Biography of Professor David Karoly

Professor David Karoly

The University of Melbourne

School of Earth Sciences
University of Melbourne

Researcher ID: C-8262-2011



  • BSc (Hons) (1976) Monash University
  • PhD (1980) University of Reading, England




Professor David Karoly completed his Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Applied Mathematics in 1976 from Monash University and was awarded his PhD in Meteorology from the University of Reading in England in 1980. From 1995 to 2000 he was the Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology at Monash University and during 2001-2002 he was Professor of Meteorology and Head of the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash University. From 2003-2007 he was the Williams Chair Professor of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. He returned to Australia in 2007 as an ARC Federation Fellow and Professor of Meteorology at the University of Melbourne – which finished in May 2012. His current position is Professor of Atmospheric Science at Melbourne University’s School of Earth Sciences.

Prof Karoly’s research focuses on climate variability and climate change, including greenhouse climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and interannual climate variations due to El Niño-Southern Oscillation. He is recognised as one of the leading global experts on the dynamics of large-scale atmospheric circulation in the Southern Hemisphere and its variability. He is also recognised as a world leader in the detection and attribution of climate change, particularly at regional scales. Recently, he has been studying the impacts of climate change on weather extremes and their impacts on human and natural systems.

Prof Karoly is a member of the Climate Change Authority, established in 2012 as an independent body that provides expert advice on the operation of Australia’s carbon price, emissions reduction targets and other Australian Government climate change mitigation initiatives. In 2013, he became a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)/United Nations Environment Programme Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014. During 2011-2012, he was a member of the Joint Scientific Committee that provides scientific oversight to the World Climate Research Programme. From 2008-2009 he was Chair of the Premier of Victoria's Climate Change Reference Group. He is also a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists.

Prof Karoly was involved, through several different roles, in the preparation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report and was a Review Editor for a chapter in the IPCC 5th Assessment Report. Recent awards received include the 2014 Morton Medal of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society for “leadership in meteorology, oceanography, climate and related fields, particularly through education and the development of young scientists” and the 2015 Royal Society of Victoria Medal for Scientific Excellence for “excellence and leadership in scientific research in the Earth Sciences”.

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