Our people


As a PhD student, you will have at least one supervisor on the Australian and one on the German side. Which of these is your main supervisor depends on where you will spend most of your research time. 

If you are mainly based in Australia, your main supervisor will come from the University of Melbourne. You then can have one or two co-supervisors, at least one from one of the participating German universities. 

If you are mainly based in Germany, your main supervisor will come from one of the participating German Universities. You can then have one or two co-supervisors, at least one from the University of Melbourne.

During your PhD, your supervisors will be your most important mentors. They will guide you through the ups and downs of becoming a world expert on a particular topic. It is important not only that you work on a topic that thrills you, but also that you have a good connection with your supervisors. Before a scholarship can be provided or a college affiliation awarded, it is essential you meet at least once with your main supervisor to check if a three-year collaboration will work for you both.

On this website we list the supervisors currently associated with the College. Feel free to contact them with specific questions, or to ascertain whether a PhD under their supervision might be a possibility.

However, the current list of supervisors is not exhaustive, and we expect it to increase over time. If you know of another potentially suitable supervisor at either the University of Melbourne or one of the German partner universities, please do contact us to discuss your idea.

A/Prof Malte Meinshausen is the Director of the Australian-German College at The University of Melbourne and is affiliated with Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. He holds a Ph. D. in "Climate Science & Policy", a Diploma in "Environmental Sciences" from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and an M.Sc. in "Environmental Change and Management" from the University of Oxford, UK. Before joining the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in 2006, he was a Post-Doc at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He has been contributing author to various chapters in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR4). Until May 2011, he was leading the PRIMAP ("Potsdam Real-Time Integrated Model for probabilistic Assessment of emission Path") research group at PIK before relocating to Melbourne. Since 2005, he is a scientific advisor to the German Environmental Ministry related to international climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC. Since 2014, he investigates methods to derive future climate targets for Australia in the context of a Future Fellow ARC project.

Prof Dr Anders Levermann is Co-chair of Research Domain III, Sustainable Solutions, at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Professor of the Dynamics of the Climate System at the Physics Institute of Potsdam University. Since 2010 he is a lead author of the chapter on sea-level change for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report. He is the head of PIK's flagship project TUMBLE, investigating the stability of the great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, the Asian Monsoon and Atlantic overturning circulation. His project-related expertise includes physical dynamics of the climate system; instability in the climate and economic system; and non-linear dynamics of networks.

Wolfgang Lucht

Wolfgang Lucht is Co-Chair of the research domain "Earth System Analysis" at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Since 2009 he has been the Alexander von Humboldt Professor of Sustainability Science at Humboldt University, Berlin. His main areas of research are sustainability science; earth system analysis; biosphere transformations; landscapes, culture and symbols.

Professor David Karoly is an internationally recognised expert in climate change and climate variability, including greenhouse climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and interannual climate variations due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation. He was heavily involved in preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007, in several different roles. 

Professor Karoly is a member of the new Climate Change Authority in Australia. He is also a member of the Science Advisory Panel to the Australian Climate Commission, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and the Joint Scientific Committee, which provides oversight of the World Climate Research Programme. 

Professor Karoly joined the School of Earth Sciences in May 2007 as an ARC Federation Fellow funded by the Australian government.   

Fiona Haines is Professor of Criminology at the University of Melbourne. Her research, which encompasses work on society/industry relationships including grievances and multinational enterprises, centres on white collar and corporate crime, globalisation and regulation. Her most recent book is Regulatory Transformations: Rethinking Economy Society Interactions, Hart Publishing, 2015, co-edited with Bettina Lange and Dania Thomas.

John Wiseman

John Wiseman is a Professorial Fellow with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and with the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne. He is also a Research Fellow with the Centre for Policy Development, Sydney. John has worked in a wide range of public sector, academic and community sector settings including as Foundation Director of the McCaughey Centre, School of Population Health, University of Melbourne; Professor of Public Policy, Victoria University; and Assistant Director, Policy Development and Research, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.  The major focus of his current work is on the social and political transformations needed to reduce the risks of runaway climate change and achieve a rapid transition to a just and resilient post carbon future. 

