About Us


Catherine Flynn

Catherine Flynn

Catherine Flynn is the Program Director for Irish Studies and Associate Professor in the UC Berkeley Department of English. Professor Flynn specializes in British and Irish modernist literature in a European avant-garde context. She is currently at work on The Cambridge Centenary Ulysses: The 1922 Text with Essays and Notes, and a volume titled New Joyce Studies: Twenty-First Century Critical Revisions. Read more


Eoin Brodie grew up in Dublin, Ireland. He is a microbiologist and biogeochemist who works from molecular to ecosystem scales. Eoin received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from University College Dublin in 2001. Eoin is currently Deputy Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's Climate and Ecosystem Sciences Division where he leads the Ecosystems Biology program and Earth's Microbial Engines Initiative. Eoin is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at UC Berkeley where he co-leads the Berkeley Lab/UC Berkeley - Joint Berkeley Initiative in Microbiome Sciences. Read more

John D. Coates graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway with a PhD in microbiology and relocated in 1991 to the US. He is currently Professor of Microbiology and Distinguished Director of the Energy & Biosciences Institute (EBI). In addition, Dr. Coates is a Senior Scientist in the Environmental Genomics and System Biology Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories and is the co-founder of three startup companies: BioInsite LLC; Ogma Scientific Inc.; and PowBio Inc. Read more

David Prendergast is a Senior Staff Scientist and Facility Director for Theory of Nanostructured Materials at the Molecular Foundry, a Department of Energy Nanoscale Science Research Center, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in physics from University College Cork in Ireland in 2002 and joined the Foundry as a staff scientist in 2007. Read more

About the Program

For more than a century, the University of California, Berkeley has been a locus for the study of Irish culture, language, and literature. In 1911, the first North American degree-granting program in Celtic Languages and Literatures was founded at Berkeley, and the Celtic Studies Program thrives today, offering the only undergraduate degree in Celtic Studies in North America.

W.B. Yeats spoke at Berkeley in 1904, and since then many important figures in Irish politics and culture have visited. Seamus Heaney was a lecturer in the English department in 1970-1971, and he returned throughout his life. In 1989, Paul Muldoon was the Roberta C. Holloway Lecturer in the Practice of Poetry in the English Department, and Medbh McGuckian took up the same post several years later. In 1991, President Mary Robinson visited campus and was awarded the Berkeley Medal, the university’s highest honor. President Michael D. Higgins made a major visit in October 2015 and announced the founding of the program during his time on campus. The Irish Studies Program was officially launched in Fall 2016.

In collaboration with the Irish Consulate of San Francisco and organizations throughout the West Coast, we host public programs with notable writers, artists, scientists, and business leaders. By fostering dialogue and knowledge-sharing in a global and cross-disciplinary context, Irish Studies serves as a unique hub to educate and engage diverse audiences around Irish culture and creativity.

President Michael Higgins and Irish Ambassador

From left: President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins visits UC Berkeley; Welcoming Daniel Mulhall, the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States