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 Director of the Australian-German College at The University of Melbourne since 2012 and is affiliated with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. He holds a PhD in "Climate Science & Policy", a Diploma in "Environmental Sciences" from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and an MSc 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.

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. 

Patrick Baker is an ARC Future Fellow and Associate Professor of Silviculture and Forest Ecology in the Department of Forest and Ecosystem Science, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, at the University of Melbourne. He has a BA from Bowdoin College (1989) and a Masters of Forestry from Yale University (1993). He completed his PhD in Forest Ecology and Management at the University of Washington in 2001. His PhD research focused on understanding the historical stand dynamics of a seasonal tropical forest in western Thailand.

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.    

Professor Beverley-Ann Biggs leads a group of clinicians and researchers with interests in infectious diseases, maternal and child health, and immigrant health. International health activities are based in the Mekong countries and have focused on; the introduction, evaluation and expanded use of new and under utilised vaccines; strengthening the capacity for research and control of malaria and parasitic infections; the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies and helminth infections in women and young children, and integrated approaches for improved child growth and development.

Dr. Grant Blashki has been a practicing GP for over 20 years and is an Associate Professor in Global Health at the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and has served as an examiner for the fellowship. His three themes of teaching and research are general practice/primary care, sustainability and mental health. He has co-authored over 100 publications in peer reviewed journals, 4 books, over 30 peer reviewed conference abstracts, and more than 20 government/policy reports. 

Kathryn Bowen is a social epidemiologist working at the nexus of global change, health and governance issues. Her formal qualifications are BA/Psyc (Hons) (Newcastle) and MSc (International Health) (Humboldt & Frei Universities, Berlin). She submitted her PhD in early 2014, through the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU.

Michael Brear is the Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute at the University of Melbourne. He guides the Institute’s research on the technical, economic, environmental and social impacts of energy systems. His own research is collaborative with industry and government on the technical, economic and environmental analysis of transport and energy systems; systems with reciprocating engines and gas turbines; combustion of conventional and alternative fuels.

Adam’s work focuses on the business, policy, and communication pathways to a low carbon future. He works on how clean energy entrepreneurship can be scaled up, how firms respond to a clean energy future, and how new technologies are enabled by new business models.

He is currently an ARC DECRA fellow on clean energy entrepreneurship, examining clean energy innovation and acceleration in Australia, the US, Europe, and internationally. Adam has a Doctorate in Geography and the Environment from the University of Oxford, a Masters in Globalisation from the University of London, and started his studies in Ecology and evolutionary biology.

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).

Lars Coenen joined MSSI in January 2017 as the inaugural ‘City of Melbourne Chair of Resilient Cities’, an initiative between the City of Melbourne and University of Melbourne aimed at improving the city’s resilience to sustainability challenges.

Working closely with the city’s chief resilience officer, Lars seeks to strengthen Melbourne’s role as a leader in knowledge based urban resilience, leverage opportunities to attract research funding and provide a new model for collaborative research.

Luke Connal received a bachelor’s of Chemical engineering in 2002 and a PhD in polymer chemistry in 2007 both from the University of Melbourne, Australia. From 2007 to 2009 he completed a post-doctoral position with Frank Caruso developing new techniques for the self-assembly of polymers. In 2009 he was a joint Sir Keith Murdoch postdoctoral Fellow and Australian Linkage International Fellow at University of California Santa Barbra with Prof Craig Hawker.

A/Prof Robert Crawford has broad research expertise and interest in the built environment, sustainability, life cycle assessment and renewable energy. His research focuses on building environmental assessment, with a particular emphasis on sustainable resource use, the environmentally appropriate selection of materials and sustainable building design and feasibility.

Dr Brendan Cullen is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, researching and teaching in pasture agronomy, livestock production systems and farm systems modelling. 

Dr Roger Dargaville is a senior lecturer at Monash University. Roger was the Deputy Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute and Research Fellow in the School of Earth Sciences, The University of Melbourne. His fields of expertise are in modelling of integration of renewable energy technologies into large energy system and large-scale storage technologies including pumped hydro and liquid air energy storage. He was co-lead on the ARENA grant ‘Least Cost Carbon Abatement in the Australian Electricity Sector’ that attracted $1.4M in funding.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Brendan Gleeson joined Melbourne University in January 2012 as Professor of Urban Policy Studies and then took on the directorship of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute in early 2013. Professor Gleeson came from the position of Deputy Director of the National University of Ireland’s National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis. Prior to that he set up the Urban Research Program at Griffith University and was its inaugural Director.

Lee Godden (PhD, MA, B.Leg S, BA Hons) is the Director, Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law. She researches in environmental resources law, natural resources law, water law, and indigenous people's land and resources rights. Recent publications include Environmental Law: Scientific Policy and Regulatory Dimensions 2010 (with J. Peel), Comparative Perspectives on Communal Lands and Individual Ownership: Sustainable Futures 2010 (with M. Tehan) and Australian Climate Law in Global Context 2013 (with A. Zahar and J. Peel).

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).

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.

I am a geographer whose research examines human-environment relations, both conceptual and material. That is, I want to understand how humans have physically changed earth’s systems, how we think about our place in nature, and how these two things are connected. In recent years I have worked mostly in cultural geography, with projects on backyard gardens, wheat and invasive plants. This developed from my earlier interest in Aboriginal land use, ethnobotany and fire.

