My Weekend: Ready to dance as part of Cork Science Festival

Aoife Long, a PHD student at MaREI will be taking part in the Cork Science Festival which runs from November 10 to 17 across Cork city
My Weekend: Ready to dance as part of Cork Science Festival
Aoife Long, a PHD student at MaREI will be taking part in the Cork Science Festival which runs from 10th to 17th of November across Cork city. Check out for more details.

Aoife Long, a PHD student at MaREI will be taking part in the Cork Science Festival which runs from November 10 to 17 across Cork city. Check out for more details.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work:

I’m from Cork. Like a lot of people I lived away during my twenties and now I have returned in my thirties. When I did job interviews in Dublin people used to ask me when I was moving back to Cork. I know why now. 

I was in Dublin for a long time working as a transport engineer and then I worked with Unicef in Beirut for three years. When I came back to Cork it was to do a PhD in biofuels policy in UCC. I’m over half way through now and it’s an experience I’m really enjoying.

From the start of my PhD I have been very interested in Science Communication, which has given me the opportunity to be a director, competition host and even a comedian for a short time. This is what led to the idea for a dance workshop about my research that I’m planning for Science Week. 

I have a young son who keeps me busy too. He has just learned to walk and it’s lots of fun seeing how he is developing his own interests and becoming independent.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

Ideally I’d be heading out on the town, but after the week I’m wrecked so I just put my feet up at home and make plans to get out and about doing nice things at the weekend.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

I’m usually up early. Having a toddler means I don’t need an alarm clock anymore.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Sometimes it does, mainly when I have side-projects or coursework that needs to be submitted. In general, I like to separate out my time so I can detach properly.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

I think I’d bring my son to Geneva. I visited a friend there earlier this year and it’s a really calm city with lots of parks. I’d like to bring him somewhere that’s child friendly so he could run around.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries? 

I love the walk in Murphy’s Farm. It’s a smooth path for a buggy by a small river and off-road, so it’s much more relaxing. I think Cork City Council have done a great job in recent years developing facilities like this. When I’m willing to get in the car I head to Mahon and do the walk by Blackrock Castle.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Weekends tend to be family time. I mind my nephew on Saturdays and he’s an absolute darling. On Saturday nights if I have a babysitter I catch up with friends in a local pub or go see a show. On Sundays I chill out a bit more, but still get out to a park with my son, depending on when he wakes up from his nap.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

Since I made a video to dance my PhD I decided it would be nice to learn about dance in a more formal way. I’ve started a contemporary dance class with a group called The Collective who are based in the Triskel Arts Centre. 

I also write a hobby fashion blog where I overthink all sorts of fashion decisions. It’s a fun way to practice writing and be creative.

Entertain or be entertained? If it's the latter do you have a signature dish?

I’m lazy so I like to be entertained. I do have a signature dish though which is caramel squares. My cousin shared the recipe with our family years ago and it has become a family signature dish. I’m also good at bringing wine.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

I love the lunch meal deal in The Market Lane, mainly for the mini chocolate pot. I’m also a fan of the hot chocolate in Jacques, which is one of the easier places to bring a buggy in town.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Sunday nights are spent getting ready for the week and planning where I need to be. I try to avoid the curiosity of checking my email before Monday. Most of the time I don’t give in.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

My son wakes singing and babbling between 6am and 7am, so I’m up once he is.


Aoife is organising a WiseMovement dance workshop together with Professor Jools Gilson from UCC. This will be held on Saturday November 16 from 5.30pm to 7.30 pm at The Firkin Crane. For more details and tickets, check out

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