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Personal profile


Dr. Cara Daly’s joined SETU (formerly Waterford Institute of Technology) in 2013 as a lecturer in Science and the Programme Director for the SETU/Teagasc BSc in Horticulture. 

As a mature student (after working for several years in the pharmaceutical sector) she earned both her Bachelor's degree in Botany, and her PhD on the role of sphingolipids in programme cell death from University College Dublin.

Cara is a member of the SETU Academic Council, the SETU EDI Committee and is on the SETU Governing Body EDI Committee.


Cara has taught a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including Plant Biology, Plants and Society, Scientific Writing and Data Analysis, and Lab Skills for Plant Micropropagation.

Research Interests

Dr. Cara Daly’s primary research seeks to understand the complexities of plant programmed cell death (PCD) and how cell death modes can be used to determine in vitro and in vivo plant stress tolerance in agriculturally important plants in response to abiotic and biotic stresses. She also researches aseptic micropropagation of plants, and culturing of plant and cyanobacteria cell cultures and analyses plant and cyanobacteria cell exometabolites by HPLC and mass spectrometry. Recent research has focused on screening the extracts of wild plants for their in vitro antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity using spectrometric and cell-based assays.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, The role of long chain base spingolipids in plant programmed cell death, University College Dublin

01 Oct 200915 Dec 2012

Award Date: 27 Jul 2013

Bachelors Degree, BSc (Hons) in Botany, University College Dublin

15 Sep 200513 May 2009

Award Date: 30 May 2009


  • Q Science (General)
  • Programmed Cell Death
  • Plant Stress
  • Plant Stress Tolerance
  • Apoptosis
  • Botany
  • Plant Science


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