Director, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW Australia

I study how the various processes in the atmosphere conspire to establish climate, how these processes might be expected to control the way climate changes, and how the atmosphere will ultimately interact with the oceans and other components of Earth. Clouds and water vapour in particular remain poorly understood in many respects, but are very important not only in bringing rain locally, but also to global climate through their effect on the net energy absorbed and emitted by the planet. Tropospheric convection (disturbed weather) is a key process by which the atmosphere transports water and energy and in the process creates clouds -- but is a turbulent phenomenon for which we have no basic theory and which observations cannot yet fully characterise.

I lead a research group that applies basic physics to complex problems by a combination of simple theoretical ideas and hypotheses and directed analyses of observations. Depending on requirements we use simple or advanced statistical techniques, bridging the gaps between these (where needed) by using state-of-the-art climate models as research tools. One practical goal of the work is to figure out how these models might be improved, as they are ultimately necessary for regional predictions of weather and climate. A more academic goal is just to unlock the secrets of our atmosphere.


  • 2008–present
    Professor, Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales


  • 1995 
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Ph.D (Oceanography)