How did we evolve to walk? In what ways does our brain manage the action of walking? What are the long and short-term benefits of walking for our mental and physical health?

Low-intensity exercise carries a whole host of benefits from improving insulin to boosting circulation and releasing mood-enhancing endorphins. In a time when most of us spend our days hunched over a computer, it's simply an accessible antidote to sedentary lifestyles. 

This event will look at the benefits of walking, hiking and mindful living, and how the correct infrastructure and environments can enable us to live healthier and more active lives with a panel of expert speakers from various walks of life. 


Aine Kelly graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1995 with a first-class honours degree in Science, specialising in Physiology. She was awarded her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 1998 and was appointed to a lectureship in the Department of Physiology in 2002. Her research has focused on the roles of the neurotrophin family of proteins in learning and memory, neuronal cell survival and death and exercise-induced cognitive enhancement and neuroprotection. 

Melanie McDermott is an outdoor adventure enthusiast, mountain guide and the community founder of social initiative, Galz Gone Wild. Harnessing her personal experience with mental health and depression she embarked on her journey of reconnecting to the wild as a means of healing.  One day on a hike in the Wicklow Mountains, an idea sparked - an all-female led community that encourages and grows the confidence of women via guided outdoor adventures, getaways, and workshops, with over 4000 women hitting the trails with GGW since then. 

Shane O’Mara is Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin. He is Principal Investigator in, and was Director of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, one of Europe’s leading research centres for neuroscience. He is also a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator and a Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator. 


Pauline Byrne is the Head of Planning at Brady Shipman Martin Architects. Her background in large scale master planning includes complex projects in China and North Africa as well as award-winning work in Ireland. Pauline seeks excellence in the built environment through the implementation of sound planning principles, the integration of quality urban design initiatives and sustainable development values, at both the micro and macro level.

The Dublin Book Festival is one of Ireland’s most successful and vibrant book festivals, running since June 2006.  The annual public festival showcases, supports and develops Irish publishing by programming, publicising and selling Irish published books, their authors, editors and contributors – all in an entertaining, festive, friendly and accessible environment that reflects the creativity and personality of the Irish publishing sector and its authors.



  • Date: 
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  • Where: Paccar Theatre
  • Price: FREE - SOLD OUT
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