Professor Jon Barnett is not available for supervision

Jon is Professor and Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of Geography at Melbourne University. He is a political geographer who researches the impacts of and responses to environmental change on social systems in Australia, East Asia and the South Pacific. Jon is a Lead Author for the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Working Group II, Ch 12), and he is co-editor of Global Environmental Change.    

Jurgen Kurths is Chair of the research domain Transciplinary Concepts and Methods at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Professor of Nonlinear Dynamics at Humboldt University Berlin. His project-related expertise incudes time-series analysis and modelling of complex systems; complex synchronisation and its application in Earth Sciences; and complex networks. He has supervised to completion 60 PhD students, half of whom now have a Tenure Track position.

Mike Sandiford

Prof Mike Sandiford is an ARC Professorial Research Fellow studying tectonic activity within the Indo-Australian tectonic plate, particularly focussing on the factors that have shaped the landscape of Australia, and in our near northern neighbors such as Timor and Indonesia. His work on the thermal structure of the Australian crust provides an important framework for understanding the extraordinary abundance of Uranium in Australia, and has lead to the current upsurge of interest in geothermal energy exploration in South Australia.

Sandiford's work has been published in 132 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has involved supervision of 77 young researchers at Honours (52), PhD (12) and junior postdoc (13) level. Since 2000 his group has been awarded ~$4.0 million in ARC competitive grants (6xFellowship, 6xDiscovery, 1xLinkage). Sandiford was recipient of the Mawson Medal by the Australian Academy of Sciences in 2004 for ‘outstanding contributions to Australian Earth Science’, and has twice been awarded the Stillwell medal by the geological Society of Australia, for his published work.

Sandiford is currently an editor-in-chief of the international journal Tectonophysics. He is currently the chair of the Science advisory Framework for the NCRIS AuScope (with ~ 129 mill funding), and Interim Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute. He regularly contributes to the broader scientific debate through media appearances and public lectures.

Ottmar Edenhofer is Professor of the Economics of Climate Change (appointment together with the Michael Otto Stiftung) at the Technische Universität Berlin and Co-Chair of the Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He is Deputy Director and Chief Economist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and is currently leading Research Domain III - Sustainable Solutions - that focuses on research in the field of the Economics of Atmospheric Stabilisation. He is director of the newly founded Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC). He is member of the Science-Industry Cooperation, member of the Workgroup Climate, Energy and Environment within the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina,  and advises the World Bank as a member of the advisory committee of the Green Growth Knowledge Platform.

Dr Peter Christoff teaches and researches climate politics and policy in the Department of Resource Management and Geography. He is a member of the Victorian Ministerial Reference Council on Climate Change Adaptation, and member of the Board of the Australian Conservation Foundation. He was formerly a member of the (Victoria) Premier's Climate Change Reference Group, the Vice President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and the Assistant Commissioner for the Environment (Victoria).

Prof Rayner's main research activities focus on the estimation of surface sources and sinks of CO2.
He uses satellite and in-situ measurements with models to quantify and understand the patterns and mechanisms of CO2 release and uptake with a focus on the tropics and Southern Hemisphere.
In 2002, Prof Rayner was awarded the Priestley Medal of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the major research award in this field within Australia.
Prof Rayner originally studied theoretical physics and mathematics at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where he completed a PhD in paleoclimate in1991.
After a brief foray into atmospheric dynamics he has spent the past two decades studying the carbon cycle at various scales and its interaction with the climate. He has concentrated on the application of statistical inference (going under various names such as inverse modeling or data assimilation) to problems in biogeochemistry.
Prof Rayner has also worked at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and Princeton University in the US, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organisation. Monash University in Australia and the Laboratory for the Science of Climate and the Environment in France. He currently holds an Australian Professorial Fellowship at the University of Melbourne.

Professor Green holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture, Master of Landscape Architecture and an interdisciplinary Doctorate in landscape planning/design and environmental psychology. He is a landscape architect and a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). From 2001 to 2006 he headed up the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning's Landscape Architecture Program. In 2011-2012 he served as an executive member of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI).

