Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO

Dr Lei Gao is a complex system modeller. His research focuses on understanding complex system dynamics and exploring optimal/adaptive/sustainable solutions in land and water resource systems, through integrated systems modelling, high-performance computer simulations, socio-economic analyses, and artificial intelligence techniques. He has developed his expertise across multiple disciplines. This is reflected by his flexibility in working in a range of multidisciplinary projects and teams. He has a very strong technical background and has worked in industry, university, and CSIRO on a broad range of fields throughout his career: global sustainability, water resource management (groundwater, surface water, and mine water), land resource management, fisheries management, urban systems, and complex cyber network systems. He has worked for three CSIRO Business Units and delivered high-quality research outcomes. The research findings generated from these projects have been published in prestigious journals (including Nature) and featured by a number of news media (including Future Earth, ABC Rural, PhysOrg, Australian Resources & Investment, ECOS, Ars Technica,, Enviroinfo, and CSIRO News) and generated a wide range of news reports and enquires from the industry.

His research interests and expertise have been developed in the following areas:
(1) complex systems modelling, simulation, and impact assessment
(2) sustainability assessment and visualised trade-off analysis
(3) adaptive management and robust decision-making under uncertainty
(4) sensitivity analysis, uncertainty analysis, and risk assessment
(5) agent-based modelling, evolutionary optimisation, and machine learning
(6) integrated hydro-economic modelling, market-based policy design, and socio-economic analysis
(7) applications of the above expertise on managing complex environmental systems, especially land and water systems