Meet the Speakers
Susannah Eliott is CEO of the Australian Science Media Centre, an independent not for profit organisation that works with the news media to inject more evidence-based science into public discourse. She started out as a research scientist working on the fascinating microorganisms called slime moulds. She then did postgraduate studies in journalism and worked at the interface between science and the media at the UTS Centre for Science Communication and at a global environmental change organisation (IGBP) based in Sweden.
In 2010-11 she chaired the Expert Working Group on Science and the Media for the Federal government and in February 2011 was appointed to the national Climate Commission until May 2012. She sits on the Board of the Environment Institute at Adelaide University and is a judge for several science-media awards.
She is a frequent presenter on science and the media and a regular contributor to ABC Radio National Drive, first with Waleed Aly and then with Patricia Karvelas.
From her lab in Hawaii world renowned coral expert Ruth Gates works with the biological mechanisms and traits that dictate the environmental threshold of marine organisms. Specifically, she is concerned with defining attributes in corals that underpin inter- and intra-specific differences in their sensitivity to thermal stress, ocean acidification and pollutants. Her work is to examine coral biology at a variety of spatial and temporal scales, and to exploit analytical approaches from the fields of genomics, molecular ecology, developmental genetics, computational biology, cell biology, biochemistry, physiology and ecology. Ruth appears with thanks to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.
Dr Stefan Hajkowicz is a senior principal scientist working in the field of strategic foresight at CSIRO – Australia’s national science agency. He has devoted his career to helping governments, companies and communities comprehend patterns of change so they can make wiser choices and secure better futures. Stefans academic background is in geography, economics and decision theory. Stefan is widely published in the scientific literature and his new book titled Global Megatrends is now available through CSIRO Publishing. Stefan has a doctorate in geography from the University of Queensland and postgraduate qualifications in economics from the University of New England.
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is internationally recognised for his work on the impact of climate change on oceans, particularly the Great Barrier Reef. He is UQs Professor of Marine Studies and Director of the UQ Global Change Institute. Professor Hoegh-Guldberg is a coordinating lead author for the Oceans Chapter in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014); has received the Prince Albert II of Monacos Climate Award (2014); and was awarded an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship (2012).
Will Steffen is a Councillor on the publicly-funded Climate Council of Australia that delivers independent expert information about climate change, and is an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra, working with the Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) program, and is a member of the ACT Climate Change Council.
From 1998 to mid-2004, Steffen served as Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, based in Stockholm, Sweden, and is currently a Senior Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. His research interests span a broad range within the fields of climate and Earth System science, with an emphasis on incorporation of human processes in Earth System modelling and analysis; and on sustainability and climate change, particular in the context of urban areas.
Julienne Stroeve studies the decline of the Arctic Sea ice cover with the goal of understanding how a seasonally ice-free Arctic will impact climate in the Northern Hemisphere. She is a research scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado and specializes in reading data gathered by satellite and other remote measuring tools.
She has participated in several field campaigns in Greenland and the Arctic to validate various geophysical parameters retrieved from spacecraft such as sea ice concentration, surface temperature and surface reflectivity. Dr. Stroeve holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado where she focused on surface energy balance studies of the Greenland ice sheet using satellite imagery.
Michael Shellenberger is an environmental policy analyst, co-founder and Senior Fellow of the Breakthrough Institute, and co-author of “An Ecomodernist Manifesto.” In 2008, he won the Green Book Award and was named Time magazine’s “Hero of the Environment”.
For over a decade Shellenberger has been a leader in shifting the climate policy paradigm from expensive fossil fossils to making clean energy cheap. He has co-authored analyses of cap and trade climate legislation, the “planetary boundaries” hypothesis, energy rebound from energy efficiency measures, carbon pricing, renewable energy subsidies, nuclear energy, and shale gas. Shellenberger’s Breakthrough Institute is a think tank that promotes the use of new technologies to help us adapt to global environmental change.
Shellenberger’s 2007 book “Break Through,” co-authored with Ted Nordhaus, was called “prescient” by Time and “the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” by Wired.