Science Leadership Team
The Science Leadership Team is responsible for scoping, leading and advancing the development of The Deep South Challenge.
Dr Mike Williams (NIWA)
Mike’s research interests are in New Zealand's Deep South, and are centred on ice-ocean interaction both in sea ice, and under Antarctica’s ice shelves. He is also interested in the changing climate in the Southern Ocean and New Zealand’s Subantarctic. Prior to starting at NIWA in 2001, Mike completed a PhD in oceanography at the University of Tasmania, and was an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Copenhagen, where he worked on coastal ocean circulation off Chile and tracking icebergs across the North Atlantic.
Phone: +64 4 386 0389
Lucy Jacob (NIWA)
Lucy facilitates the smooth running of the Challenge across all programmes and partners. She originates from the UK and has a background in marine science and psychology. Her career has focused on marine protected area design and development in coral island groups, with an emphasis on incorporating resilience principles and socioeconomic dynamics to management. Lucy also has a keen interest in climate science and adaptation. She has experience in socioeconomic research and participatory community workshops and has been a representative on various local government led working groups, including on climate change. Prior to moving to New Zealand, she developed and managed international projects in the Pacific region with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
Phone: +64 4 382-1616
Dr Olaf Morgenstern (NIWA)
Earth System Modeling and Prediction
Olaf holds a PhD in meteorology and has worked in the UK and Germany on the development of atmospheric chemistry and chemistry-climate models. He has led chemistry-climate modelling at NIWA since 2009 and has been a Programme Leader since 2012. In addition, Olaf is a Principal Investigator of the core Capability and Clouds & Aerosols projects and the contestable Stratospheric Ozone project. The aim of the Capability project is to make available, support, and coordinate the development of the New Zealand Earth System Model (NZESM). The Clouds & Aerosols project is targeting the representation of Southern-Ocean clouds and aerosols, and the Stratospheric Chemistry project will improve the representation of stratospheric chemistry, particularly of the ozone layer, in the NZESM.
Phone: +64 4 386-0928
Darren Ngaru King, Ngāti Raukawa (NIWA)
Darren is a research scientist with experience spanning the earth and human-systems sciences. He is a member of NIWA’s Māori Environmental Research (Te Kūwaha), Natural Hazards and National Climate Centres; and, is the Science Leader for the Vision Mātauranga Science Programme as part of the Deep South National Science Challenge. He was a contributing author for the ‘Indigenous People’ section of the Australia and New Zealand Chapters in the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports produced by the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change. His principal areas of research include (i) Climate and Māori society – investigating the linkages between human and biophysical systems including the factors that influence the risk, vulnerability and endurance of climate-sensitive Māori sectors, systems and groups; and, (ii) Tsunami Geology – assessing tsunami disturbance, recurrence and risk along New Zealand’s coast using grounded approaches in applied geology and Māori studies.
Phone: +64 9 375-2086
Dr Rhian Salmon (Victoria University of Wellington)
Rhian leads the Engagement Team and is a member of the Science Leadership Team (SLT). She has a PhD in atmospheric chemistry from York University, Canada, prior to working as a research scientist for the British Antarctic Survey, which included spending one over-winter at Halley Research Station. In 2006, she switched careers to become Education, Outreach and Communication Coordinator for the International Polar Year 2007-8. After moving to New Zealand in 2010, Rhian continued to work in public engagement related to polar and climate science, which included support by Antarctica New Zealand to work on the New Zealand IceFest and the Our Far South expedition and education programme led by the Morgan Foundation. She now co-leads the Science in Society group at Victoria University of Wellington, and carries out research and teaching in public engagement with science.
Deep South Challenge Engagement Team - Read more
Dr Suzi Kerr (Motu)
Impacts & Implication
Suzi is a Senior Fellow at Motu and an Adjunct Professor at Victoria University. She graduated from Harvard University in 1995 with a PhD in Economics. Her current research work focuses on climate change. She empirically and theoretically investigates domestic and international climate change policy with special emphasis on emissions pricing and land use in both the tropics and New Zealand. She also leads work on climate change impacts and adaptation in New Zealand.
Phone: +64 4 939-4250
Assoc Prof. Adrian McDonald (University of Canterbury)
Processes and Observations
Adrian is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Canterbury. His current research work focuses broadly on understanding the physical processes that underpin the working of the climate system. In particular, he concentrates on processes that are important in the polar regions and the influence of these processes on the rest of the Southern hemisphere. Adrian has strong connections in the polar research community built up during over 10 years leading fieldwork in Antarctica. For the Deep South, Adrian is currently a Principal Investigator of the Clouds & Aerosols project and the contestable Satellite Simulator project. In the Clouds & Aerosols project he is making targeted observations to help the representation of Southern-Ocean clouds and aerosols in the NZESM. The satellite simulator project aims to facilitate comparisons of satellite data and model output from the NZESM via the use of software simulation tools.
Phone: +64 (3) 364 2281
Latest news and updates
The Insurance, housing and climate adaptation report, commissioned by the Deep South National Science Challenge, highlights key research questions to help prepare coastal communities for climate change.
The report is a collaboration between Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, Victoria University of Wellington and the Deep South Challenge and highlights issues New Zealand may face as it grapples with “increasingly severe risks” for coastal housing – particularly sea level rise which is expected to exacerbate the frequency and impacts of flooding and storm surges.
With the recent storms and floods ransacking parts of New Zealand, Professor David Frame put pen to paper to discuss floods, attribution and the power of citizen science to help us understand our climate and be more prepared.
In November last year our colleagues at Antarctica New Zealand took Kiwi YouTube and social media star Jamie Curry to Antarctica.