Prior to joining the University in 1999 he was with the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI). Prior to focusing on research he spent 12 years in landscape architectural practice, with projects in the United States, Mexico, South East Asia and Australia. His academic research is multidisciplinary and concerned with environment-behaviour issues related to land development and conservation, climate change and the health benefits associated with human contact with nature in urban settings. The design for the new Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital was based on a design framework he developed.

He is the author of Coastal Towns in Transition: Local Perceptions of Landscape Change (2010) and co-author of Towards Low Carbon Cities in China (forthcoming), The Green City: Sustainable Homes, Sustainable Suburbs (2005) and Design for Change (1985). His work has also appeared in various landscape architecture, urban planning and environmental psychology journals.   

Find an expert listing

Richard is Professor and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre (www.piccc.org.au), a joint research initiative between the University of Melbourne and Agriculture Victoria. He is a science advisor to the Australian, New Zealand and UK governments, and the UN FAO and European Union, on climate change adaptation, mitigation and policy development in agriculture. His research focuses on profitable and sustainable livestock production systems, nitrogen cycling and loss in agricultural grazing systems, with a recent focus on carbon farming and options for livestock production systems to respond to a changing climate. Richard is also a network leader of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gasses and member of the Greenhouse Gas and Animal Agriculture international science advisory committee.

Tansu Alpcan’s research involves applications of distributed decision making, game theory, communicaton and control to various security and resource allocation problems in networked and energy systems. 

A member of IEEE since 1998, he became a Senior Member in 2013 and has (co-) authored more than 100 journal and conference articles. Books include "Network Security: A Decision and Game Theoretic Approach" (Cambridge University Press) and "Mechanisms and Games for Dynamic Spectrum Allocation" (co-editor, CUP, 2014). 

He has worked as a senior research scientist in Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, Berlin, Germany and as assistant professor (Juniorprofessur) in Technical University Berlin. Tansu has joined the Dept. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at The University of Melbourne in October 2011, where he is currently an Associate Professor.

Tansu received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey in 1998. He received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 2001 and 2006, respectively. A Fulbright scholar in 1999 and best student paper awardee in IEEE Conf. on Control Applications in 2003, Tansu received the Robert T. Chien Research Award and Ross J. Martin Research Award from UIUC (2006).

Visit Tansu's website here

Robyn Eckersley

Robyn Eckersley was educated at the University of Western Australia, Cambridge University (UK) and the University of Tasmania, and taught political science at Monash University from 1992-2001 before joining the University of Melbourne in 2002. She has published widely in the fields of environmental politics, political theory and international relations, with a special focus on the ethics and governance of climate change, including in journals such as Political Studies, European Journal of International Relations, Review of International Studies, Ethics and International Affairs and Global Environmental Politics. Her book The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty (2004) won the Melbourne Woodward Medal in 2005 for the best research in Humanities and Social Sciences and was runner up in the International Studies Association’s Sprout Award for 2005 for the best book on Environmental Studies. She was a Visiting Professor at the Research Center for Global Welfare, The Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Chiba University in Japan in 2008, a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, from August 2009 to January 2010; and served as Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo, November 2010 to January 2011. She was elected as Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 2007. She as also served as Chair of the Organising Committee of the Sixth Oceanic Conference on International Studies (OCIS VI), held at the University of Melbourne on 9-11 July 2014; Chair of the Oceanic Conference on International Studies Transition Committee and Co-convenor/Treasurer of the Australian Political Studies Association Environmental Policy and Politics Research Standing Group. She has served as Director of the Master of International Relations Program 2011-2012 and Chair of the Discipline of Political Science from 2008-2010, 2014 and second semester 2015.

Stefan Rahmstorf

Stefan Rahmstorf is Head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He has been Full Professor of Physics of the Oceans at Potsdam University since 2000. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and Honorary Fellow of the Univeristy of Wales/ Bangor. His main areas of expertise are future sea-level rise; statistics of the future evolution of climatic extreme events; and physical modelling of climatic tipping elements.

