Dr Joëlle Gergis is a climate research scientist and writer working with Professor David Karoly at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research focuses on reconstructing climate variability over the past 200–1,000 years using annually-resolved tree rings, corals, ice cores and historical records.
From 2009–2012 she led the Australian Research Council Linkage funded South-Eastern Australian Recent Climate History (SEARCH) project; a landmark initiative, spanning the sciences and the humanities to reconstruct the region’s climate variability from first European settlement in 1788.
Since 2009 Joëlle has led the international Past Global Changes (PAGES) working group on Australasian climate variability of the past 2,000 years (Aus2K). This involved coordinating the development of the region’s 1,000 year temperature reconstruction for input into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report. In 2012 she joined the World Climate Research Programs (WCRP) Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR)–Past Global Change (PAGES) science panel working to promote the use of palaeoclimate data to examine issues of future climate predictability.
Joëlle received her PhD in high-resolution palaeoclimatology from the University of New South Wales in 2006. Since 2003 she has presented 55 scientific abstracts at national and international scientific meetings and authored 56 articles on climate variability and change publications. Her work has been covered on national and international television (SBS World News, ABC, TVNZ), radio (ABC Radio National, AM, Bush Telegraph, Science Show, RRR) and print media (The Guardian, The Australian, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Geographic).
In 2007 she was one of three national finalists for the 2007 Eureka Prize for Young Leaders in Environmental Issues and Climate Change, and was one of nineteen Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists’ Science Leaders Scholarship recipients selected nationwide. Professor Tim Flannery, the 2007 Australian of the Year, was one of her mentors during the program aimed at training outstanding young scientists to help bridge the communication gap between science and public policy.
In 2012 Joëlle completed the RMIT University’s esteemed Professional Writing and Editing program. She has published articles for the Sydney Morning Herald, Cosmos science magazine and literary non-fiction titles including Wet Ink. In 2008 Joëlle was nominated for a Reuters/IUCN Awards for Excellence in Environmental Journalism for feature writing, and in June 2012 she was awarded a Writers Victoria Grace Marion Wilson Fellowship for an Emerging Writer.
Most recently, Joëlle was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) fellowship, and her team won the 2014 Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research – informally known as the ‘Oscars of Australian Science’.