Our Executive Structure

Centre Board

The Centre Board is made up of senior representatives from CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Industry, UNSW and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. We have overseas representation from the UK Met office. The Board;s chairman is Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty.

The Board has an advisory function and meets twice a year. The Centre Board agrees to and monitors the implementation of the centre strategic plan to ensure the CoE maintains a strong sense of strategy in undertaking its research program. The board also monitors centre performance against its KPIs and plays an important role in facilitating collaboration between the CoE and its existing and emerging partners.

Refer to Board Terms of Reference here



Centre Advisory Group

The Centre Advisory Group (CAG) provides regular strategic and tactical advice at the level of individual programs and projects. The CAG membership includes appropriate representation from CAWCR, NCI and centre researchers. The CAG meets monthly via video-link or teleconference.


Centre Executive

The Centre Executive is made up of the Director, Deputy Director, Centre Manager, Graduate Director, Computational Modelling Support Manager and Media & Communications Manager. The Centre Executive meets fortnightly by videoconference to discuss ongoing operational issues. Once a month the leaders of each of the five research programs also join an extended centre executive meeting. This meeting focuses primarily on research updates and progress across the centre.



Prof Peter Doherty
University of Melbourne and independent Chair of the Centre Board

Peter Doherty shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996 with Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel, for illuminating the nature of cell-mediated immunity. He was Australian of the Year in 1997, and commutes between St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne, where he spends most of his time. His research is in the area of defense against viruses, but he devotes time to delivering public lectures, writing articles for newspapers and magazines and participating in radio discussions.

A University of Queensland graduate in veterinary science, he moved to Scotland and received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh Medical School. The first person with a veterinary qualification to win a Nobel Prize, his interest in food security and global sustainability has led to participation in international meetings addressing these issues. In addition, he is the author of several books, including A Light History of Hot Air, The Beginners Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize and Sentinel chickens: what birds tell us about our health and the world.

Professor Doherty‘s extensive experience and interests in a broad spectrum of science is brought to bear in his role as Chair of the Centre’s advisory board. Working with a committee that brings a great range of diverse expertise to bear, he seeks to provide on-going advice to the Centre’s Director, particularly on issues of public relevance.


Board members

Mr Ian Dunlop

Ian Dunlop is chair of Safe Climate Australia, Deputy Convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil, a Director of Australia 21, a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development and a Member of The Club of RomeHe has a particular interest in the interaction of corporate governance, corporate responsibility and sustainability, advising and writing extensively on these issues.

He has wide experience in energy resources, infrastructure and international business, working for the Royal Dutch Shell Group for over 30 years, initially in oil and gas exploration and production in many parts of the world, including Nigeria, Kurdistan, the UK, the Netherlands and the North Sea. Subsequently he became involved in long-term scenario and energy planning and diversification into other energy resources, including coal and renewables. During the 1980s, Mr Dunlolp ran Australian coal mining ventures, producing and exporting to customers worldwide. He chaired the Australian and NSW Coal Associations in 1987-88.

From 1997 - 2001 he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  From 1998-2000, he also chaired the Experts Group on Emissions Trading, which advised the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) on the first design of an Australian emissions trading system.

Mr Dunlop has an MA degree in Engineering from the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a Fellow of the UK Institute of Petroleum, and a Member of the US Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME.

His role in the Centre is to guide us on possible engagement with Industry, and help us identify issues of relevance to Industry emerging from our work.


Dr Bruce Mapstone
Chief, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

Dr Mapstone was appointed Chief of CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (CMAR) in November 2009. CMAR is houses CSIRO research capability in Earth, atmospheric and ocean observation and modelling, climate variability and change, air quality observation and modelling, fisheries and aquaculture, marine biology and ecology, and marine observing technologies. CMAR, on behalf of CSIRO, also hosts the Marine National Facility for the Australian Government and marine research community.

Dr Mapstone gained his PhD from The University of Sydney, Australia, after which he spent 15 years leading research in tropical marine ecology, fisheries, conservation management, and sustainable ocean industries from Townsville, Queensland, Australia. He moved to Tasmania in 2003 to become Chief Executive of the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre until 2008. He led The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR), a partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, from November 2008 to November 2009.

Dr Mapstone’s role on the Centre’s Board is associated with his role as Chief of CMAR, as a key partner in the Centre.  Communications between CMAR and the Centre are very important for links between the Centre and both CSIRO and CAWCR. Dr Mapstone’s role on the Board is to help resolve any challenges that might evolve between CMAR or CAWCR and the Centre, help identify opportunities that can be jointly pursued, and to help the Centre establish long term strategies of mutual benefit.


Prof Laura Poole-Warren,
Dean of Graduate Research (UNSW)

Professor Laura Poole-Warren is the Dean of Graduate Research at the University of New South Wales and is Acting Pro Vice Chancellor Research at UNSW.

Professor Poole-Warren was awarded a PhD degree from the University of New South Wales in 1990 and held various appointments at UNSW after joining the academic staff in 1995. These include Associate Dean Research Training and Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Engineering (2005 - 2009) and Professor in the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering (2009). She was appointed Dean of Graduate Research in 2010. 

Professor Poole-Warren continues to lead a research group in biomedical engineering focusing on design and understanding of biosynthetic polymers for medical applications. 

Her role in the Centre of Excellence is to ensure strong engagement by UNSW in the Centre, to help resolve any University-based issues that might arise and ensure that the Centre acts appropriately in terms of the Australian Research Council funding to the Centre.


Professor Julia Slingo
Chief Scientist, UK Met Office

Professor Slingo became Met Office Chief Scientist in February 2009. Before joining the Met Office she was the Director of Climate Research in NERC's National Centre for Atmospheric Science. In 2006 she founded the Walker Institute for Climate System Research at the University of Reading, aimed at addressing the cross disciplinary challenges of climate change and its impacts.

In 2008, she became the first woman President of the Royal Meteorological Society. Professor Slingo has contributed to the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC and was appointed to the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Program in 2007.

Professor Slingo has had a long-term career in climate modelling and research, working at the Met Office, ECMWF and NCAR in the USA. Her personal research addresses problems in tropical climate variability — its influence on the global climate; its role in seasonal to decadal climate prediction, and its response to climate change.

Her role in the Centre of Excellence is to provide an international perspective on the science we are undertaking, as well as to help establish and maintain on-going links with the UK Met Office.

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