Joëlle Gergis Lecture
25 February 2019
- Murdoch Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, UWA
- General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni
Sunburnt Country: The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia
A public lecture by Dr Joëlle Gergis, Lecturer, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, University of Melbourne.
What was Australia’s climate like before official weather records began? How do scientists use tree-rings, ice cores and tropical corals to retrace the past? What do Indigenous seasonal calendars reveal? And what do settler diary entries about rainfall, droughts, bushfires and snowfalls tell us about natural climate cycles?
In her new book, Sunburnt Country, Dr Joelle Gergis pieces together Australia’s climate history for the first time. She uncovers a continent long vulnerable to climate extremes and variability. She provides an unparalleled perspective on how human activities have altered patterns that have been with us for millions of years, and reveals what climate change looks like in our own backyard. This lecture highlights the impact of a warming planet on Australian lifestyles and ecosystems and the power we all have to shape future life on Earth.
Dr Joëlle Gergis is an award-winning climate scientist and writer. She is an internationally recognised expert in Australian and Southern Hemisphere climate variability and change based in the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes. Her research focuses on providing a long-term historical context for assessing recently observed climate variability and extremes.
In 2013 Dr Gergis was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) fellowship, and her team won the 2014 Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research – informally known as the ‘Oscars of Australian Science’.
In 2015 Joëlle was awarded the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research in the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne. In February 2018, she was selected to serve as a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report – a global, state-of-the art review of climate change science.
Her book, Sunburnt Country: The future and history of climate change in Australia (2018), is published by Melbourne University Publishing.
In August 2018, Joëlle joined the Climate Council – Australia’s leading independent body providing expert advice to the Australian public on climate change and policy.