Plenary Speakers


Dr Pandora Hope is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Meteorology, specialising in Australian climate variability and change. She leads a project on climate variability and extremes under the Earth Systems and Climate Change hub of the Australian Government's National Environmental Science Programme. She is particularly interested in the attribution of the drivers of multi-week extremes, such as record warm months.

Prior to her involvement in NESP ESCC hub, she was the lead author on the climate projections for south-west Western Australia and southern South Australia as part of the projections for NRM. She was also involved in the Victorian Climate Initiative (VicCI), and is now the lead scientist of a programme of study on the weather systems and climate of  Victoria. For most of 2017 she was the Bureau of Meteorology representative on the NESP ESCC hub leadership team.

Plenary Speakers

Tim Andrews is an Actuary and Director of Finity Consulting, specialising in general insurance.   He has worked in insurance for more than 30 years.

Tim specialises in natural peril pricing and has led the development of Finity’s address level risk scores for flood, bushfire, storm and cyclone.   He has a particular interest in measuring the physical impacts of climate change to the built environment.

Andrew Dowdy is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Meteorology. His research is focused on extreme weather phenomena and the physical processes influencing their risk of occurrence. He investigates thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, wildfires and Australian east coast lows, as well as associated severe conditions (lightning, hail, pyroconvection, extreme precipitation, wind and ocean waves). This includes temporal scales from short-term weather conditions up to long-term seasonal and climate scales, based on observations as well as modelling.

This focus on extreme events builds on a number of research projects he has led in recent years, including for the Australian Climate Change Science Program (ACCSP), Pacific Climate Change Science Program (PCCSP) and Bushfire CRC, as well as leading the East Coast regional assessment of the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology climate projections project: Climate Change in Australia

He is currently the Lead Chief Investigator managing the Extreme Weather Projections research project of the National Environmental Science Programme (NESP), with research team members from CSIRO, BoM, Uni. Melbourne, UNSW, Uni. Queensland and Federation Uni. This project aims to help build preparedness and resilience in relation to extreme weather events: NESP project - Extreme Weather Projections

Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick is a climate scientist specialising in extreme events. She has a PhD from UNSW Australia, and is currently an Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the same institution. Sarah has undertaken pioneering  work investigating the measurement of heatwaves, their observed changes, future projections from climate models, and the driving physical mechanisms. Her current research focuses on robustly attributing changes in heatwaves and their impacts to man-made climate change. Sarah has authored over 50 academic publications and is an active voice in the media on all things climate change and heatwaves. Shje received a NSW young tall poppy award in 2013 for science communication, was shortlisted for a 2014 Eureka science prize as part of the UNSW “extremes team” and in 2016 was named one of UNSW’s 20 rising stars who will change the world, as well as receiving the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Early Career Researcher Award.

Stephanie Jacobs is a climate science PhD student at Monash University. She has been researching the impacts of weather and climate on human health for seven years while studying at the University of Melbourne and Monash University. Her research interests include urban adaptation, heatwaves, air pollution and thunderstorm asthma. Stephanie also works part-time as a Climatologist for the Bureau of Meteorology writing information on all things El Niño and La Niña.

Dr Nick Wood is the Director of the consultancy Climate Policy Research and member of the national steering committee for the Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub – the co-ordination body for climate research in Australia. After completing a Doctorate in Nuclear Reactor Technology and Post - Doctoral Research in Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Leeds, Nick went on to work on some of the most complex and rewarding aspects of climate policy, both mitigation and adaptation for UK companies and Government. 

Nick joined the Sydney based sustainability team of a big four global accountancy firm in 2008 and initially worked on assisting Australian business prepare for the (eventual) introduction of the carbon price mechanism in 2012. Subsequently, Nick worked on highly complex audits of the greenhouse gas emission data, developed carbon strategies and carried out analysis of the financial risks from a changing climate.  Nick established Climate Policy Research in September 2014 to explore the great business opportunities emerging as Australian companies grapple with the complexities of disclosing climate related financial risks.