.D.R., Gill L, McKenna, C. and Foley, R.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Donata Dubber , Laura Brophy , David O"Connell , Patrice Behan , Martin Danaher , Craig Evans , Phillip Geary , Bruce Misstear , Laurence Gill, The use of sterol profiles, supported with other faecal source tracking methods, to apportion septic tanks contamination in rural catchments, Environmental Pollution, 341, (122884), 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Misstear B.D.R., Ruz Vargas C., Lapworth D, Ouedraogo I and Podgorski J., A global perspective on assessing groundwater quality, Hydrogeology Journal, 2023, p11 - 14, Notes: [DOI: 10.1007/s10040-022-02461-0. URL: ], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Lapworth D., Boving T., Brauns B., Dottridge J., Hynds P., Kebede S., Kreamer D., Misstear B.D.R., Mukherjee A., Re V., Sorensen J. and Ruz Vargas C., Groundwater quality: global challenges, emerging threats and novel approaches, HYDROGEOLOGY JOURNAL, 31, (1), 2023, p15 - 18, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Building and updating the knowledge base in, editor(s)M Miletto and R Connor , The United Nations World Water Development Report 2022: Groundwater: Making the invisible visible., Paris, UNESCO, 2022, pp143 - 154, [Misstear B.D.R., Aureli A., Sterckx A., Ruz Vargas C., Scheihing K. and Kukurić N.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED  URL
Misstear B.D.R., Irish holy wells: Their groundwater sources, chemistries and healing reputations, IAH Irish Group: Groundwater - Making the invisible visible., Online, 26-27 April 2022, 2022, ppIV-25 - IV-30, Notes: [ ], Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Fennell C., Misstear B.D.R, O'Connell D., Dubber D., Behan P., Danaher M., Moloney M. and Gill L.W., An assessment of contamination fingerprinting techniques for determining the impact of domestic wastewater treatment systems on private well supplies, Environmental Pollution, 268, 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Shi Y., Li D., Gill L., Misstear B., O'Donohue I., Xiao L., Investigation into the Causes, Impacts and Measures to Deal with Algal Blooms in Vartry Reservoir, Wexford, Ireland, Environmental Protection Agency, 2020, 1 - 35pp, Book, PUBLISHED  URL
Where does the water come from? A hydrogeological characterisation of Irish holy wells in, editor(s)C. Ray , Sacred Waters: A Cross-Cultural Compendium of Hallowed Springs and Holy Wells, Abingdon, UK, Routledge, 2020, pp350 - 358, [Misstear B.D.R., Gill L, McKenna, C. and Foley, R.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED

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Misstear, B.D.R., Diffuse pollution: The importance of understanding hydrological and hydrogeological pathways., IWA conference on Diffuse Pollution and Catchment Management, Dublin City University, 25th October, 2016, International Water Association, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Flynn R. Misstear B.D.R and Deakin J. , Winter land use restrictions: Can they make a difference to water quality?, EPA Catchments Newsletter,, 2, 2016, p15 - 16, Notes: [ ], Review Article, PUBLISHED
Misstear B.D.R., Water well guidelines: Considerations regarding large public and small private well supplies., Groundwater: Back to the Future, Rome, 13-18 September , 2015, International Association of Hydrogeologists, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
BDR Misstear, Water, but not on the brain, Geoscientist, 23, (1), 2013, p9 - 9, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
B. Misstear, Whither hydrogeology education?, Groundwater Newsletter, 50, 2012, p24 - 25, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
K. Tedd, C. Coxon, D, Daly, M. Craig and B.D.R. Misstear, Spatial analysis of groundwater monitoring data in Ireland, International Association of Hydrogeologists 39th Congress: Confronting Global Change, Niagara Falls, Canada, 16-21 September 2012, edited by K. Howard & R. Gerber , 2012, pp152 - 152, Meeting Abstract, PUBLISHED
R. Borland, M.J. Gorman, B.D.R. Misstear and J. Withers, Surface tension: The future of water, Dublin, 978-0-95589574-6, Science Gallery, 2011, 1 - 106pp, Book, PUBLISHED
R. O'Brien, J. Deakin, B.D.R. Misstear, L. Gill, P. Johnston and R.Flynn, Modelling flows along pollutant pathways in Irish catchments, Catchment Science 2011, Dublin, Teagasc/Defra, 2011, pp92 - 92, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
A. Orr, M. Archbold, J. Deakin, J, Nitsche, U. Ofterdinger, B.D.R. Misstear and R.Flynn, A comparison of the stratification of nitrogen in groundwater in catchments underlain by a productive and poorly productive aquifer, Catchment Science 2011, Dublin, 14-16 September 2011, Teagasc/Defra, 2011, pp90 - 90, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
R. O'Brien, J. Deakin, B.D.R. Misstear, L. Gill and R.Flynn, Simulating flow pathways in Irish catchments using a lumped and semi-distributed modelling approach, HydroEco2011: 3rd International Multidisciplinary Conference on Hydrology and Ecology: Ecosystems, Vienna, 2-5 May 2011, 2011, Poster, PUBLISHED


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Award Date
Best presentation award, International Association of Hydrogeologists Cape Town congress 22/9/2023
Presidents' Award of the International Association of Hydrogeologists 2020
Elected Secretary General of the International Association of Hydrogeologists 2016
Elected Vice President of the International Association of Hydrogeologists September 2012
Gave opening keynote paper at GEOFLUID groundwater meeting, Piacenza, Italy 5 October 2012
Elected Fellow of Trinity College Dublin 2009
Winner of the IEI Geotechnical prize 2000
Water and Environment Journal paper commendation 2010
. Groundwater vulnerability and contamination . Recharge and reliable yields of groundwater sources . Air pollution monitoring and evaluation.