Ben is a Research Fellow in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, working with David Karoly, Murray Peel, Rory Nathan and Ailie Gallant on the Victorian Drought Risk Inference Project, VicDRIP (www.vicdrip.org). VicDRIP is an ARC Linkage Project investigating megadrought likelihood and its water resource impacts in Australia (LP150100062), and assembles a team of leading hydrologists, climate scientists and water managers to investigate the history and future risk of decadal to multidecadal droughts.

Prof Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is the inaugural Director of the Global Change Institute and Professor of Marine Science at the University of Queensland. Prof Hoegh-Guldberg is deeply-motivated by a desire to communicate science effectively, undertake game-changing research and to find high-impact solutions to address several of the most pressing and serious challenges facing humanity worldwide, such as climate change, food security, clean energy and population growth.

Dr Rachel Hughes is a cultural and political geographer with wide-ranging interests in the geographies of law, geopolitics, social memory and visual and material cultures. Her prior research has examined issues of memory, justice and geopolitics in reference to late twentieth century Cambodia. She is the author of a number of book chapters and journal articles on the contested and internationalised memory of the Cambodian genocide, and an editor of the collection Observant State: geopolitics and visual culture.

 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.

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. 

Todd Lane is an atmospheric scientist with research interests that include atmospheric dynamics, mesoscale meteorology, thunderstorms, aircraft turbulence, cloud processes, numerical modelling and fire weather.

He is a Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, where he leads the Tropical Convection research program. He is also the immediate past President of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

Daniel was previously Fellow in Global Politics in the Department of Government, London School of Economics, ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sussex, and Lecturer in Security Studies in the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University. His research interests are International Relations theory, Science and Technology Studies, theories of social power, historical materialism and American foreign policy, particularly in relation to the role of technology and the non-human world in global politics.

A/Prof Minnegal lectures in anthropology at the University of Melbourne, with primary teaching and supervision interests in the areas of ecological/environmental anthropology and economic anthropology.

Philomena Murray is Professor in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She is the Director of the Research Unit on Regional Governance ast the EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges, University of Melbourne. From 2000 to 2009, she was Director of the Contemporary Europe Research Centre, Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. She holds Australia's only Personal Jean Monnet Chair (ad personam) awarded by the European Union.

Rory Nathan has over 35 years’ experience in engineering and environmental hydrology. He has spent the majority of his career in private industry, and now focuses his time on research and teaching in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering. He has made a substantial contribution to industry best practice in a range of engineering and environmental fields, particularly in the use of stochastic methods of flood estimation, the characterisation of hydrologic risk, regional estimation techniques in catchment hydrology, and the assessment of sustainable limits on water resources.

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. 

Alan is a Senior Industry Fellow at RMIT. He was previously an Adjunct Professor at RMIT, and taught part-time in the environment program from 2002 until 2015.

Alan has worked in the sustainable energy and environment fields since the late 1970s for community groups, government and the private sector. While working for the Victorian government in the 1980s, he helped develop and implement programs such as the Home Energy Advisory Service, public information and education, appliance energy labelling and mandatory building insulation regulations.

Dr Murray Peel is a Senior Research Fellow and ARC Future Fellow in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering at the University of Melbourne. He has a PhD (Geography) and a BSc (Hons) from the University of Melbourne. His hydroclimatology and comparative hydrology research interests include understanding differences in inter-annual variability of annual runoff around the world, hydrologic impacts of land use change and potential climate change impacts on inter-annual runoff variability.

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.

Professor Chris Ryan, Director of the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab at the University of Melbourne, has worked for over 30 years across various areas of science, technology, environmental policy and design, and in projects that span the community sector, academia, governement and international agencies and business.

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.

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.

I have held posts at Macquarie University and Swinburne University, Australia and been an Assistant Professor, National University of Singapore where my main research focus was on extreme event modelling and statistical computing.

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.

Dr Jason N E Varuhas (BA LLB (Hons) VUW, LLM UCL, PhD Cambridge) is Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne, and Co-Director of Studies for the Government Law and Public and International Law programmes on the Melbourne Law Masters. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Public Law at the University of Cambridge and a Bye-Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge.

Kevin Walsh is a professor in the School of Earth Sciences. He specialises in tropical meteorology, climate change and climate variability.

Dr Ying-Ping Wang completed his PhD in plant ecophysiology from the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Edinburgh in 1988, and moved to CSIRO, Australian in 1990. He currently is a chief research scientist in CSIRO. He is one of three key scientists responsible for developing the Australian community land surface model (CABLE) that has over 100 registered users from 51 institutions in 13 countries. He has published over 130 papers in major international journals including 13 papers in Science, PNAS, Nature and its family journals.

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.

A/Prof Margaret Young is the Director of Studies, Environmental Law at the Melbourne Law School. She researches and teaches in the fields of public international law, international trade law, climate change law and the law of the sea. She is the author of the prize-winning Trading Fish, Saving Fish: The Interaction between Regimes in International Law and Regime Interaction in International Law: Facing Fragmentation. A former Gates Scholar, she is currently working on a project on fossil fuel subsidies.