ARC DECRA Climate Research Fellow, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne

Dr Joëlle Gergis is a climate research scientist and writer working with Professor David Karoly at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research focuses on reconstructing Southern Hemisphere climate variability over the past 200–1,000 years using annually-resolved tree rings, corals, ice cores and historical records.

From 2009–2012 she led the Australian Research Council Linkage funded South-Eastern Australian Recent Climate History (SEARCH) project; a landmark initiative, spanning the sciences and the humanities to reconstruct the region’s climate variability from first European settlement in 1788.

Since 2009 Joëlle has led the international Past Global Changes (PAGES) working group on Australasian climate variability of the past 2,000 years (Aus2K). This involved coordinating the development of the region’s 1,000 year temperature reconstruction for input into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report.

Joëlle received her PhD in high-resolution palaeoclimatology from the University of New South Wales in 2006. Since 2003 she has authored over 60 articles on climate variability and change publications. Her work has been covered on national and international television (SBS World News, ABC, TVNZ), radio (ABC Radio National, AM, Bush Telegraph, Science Show, RRR) and print media (The Guardian, The Australian, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Geographic).

In 2007 she was one of three national finalists for the 2007 Eureka Prize for Young Leaders in Environmental Issues and Climate Change, and was one of nineteen Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists’ Science Leaders Scholarship recipients selected nationwide. Professor Tim Flannery, the 2007 Australian of the Year, was one of her mentors during the program aimed at training outstanding young scientists to help bridge the communication gap between science and public policy.

In 2012 Joëlle was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) 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’. Most recently Joëlle was awarded the 2015 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research in the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne.


  • 2009–present
    Leader, Past Global Changes (PAGES) working group on Australasian climate variability
  • 2013–present
    ARC DECRA Fellow, University of Melbourne
  • 2009–2013
    ARC Linkage APDI Fellow, University of Melbourne
  • 2008–2009
    Climate Research Fellow, University of Melbourne


  • 2013 
    RMIT University, Diploma Professional Writing and Editing
  • 2006 
    University of New South Wales , PhD (Climatology)
  • 2000 
    University of New South Wales , BSc (Advanced Science – Environmental Science)

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
  • Australasian Quaternary Association
  • Writers Victoria


2014 Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, 2015 Faculty of Science Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, University of Melbourne