2010 Keynote speakers

Biographies of Plenary Speakers


Neil Adger

Speaker-bios-10Neil Adger has led the research programme on adaptation in the UK Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research since its inception in 2000. He researches the social sciences of global change including issues of social vulnerability, resilience and adaptation, and justice and equity in decision- making. Neil is a member of the Executive Board of the Resilience Alliance, an international network of ecological and social scientists dedicated to exploring the nature of social-ecological systems as a foundation for sustainable development. He edits the journal Global Environmental Change.


Joseph Alcamo

Speaker-bios-12Joseph Alcamo is the inaugural Chief Scientist of the United Nations Environment Programme. He has worked extensively with the IPCC and been a lead author of many of its reports. He is well known for contributions to global modelling of the environment and development of global scenarios. He is a past winner of the international Max Planck Research Prize for achievements in global change research.


Andrew Ash

Speaker-bios-19Andrew Ash is Director of CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship. He works closely with government agencies, businesses and communities, raising awareness of the need to adapt to climate change. He oversees a nationwide portfolio of research projects, partnerships and collaborations. Andrew’s interest is in integrating the understanding of climate science with decision-making and mainstreaming climate adaptation into policy processes. His early work was in agricultural science – investigating how climate, grazing and fire influence the productivity and health of agriculture and ecosystems in northern Australia.


David Dodman

Speaker-bios-15David Dodman is a researcher in the Climate Change and Human Settlements Groups at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). His is a geographer with a background in urban environmental management, climate change, and urbanisation. His research interests are primarily adaptation to climate change in low-income urban centres. He recently co-edited Global Change and Caribbean Vulnerability: environment, economy and society at risk and Adapting Cities to Climate Change: understanding and addressing the development challenges.


Chris Field

Speaker-bios-3Chris Field is founding Director of the Carnegie Institution Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University. Field’s research emphasises impacts of climate change, from the molecular to the global scale. His work includes field experiments on responses of grassland to multi-factor global change, integrative studies on the global carbon cycle, and assessments of impacts of climate change on agriculture. Field’s work with models includes studies on the global distribution of carbon sources and sinks, and studies on environmental consequences of expanding biomass energy.
He co-chairs IPCC Working Group II for the Fifth Assessment Report.


Tim Flannery

Speaker-bios-16Tim Flannery is one of Australia’s leading thinkers and writers.

A scientist, explorer, and conservationist, he has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers and many books, including the landmark works The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers.

Currently Professor in the Faculty of Science at Macquarie University, he is Chair of the Australian Government’s Coasts and Climate Change Group, represents Australasia on the National Geographic Society Research Grant Committee and is a director of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. From 2006 to 2009 he was Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council. In 2007 he was named Australian of the Year.


Mark Howden

Speaker-bios-2Mark Howden is Theme Leader for Adaptive Primary Industries, Enterprises and Communities with CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems. He leads a team of researchers working with community, government and industry to enable agriculture, fisheries, forestry, and other primary industries, to prepare and adapt for the effects of
climate change and variability. He developed national and international greenhouse gas inventories for Australia’s agricultural sector and assessed sustainable methods of reducing greenhouse emissions from agriculture.


Diana Liverman

Speaker-bios-17Diana Liverman is Co- Director of the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, and climate policy and mitigation especially in the developing world. She is an active member of many national and international advisory committees including of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on America’s Climate Choices advising the US government on responses to climate change. She chairs the scientific advisory committee of the Global Environmental Change and Food Systems programme and sits on the parent committee for the International Earth Systems Science Partnership.


Antonio Magalhães

Antonio Magalhães served as Vice-Minister of Planning for Brazil and Secretary of Planning for the State of Ceara. In 1991 he was awarded the International Mitchell Prize for his work in sustainable development. He is a founding member of the Esquel Brasil Foundation, an NGO devoted to sponsoring sustainable development in Brazil. His work and research have been devoted to regional economics, development planning and sustainable development.


Tony McMichael

Speaker-bios-9Tony McMichael is an epidemiologist who conducted pioneering research on the impacts of climate change on human health. He leads the climate change health research program focusing on studies of current, emerging and estimated future risks, and adaptive strategies to lessen risks, at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University. He is President of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology and was previously Professor of Epidemiology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has been an advisor on environmental health to WHO, UNEP the World Bank and other international bodies.


Nobuo Mimura

Speaker-bios-11Nobuo Mimura is Director of the Institute for Global Change Adaptation Science, Ibaraki University, Japan. He specialises in global environmental engineering, coastal engineering and adaptation policy to climate change. He is intensively engaged in studies on the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise on Japan, China, Thailand and small island countries such as Tuvalu, Samoa and Fiji, leading several research projects in this field. He has also served as an expert advisor to the Japanese government.


Isabelle Niang

Speaker-bios-13Isabelle Niang lectures at the University of Dakar and has been involved in numerous activities related to climate change, specifically related to the coastal zone. She is a member of the regional task team for the joint IOC/UN Programme on Ocean Sciences in relation to Non-Living Resources in the Central and Eastern Atlantic. She is also a member of the UNEP task team on Implications of Climate Changes in the West and Central African Region.


Jean Palutikof

Speaker-bios-18Jean Palutikof is Director of Australia’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. She managed the production of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report for Working Group II while based at the UK Met Office. Her research interests focus on climate change impacts, adaptation and the application of climatic data to economic and planning issues.


Martin Parry

Speaker-bios-4Martin Parry is Professor of Climate Change Policy at Imperial College London. Previously he co-chaired the IPCC Working Group II for the Fourth Assessment Report and was Director of the Jackson Environment Institute (JEI) at the University of East Anglia and University College London. He was foundation Director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford. He chaired the IPCC’s Task Group on Scenarios for Climate Impact Assessment and was a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the UNEP Climate Impacts and Responses Programme.


Atiq Rahman

Speaker-bios-6Atiq Rahman is Executive Director of Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies. He coordinates the Global Forum on Environment and Poverty, convenes the Climate Action Network South Asia and chairs the Coalition of Environmental NGOs in Bangladesh. In 2008 the United Nations Environment Programme awarded him the UN’s highest environmental award ‘Champion of the Earth’ for outstanding and inspirational leadership in the field of environment.


Stephen Schneider

Speaker-bios-5Stephen Schneider is internationally recognised for research, policy analysis and outreach in climate change. His work focuses on climate change science, integrated assessment of ecological and economic impacts
of human-induced climate change, and identifying viable climate policies and technological solutions. He has been an expert adviser to seven US Government administrations. He founded and edits the journal, Climatic Change. His books include ‘The Genesis Strategy: Climate and Global Survival’; ‘Laboratory Earth: The Planetary Gamble We can’t Afford to Lose’; and ‘Science as a Contact Sport’.


Mark Stafford Smith

Speaker-bios-7Mark Stafford Smith is Science Director of the CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship, coordinating science undertaken across the Flagship research themes He is vice-chair of the Scientific Committee of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the IGBP-appointed member of the Executive Committee for Global Environmental Change and Food Security Joint Project of the Earth System Science Partnership. He is one of the world’s leading desert and rangeland scientists and a researcher and past CEO of the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) focusing on the science of desert living and sustainable management of outback environments. His recent work includes the book ‘Dry Times: Blueprint for a Red Land’.


Jun Xia

Speaker-bios-14Jun Xia is Professor and Director, Center for Water Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has served on the board of the International Water Resources Association. He has served as an expert consultant to the EU-China River Basin Management Programme, the World Bank in Beijing, an Asian Development Bank expert on Water Resources, National Strategies for Soil and Water Conservation and as an External Evaluating Member for the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme.