Our people


Students are the most important part of our college. If you think we can provide you with the right network and setting to do your PhD in climate and/or energy system science, please consider applying. We would love to hear from you.

Cathy Alexander has eight years’ experience as a political journalist in Australia. For most of this time she covered environmental policy and politics, with a major focus on climate change. She worked from the press gallery in Parliament House, Canberra, for three years with Australian Associated Press (2007-2010). More recently she was deputy editor of the website Crikey, where she continued to write on the environment and climate change. Cathy has also worked for a federal Coalition shadow cabinet member.

Nina Araneta-Alana is a PhD Candidate at the Melbourne Law School. Her research interests are in the fields of international law, banking & finance and environmental law. Her thesis examines the emergence of climate finance as a mode of financing to achieve commitments under the UNFCCC. Nina holds a Masters of Law from the University of Melbourne and a Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Prior to commencing her PhD, she was she worked as a consultant at the Asian Development Bank and a professor of law at the Far Eastern University Institute of Law. She practiced commercial, banking and finance law for several years including at the law firms Baker & McKenzie and Abuda Asis & Associates.

Ceren holds her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Sociology from Middle East Technical University. Before joining to the Climate and Energy College, she worked at the European Climate Foundation as Turkey senior associate between 2013-2018 and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as conservation supervisor between 2006-2013. Ceren will be focusing on the disruptive power of solar in terms of community organizing of coal to clean transition. A Turkish national, Ceren speaks English, Spanish and some Italian.

Natasha Ballis is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering, under the supervision of Dr Murray Peel, Assoc Prof Rory Nathan, Dr Ben Henley and Prof David Karoly. Natasha was awarded degrees in Engineering (Civil) and Science (Atmosphere and Ocean Sciences) by the University of Melbourne and has experience working as a consulting engineer, modelling, planning and designing water supply systems.

Tim's research interests are diverse but centre around climate change law, broadly construed to include corporate social responsibility, torts, planning and administrative law, as well as the more traditional concern with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change-led processes and domestic climate politics.

Debjit had completed his M.Tech in Transportation Engineering from IIT Kharagpur and worked as a Transport Planner for a year at Jacobs, before joining the university as a doctoral student. His Ph.D. focuses on investigating the effects that safety perception has, as a pedestrian wayfinding heuristic, via simulation. Debjit is undertaking a joint PhD with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
Stephanie is completing a PhD in political science under the supervision of Professor Lars Coenen and Professor Robyn Eckersley. She also coordinates the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute's Climate Transformations Research Cluster, and is a contributing researcher on the multilateral research project "Coal Transitions: Research and Dialogue on the Future of Coal", the Energy Transition Hub and Gippsland Smart Specialisation Project.
Taegan has a Masters in botany from Charles Darwin University and a science degree from James Cook University. She has worked with government, NGO’s and Traditional Owners in the Northern Territory on sustainable land management and Indigenous Knowledge conservation projects. Her PhD aims to identify and value the ancillary benefits emerging from carbon farming in northern Australia.

Poomphan is an energy analyst who is specialised in low-carbon technologies as well as energy modelling. He earned his Masters in Renewable Energy and Environmental Modelling from the University of Dundee (UK). He previously worked across a range of clean energy projects in ASEAN, Italy, the Pacific region, and the United Kingdom. He built up a good track record of consultancy experience in private equity-owned, international agencies as well as several government agencies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Isabela de Souza Cabral is a PhD candidate in Ocean Engineering at the University of Melbourne. She obtained a degree in Environmental Engineering and earned her Masters in Ocean Engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Her field of research is numerical modelling in relation to the ocean and waves. Her thesis consists of a systematic evaluation of the metocean changes occurring in the Arctic in the past few decades.

Sonya completed a Masters of Atmospheric Science at the University of Melbourne, where she investigated changes in alpine Australia’s winter rain and snowfall events. She has worked for both the University of Melbourne and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology as a research assistant focusing respectively on synoptic weather patterns for extreme weather events and air pollution and using statistical methods to project Victorian streamflows to the end of the century using downscaled CMIP5 global climate models. 

With a degree in economics and honours degrees in development studies and law, Adrian began his career as a solicitor with a leading Australian law firm before moving in-house as a corporate lawyer with a global beverage company.  He then worked in corporate partnership and innovation roles with international development and environment organisations in Australia and the United Kingdom.

PhD Project:  Household Solar Power Policy

Philip is a Berlin born international trade and investment jurist. He obtained his Master’s degree (LL.M.) in “International and European Law: Trade and Investment Law” with distinction from University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) and holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from FernUniversität in Hagen (Germany). Philip advanced his studies in Barcelona (Spain) where he attended specialized courses of the “International Economic Law and Policy Program” (IELPO LL.M.) as well as in Bern (Switzerland) at the WTI Summer Academy 2015 of the World Trade Institute.

Until early 2011, Ellycia worked a Marine Scientist, with Oceana – the world’s largest marine conservation organization. As part of the Climate Change and Clean Energy team in their Washington DC headquarters, Ellycia played a significant role in communicating and translating information about climate change and ocean acidification to policy makers and the general public, in an effort to raise awareness about their impacts and advocate for policy creation to protect the oceans and those that depend on them.

Andrew completed a Master of Engineering (Environmental) at the University of Melbourne specialising in waterway engineering and hydrology, where his research looked at hydrologic resilience and recovery after the severe Millennium Drought (1997-2009) in south-east Australia. Andrew has experience in private and public sector roles as an engineering hydrologist and consultant. His PhD research contributes to understanding the vulnerability of Australia’s environmental water outcomes in the face of natural variability and a changing climate.

Madhu worked as a consultant in a multi-disciplinary environmental services firm for over a decade where he managed projects of varied environmental planning and design complexities in Australia, China, Hong Kong and India.  

Kennedy Mbeva is currently a PhD candidate in the department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, at the University of Melbourne. His PhD project explores the co-evolution of the trade and environmental governance regimes, focusing on how preferential trade agreements foster (or not) environmental governance.

Dylan is a Chemical Engineer, with experience as an energy analyst. He has a detailed understanding of the cost structure of energy technologies and the electricity market. He was an author of the Melbourne Energy Institutes Renewable Energy Technology Cost Review, commissioned by the Garnaut Review, an investigation of renewable technology costs and projections. He has also developed detailed energy market models for analyzing the National Electricity Market electricity dispatch and price-setting system, in the context of understanding the effect of distributed solar photovoltaic systems and other technologies affecting wholesale electricity demand.

Zebedee completed his undergraduate Masters course in Physics at St.John’s College, University of Oxford. There he specialised in Atmospheric and Biological Physics and completed his Masters project under the supervision of Professor Myles Allen. His thesis focussed on building a simple integrated assessment model to analyse the factors which influence how much an economically rational decision maker might choose to let the Earth warm.

Caroline received her undergraduate education at Harvard University in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology, with a secondary field in Economics. As the 2017 U.S. Fulbright Anne Wexler Scholar in Public Policy, she will pursue research at the intersection of climate change and public health; she is specifically interested in how vulnerable populations respond to climate-influenced food insecurity.

Nick completed a Bachelor of Communications and Diploma of Business at Monash University in 2000 and spent the next fifteen years working in various communications roles within the corporate sector. He combined employment with further study, completing a Bachelor of Letters with Honours in politics in 2010, and a Master of European and International Studies in 2014. His Honours thesis focused on the state-firm nexus within the European automotive industry.

Stephen undertook his undergraduate arts degree at the University of Adelaide with a major in Anthropology. He later completed Honours at the University of Melbourne with research into how rock-climbers perceive nature and manage the environmental impacts of their climbing practices.

Seb Rattansen is an experienced policy analyst with over five years experience in both the UK and New Zealand public sectors. He has worked on strategic policy and operational policy in both countries. In the UK he led the development of a new air quality requirement for the £864m Renewable Heat Incentive. The RHI is a flagship initiative designed to help the UK meet its EU climate targets. In New Zealand he led the publication of the Dairying Clean Streams Accord Snapshot of Progress report for 2010/11. This was a key report on the environmental performance of the agricultural sector in New Zealand. 

Raif is an Australian professional public servant, with over 15 years experience in policy and regulatory roles pertaining to energy systems, markets and resources. Raif graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2000 with a BA(Hons) in political science. Upon graduation, Raif worked for the Western Australian Government in upstream energy resources. Since then he has worked for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in energy network regulation from 2004-2007, and for the Victorian Government since 2007 on national energy market reform processes.

Alister is a PhD candidate through the department of Geography at the University of Melbourne. Alister holds a Master of Environment (Distinction) from the University of Melbourne, as well as a BSc (Distinction) in biological sciences from RMIT University. His previous research has looked at the role of leadership in international climate change politics, with particular focus on the tension between national and international priorities in India and other large rapidly industrialising countries.

Kieran completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) at the University of Queensland in 2010, before working as a professional engineer in project management and delivery roles throughout Australia. He completed a Master of Energy Studies jointly awarded by the University of Queensland, the University of Newcastle, and the University of Western Australia. During this program, he developed an interest in emergin business models and disruption of the energy sector as it moves towards decarbonisation.

Alicia has a B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in Physical Geography from University of Cologne in Germany. During her Masters, she was working as a research assistant in the lab of Climatology and Hydrology. She completed internships in the field of Spatial Analysis with GIS in a state Geological survey and in the Geo-Spatial-Center of the German Post DHL Group. Currently, she’s doing her PhD in Ocean Engineering and researching about the statistical estimation of oceanic extreme events using satellite data.

After finishing her Master of Environment at the University of Melbourne, Pia has spent the past ten years working as a climate specialist, mainly in the international development sector. From 2013 to early 2018, Pia worked for Plan International Australia, an aid agency focused on child-rights, where she worked on child-centred climate change adaptation. Before joining Plan, Pia spent five years working for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on international climate change policy in both Bangkok and New York.

Alexei was previously a research associate at the RMIT University Global Cities Research Institute, working across a range of climate change adaptation projects in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as private sector and local government partners in Australia. He has a background in human geography and development, with ongoing advisory roles with UN-Habitat and the UN Global Compact Cities Programme.

PhD Project: Urban Climate Resilience in Melanesia’s rapid-growth cities: the migrant narrative

Skye has a background in environment and development issues across the Asia-Pacific region, with a focus on responding to environmental and climate change risks and uncertainty. She works on the development of climate change adaptation and environment projects in the Asia-Pacific region for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Changlong Wang grew up in China, studied at the Australian National University and has an engineering degree in Sustainable Energy Systems, Electronic Systems, Mechanical and Material Systems. In his honours project with the Australian Solar Institute Laboratory at the ANU, he developed several routine methods for detecting and distinguishing the most important defects (Iron and Oxygen) in silicon solar cells.

Annabelle Workman completed her undergraduate degree at Melbourne, majoring in Politics and Chinese. In her Honours year, she investigated China's environmental policies in the lead-up to the Beijing Olympics. After completing her studies, Annabelle worked at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for five years. In 2014, Annabelle completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Environments (Public Health). She began her PhD in 2015, supported by the Australian-German Climate and Energy College and the EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges.

Matthew initially worked for over a decade in the global financial news and information business companies such as: Knight Ridder, Dow Jones and Reuters where he gained experience working in the media and news business.  Following that career he spent a couple of years with Hewlett Packard as a Pre Sales Engineer/Technical Account Manager.  In 2007 he formed an Environmental NGO ‘Beyond Zero Emissions’ and