What I’m doing now

Last updated: January 2020

This year has gotten off to a dark start for many people in Australia, with the devastating bushfires ravaging many homes and holiday destinations. We were no exception, and I spent my New Years Eve writing this short Opinion piece.


I have finished my first year of teaching, and am now preparing for Semester 1 of 2020. My job means I can teach science AND communicating science, what a lucky duck!

My main teaching responsibilities are:

  • Teaching and coordinating Weather and Climate Systems, reconnecting with meteorology and sharing my love of climatology with patient second year students. This year I’m looking forward to bringing in more demonstrations!
  • Teaching Master students how to communicate with each other in Communication for Research Scientists.
  • Running science communication workshops for postgraduate researchers across the university
  • Teaching and planning other science communication subjects with the wonderful Jen Martin and Graham Phillips.


A lot of little projects on the go:

  • Next week I am heading into regional Victoria and New South Wales to talk to communities about their historical data and what they can contribute to climate science. I’ll be visiting Benalla on the 14th of January and Armidale from the 20th to the 23rd. Let me know if you want to catch up!
  • This trip is part of a grant from the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute looking at how historical climate can connect people with climate change.
  • I am collaborating with colleagues in Australia (including Joelle Gergis) on extended instrumental weather records in Adelaide and Perth. The Perth dataset extends to 1830 which is very exciting!
  • Next month I’ll be in Perth for the AMOS 2020 conference, talking about historical climatology and also how we can help incorporate more climate science into the national school curriculum.

Older research

  • I’m a co-author of a manuscript that’s recently published in Geoscience Data Journal, examining the weather data recorded by Algernon Belfield in Armidale, New South Wales.
  • I contributed to a couple of large international projects: one developing an inventory of pre-1850 weather data sources, and another on improvements to the historical 20th Century Reanalysis product.
  • I published a paper in May on historical extreme rainfall events in southeastern Australia. A link to the full paper is in on my publications page, and I’ve written a short summary. I’ve seen some denialist commentators use our study to argue that climate change isn’t real. Unfortunately climate change is still real, even though there is no trend in annual Sydney rainfall over the past 170 years.
  • I’m currently working with a CLEX summer student Mathilde exploring the 1888 Centennial Drought in New South Wales.
  • I am continuing to collaborate with colleagues from the Bureau of Meteorology on the comparison of parallel observations in Adelaide and Melbourne, and the impact of mean meridional circulation changes on rainfall in Victoria.
  • Finally I’m working with some great colleagues from McGill University in Canada on an interdisciplinary paper about how we can trust historical weather observations rescued via citizen science projects.

Outreach and communication

My ‘Letter to a weather station‘ was selected for the Best Australian Science Writing 2019 anthology!! I’m so excited to be listed amongst such excellent authors.

I continue to co-host Einstein A Go Go twice a month and contribute to the social media presence for the international climate data rescue initiative Atmospheric Circulation Reconstructions over the Earth and the Instagram account of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes.

I am a current Superstar of STEM. In this first year of the program we are receiving valuable training in how to be superstars!

I am still a co-Editor in Chief of the AMOS Bulletin, and sit on the AMOS Education and Outreach Committee.

Finally, I continue to juggle the role of Editor in Chief for Geoscience Data Journal, mainly in the evenings. Earlier this year I published an Editorial about my first year on the job.


Our dog Abi can shake, roll over, and before we had to flee the coast, was loving the beach.

This Now page inspired by Derek Sivers‘.

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