I am a Professor at the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. My research involves general issues of water cycle processes over land, and how we can change them, largely through changes in land use and changes in climate. I focus at the regional (or watershed) scale and study processes including river flow, evaporation/transpiration, water vapour transport and precipitation.
The main tools of my research are models including regional climate models, land surface and hydrology models. Of course modelling needs to be informed by data and along with in-situ data, I use satellite data and analysis of stable isotopes of water.
I am editor of the Journal of Climate.
I am the Post-Graduate Coordinator for Admissions in the Climate Change Research Centre.
2021 Awarded the Biennial Medal of the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand career award for outstanding contributions to modelling and simulation over a sustained period of time.
2021 Elected Fellow of the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand
2021 Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales
2017 Priestley Medal. Australian Meteorology and Oceanography (AMOS) mid-career award.
2017 Green Globe Sustainability Champion Award Finalist
2015 Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand President’s mid-career plenary lecture.
2013 Awarded a visiting fellowship for senior international scientists by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
2012 Australian Research Council Future Fellowship
2008 Australian Agricultural Industries Young Innovators and Scientists Award given by the Australian federal department of by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
2007 Australian Research Council Australian Research Fellowship
My group currently includes four post-doctoral researchers and four PhD students, along with collaborations with several faculty members and co-supervision of a further three post-docs and two PhD students. The research is centred around issues in regional climate and water resources. I have a strong background in mathematics and hence much of my research has involved development and application of modelling tools. My current research involves questions about the regional impacts of changes in climate - both past and future - and the strength of the interaction between the land surface and atmosphere. My main interests include modeling regional climate, interdisciplinary studies of water resource issues, changing climate impacts on water quantity and changing land use impacts on water. Several of the main research projects undertaken within the group are outlined below.
CORDEX (Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment) is an international project providing global coordination of Regional Climate Downscaling for improved regional climate change adaptation and impact assessment. I am lead of the CORDEX-AustralAsia domain. This project is focused on downscaling CMIP5 Global Climate Model simulations and, along with NARCliM, will provide the most comprehensive regional scale climate projections to date.
NSW / ACT Regional Climate Modelling (NARCliM) project
NARCliM is producing an ensemble of regional climate projections over south-east Australia in collaboration with the NSW government Office of Environment and Heritage. These simulations will be used to investigate regional climate processes and their future changes, as well as facilitating climate change impacts and adaptation research.
East Coast Low project
This project is part of the Eastern Seaboard Climate Change Initiative (ESCCI) sponsored by the NSW government Office of Environment and Heritage. The focus of this project is to use relatively high resolution (10km) regional climate model simulations to investigate how the frequency and intensity of East Coast Lows may change in the future due to global warming. These storm systems often develop quickly and can remain relatively small spatially, making them difficult for global models to capture. The project will also attempt to quantify the influence of local topography and sea surface temperatures on the East Coast Lows.
Sub-daily precipitation extremes
This project is an international collaboration initiated by the GEWEX Hydroclimate Panel. Several studies have used local data to show that sub-daily precipitation extremes can be intensifying even if at daily and longer time-scales this is not the case. This project is aiming to bring together a large dataset of high quality sub-daily precipitation from around the globe. Trends in this sub-daily precipitation can then be investigated globally including questions around mechanistic causes and model capabilities.
Extreme bushfire dynamics
This project attempts to understand the physical processes behind some of the most unusual and extreme bushfire events. The main tool for this work is a coupled atmosphere-fire model which facilitates the dynamic interaction of the atmosphere, fire and the terrain.
Murray-Darling Basin Project
This project focuses on land-atmosphere interactions in the Murray-Darling Basin. I am attempting to answer questions concerning the effects of land-atmosphere feedbacks on precipitation in the watershed. What is the extent of precipitation recylcing in the MDB? Where is the land-atmosphere interaction strongest?
The major tool for this study is a regional climate model. In this case I am using a version of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model.
This work contributes to the Australian Energy and Water Exchanges initiative (OzEWEX).