Yoshihisa Kashima

Yoshihisa Kashima is Professor of Psychology at Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne. He researches on cultural dynamics – stability and change of culture over time. To this end, he has written more than 100 journal articles and 30 book chapters on topics including theories and metatheories of culture and psychology, neural network modelling of social cognitive processes, social reproduction of cultural representations, as well as cross-cultural differences in social cognition, self, and language use. More recently, his research has focused on the extension and application of basic theorizing about cultural dynamics to sustainability and societal transformation.  His publications have appeared in journals such as SciencePsychological ReviewJournal of Personality and Social PsychologyPersonality and Social Psychology Review, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. He is formerly an editor of Asian Journal of Social Psychology, an associate editor of Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, and an associate editor of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, and currently on the editorial boards of seven international journals. A recipient of a Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize (Society for Psychological Studies of Social Issues) and a Misumi Award (Japanese Group Dynamics Association), he is a fellow of Association for Psychological Science (APS) and Society for Experimental Social Psychology (SESP) and currently serving as the President of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology.

Professionally, after a season ski guiding in France in 2001-2 trying to convince guests of the importance of environmental awareness, Adam worked on media and climate issues in London from 2002 to 2005. In addition to organising events and representing the actions of business, government and non-governmental organisations at United Nations conferences, he assisted other organisations' strategic engagement with climate change. In the first year of his doctoral studies, Adam founded The Climate Consultancy to put into action the research he was undertaking. Adam is also the Chief Carbon Analyst and head of Carbon Policy and Development for the not-for-profit group, Greeenstar.org. Most recently he was a Research Fellow at ISIS, a Research Centreat the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Canada where he held a Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Currently Adam is a Lecturer in Environment and Development at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He maintains Associate Fellow's positions at the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, and the School of international Development, University of East Anglia. He is also the lead researcher and manager of the international Carbon Governance Project (CGP), focusing on low carbon business transformation. Adam has built this through collaboration development and fundraising, from organisations like the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, since 2010. He also initiated and co-orindates the CGP international workshops - a collaboration between UBC, Oxford University and University of California at Berkeley - to explore with business and government, the pathways to a low carbon future and leads work on the use of mobile communication technologies for improving effectiveness of climate and development projects in the Pacific.

In addition to his work Adam is a keen skier and surfer, rows and loves select music from classic 70s rock to electronica and dubstep.

Andrey Granopolski

Dr Andrey Ganopolski is a senior research scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), specialising in earth-system dynamics, the global carbon cycle, and modelling past and future climate change. He won the American Meteorological Society Editor's Award in 2010 and the European Geosciences Union Milutin Milankovic Medal in 2011. He is a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report. His current PIK projects include MegaRun: Simulation and Understanding of Glacial Cycles and NEXT: Next Generation Earth System Models.

Hermann Lotze-Campen

Hermann Lotze-Campen is a Co-Chair of PIK Research Domain II "Climate Impacts and Vulnerabilities". He has developed the global land use model MAgPIE for assessments of the interplay between climate impacts, global food and bioenergy demand, agricultural land and water use, international trade, and the environment. Hermann studied Agricultural Sciences and Economics at the University of Kiel and the University of Reading (England), where he graduated in 1992 with a Master's degree in Agricultural Economics. For his doctoral studies he stayed in Kiel, at the University of Minnesota (USA) and at Humboldt University Berlin, where he received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics in 1998. In 1999 Hermann joined the InfoTerra business development team at Astrium, a European space company, where he worked on the commercial potential of satellite remote sensing for agricultural purposes. Since 2001 Hermann is a researcher at PIK.

Katja Frieler

Katja Frieler holds a Diploma in Mathematics of the University of Bielefeld and a Ph.D. in “Physics of the Atmosphere” of the University of Potsdam. As Ph.D. student she worked at the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI, Potsdam) on chemical modelling of polar stratospheric ozone losses. Before joining the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in July 2008 she was a Post-Doc at the Department of Biostatistics and Clinical Epidemiology, Charité, University Medicine Berlin.

She is the head of the PRIMAP group at PIK and leads the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP). Her research is focused on the development of impact emulators allowing for probabilistic projections of climate change impacts and changes in the occurrence of extreme events in terms of global mean temperature change.

Dr Lisa Palmer is a human geographer who teaches and researches on human-environment relations and indigenous approaches to environmental and social governance. Her research takes a critical ecological approach and is focused on south-east Asia (particularly Timor Leste) and indigenous Australia. 

