Our people


We are a young initiative, so there are no alumnis as of to date. However, one central motivation for this college is to create the network of young brilliant people that work on these intricate challenges of climate and energy system transitions. Therefore, networking and social activities will be important for the college, its current and former members. The Alumni network can then accompany you through the next steps of your life, wether it be in academia, the public sector, private companies or just as a social enrichment to keep in touch with your friends and former colleagues.

Kate holds an MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London, and a BA from Latrobe University. For the past 10 years Kate has worked with environmental non-governmental organisations on forests, climate change and human rights, particularly the European Union’s policy responses to forest governance reforms and illegal logging, and the development of the REDD+ mechanism (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) at the UNFCCC.

Dimitri is from the Netherlands, but has been living in Australia for the last 8 years. He graduated from the University of Utrecht with an MSc in geology/geophysics and has been working as a geoscientist for Shell for 11 years in the Netherlands and Australia. He returned to academic life in pursuit of a PhD researching the climate impact of fugitive emissions of the fossil fuel industry, and unconventional gas in particular. In his free time he can be seen cycling in the Dandenongs.

Alexander Maier

Alex grew up in Germany, but spent some of his adolescence in Canada.  He enrolled at the European Business School (EBS) in Germany for his undergraduate studies and pursued an exchange semester in Mexico.  After completing his thesis examining the feasibility of alternative fuels, he went on to complete a Master in International Business in Melbourne.  His PhD research centres on the transition to Renewable Energy Systems and optimizing hybrid systems through a holistic approach.

Rachelle graduated with a bachelor's in wildlife biology from the University of Montana and an M.S. from the University of Melbourne. She worked for the United States Forest Service for the following 8 years, writing syntheses addressing fire ecology of plant and animal species. While there she devoted increasingly more time to local sustainability efforts and sustainability research, including investigating barriers to implementation of energy efficiency measures in the Forest Service.

Alex studied Geography in Berlin and Climate Science in Bern. Before starting his PhD project in Melbourne he worked at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I Technical Support Unit during the Fifth Assessment cycle. Alex draws on his work experience to develop research questions related to changes in climate systems that potentially have severe societal consequences. He hopes to contribute to a better understanding of the physical implications of different climate futures.

Alex is an environmental scientist with experience across a range of fields. He graduated from RMIT University in early 2014 with a double undergraduate degree and honours degree in enviromental science and environmental engineering. He has also had short stints working for a water managment authority in rural Victoria and in environmental consulting. This allowed him to gain experience across topics including atmospheric and soil chemistry, mathematics, hydrology and environmental modelling.

Graham is an electronic and industrial engineer with a technical, R&D, and management career in small business. His experience covers analog electronics, industrial automation, energy efficiency, and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). Following the completion of a Masters in Sustainable Energy at RMIT in 2008, he has made contributions to the energy and climate areas. His research developed an improved systems-based methodology for EROI (energy return on investment) for fossil and non-fossil electricity generation.

Yann obtained a Master’s in climate, ocean and atmosphere science (Pierre and Marie Curie University) as well as a Magister in theoretical physics (University of Paris-Sud). He has various research experience in oceanography (Equatorial Atlantic, Arctic, Antarctica), hydrology, cosmology and sea ice rheology at the universities of Pierre and Marie Curie, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford, Copenhagen and McGill, respectively. After a year of field research in Benin and a sailing journey across the Arctic North-West Passage, Yann enrolled in the College and modelled national greenhouse gases emissions scenarios following a combination of different vision of climate justice:

Climate justice: Can we agree to disagree?
Operationalising competing equity principles to mitigate global warming

Kate studied an Honours in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Queensland. During this period the 2010-2011 floods occurred and she developed an interest in disaster modelling. Pursuing this interest she worked in a Natural Hazards group at CSIRO with a focus on flood modelling. This interest continued in her PhD studies at the University of Melbourne, where she worked on fitting statistical models to help understand how ENSO impacts the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events.

Completion: 2018

Elisabeth Vogel

Elisabeth is a PhD student at the Australian-German Climate and Energy College, researching the effects of climate extreme events on global agriculture. Prior to coming to Melbourne, Elisabeth completed a degree in Environmental Science and Engineering at the Technical University of Berlin, with specialisations in agriculture, soil science and ecological modelling. She held various research and consulting positions, including with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research, the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Martin studied Biological Sciences at The University of Southern California where he specialized in Astro and Geomicrobiology and later worked on Microbial Fuel Cells at the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla. Martin then returned to Argentina, his home country, to pursue social entrepreneurship and establish businesses within the clean energy sector.