Her doctoral research examined ideas and practices of 'nature' and 'place' in the making of Kakadu National Park, while her post-doctoral work investigated new approaches to treaty and agreement making between indigenous peoples and others in Australia and other settler states. In recent years she has concentrated her field research in Timor Leste examining the intersection of custom and modernity in the diverse governance approaches of this new nation state. She has published widely in geography, anthropology and multi-disciplinary journals and is the co-editor of two books (Settling with Indigenous Peoples (Federation Press, 2006) and Honour Among Nations? (MUP 2004)). 

Her new book, Water Politics and Spiritual Ecology: Custom, environmental governance and development (Routledge, 2015), is the culmination of a decade of ethnographic research in Timor Leste. It addresses a critical need for a sustained geographical and anthropological inquiry into the social issues of water governance. Exploring the ritual ecological practices, contexts and scales through which use, negotiation over and sharing of water occurs at the local level, the book shows the complex functioning and social, cultural, economic and environmental interdependencies of hydrological societies. It examines the difficulties local communities face in having their rights recognised and their efforts to maintain and assert control of their waterscapes in the face of rapidly changing water governance institutions.

She has also now published an online digital oral history archive called Kultura Timor ho Bee (Timorese Water Cultures) accessible at www.kulturatimorhobee.com  

 Louise Jeffery

Dr. Louise Jeffery is a Post-Doctoral researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany where she leads the PRIMAP emissions module group. At PIK, Louise examines the pledges, rules, and agreements of the UN climate change negotiations, providing critique and assessment of their effectiveness. Her published work includes analysis of how mitigation burdens can be shared fairly among countries and assessments of the sufficiency of current climate action plans. Currently she is focussing on how policies and pledges in two major sectors - land-use and international aviation and shipping – contribute to meeting the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement.

Louise holds a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the University of Michigan, where she explored the links between landscape development and long-term climate change in the Andes. Prior to that she studied natural sciences at the University of Cambridge.

Dr Schofield is a lecturer for Climate System Science in the School of Earth sciences. Her recent research encompasses many areas of atmospheric chemistry, such as the Southern Hemisphere climate implications of Antarctic stratospheric ozone losses, climatic relevance of aerosol formation from the Great Barrier Reef and climate / radiation implications of aerosol and clouds over the Southern Ocean.

Roger has extensive experience in the fields of global carbon cycle, atmospheric chemistry and renewable energy system modelling.  He currently works on a electicial energy system model for Australia with the goal of optimising the pathway to a low carbon economy.  The model simulates power output from a broad range of technologies including wind, solar PV, solar CSP, hydro, wave and tidal, coal, gas geothermal amd biomass.  The model also simulates transmission flows and the electricity market so that a comprehensive costing of different mixes of technologies can be made.  The model is run in an optimisation loop such that many thousands of combinations can be tested so we can find the most cost effective system configuration.

Dr Sebastian Thomas is an interdisciplinary researcher with a background in climate strategy and environmental social science. His work examines human-nature relations – the interconnected economic, social, and policy dynamics of sustainability innovations, climate governance, and environmental management. Global change issues – including technology, climate and environment, new economic forces, social movements and conflicts, and resource constraints – present major challenges to traditional corporate cultures and governance models. At the same, these trends offer exceptional opportunities for innovation and transformation for resilient and sustainable future positioning and positive environmental and social outcomes.

Dr Thomas is a lecturer in the Office for Environmental Programs at the University of Melbourne, and affiliated with the Australia-Indonesia Centre, the Australia-Germany Climate-Energy College, and the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences. Prior to joining the University of Melbourne he was Education Program Manager at the International Energy Centre, coordinating the professional, interdisciplinary Master of Energy Studies, and lecturing on topics of energy policy, global change, and sustainability leadership. His research interests include vulnerability and resilience, ‘blue carbon’ in coastal ecosystems and its role in sustainable development, and the role of organizational culture and policy innovation in adapting to global challenges. Dr Thomas’ expertise crosses sustainability science, political ecology, management strategy, environmental economics, and social-ecological systems dynamics.