Dr Joelle Gergis

BSc (Honour Class 1), PhD (Climatology), Dip (Professional Writing and Editing)
Honorary Senior Lecturer

Dr Joëlle Gergis is an internationally recognised expert in Australian and Southern Hemisphere climate variability and change based in the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes. Her research focuses on providing a long-term historical context for assessing recently observed climate variability and extremes.

In 2013 Dr Gergis was awarded an Australian Research Council 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'.

In 2015 Joëlle was awarded the Dean's Award for Excellence in Research in the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne.

In August 2018 she was appointed to the Climate Council, Australia's leading independent body providing expert advice to the Australian public on climate change and policy.

From 2018-2021 Joëlle served as a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report - a global, state-of-the art review of climate change science.

Her book, Sunburnt Country: The future and history of climate change in Australia, is available through Melbourne University Publishing and all good bookstores.

Research interests

Dr Gergis's research focuses on reconstructing climate variability over the past 200–1,000 years using monthly–annually-resolved tree rings, corals, ice cores and historical records. Her current research interests include:

  • Climate variability and change in Australia, Australasia and the Southern Hemisphere
  • Climate reconstructions of the last 1,000 years
  • Palaeoclimate data–climate model comparisons of the last 1,000 years
  • Historical climatology
  • Australian climate history
  • Citizen science.



  • Gergis, J 2020, 'The Terrible Truth of Climate Change', in (ed.), Living with the Anthropocene, NewSouth Publishing, Sydney, pp. 29-34pp.
  • Allan, R, Gergis, J & D'Arrigo, R 2020, Placing the 2016 'protracted' El Nino episode into a long-term context, The Holocene, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 90-105.
  • Brönnimann, S., and coauthors including Gergis, J., 2019, 'Unlocking pre-1850 instrumental meteorological records: A global inventory', American Meteorological Society, Bulletin, vol. 100, pp. ES389-ES413.
  • Slivinski, L, and coauthors including Gergis, J., 2019, 'Towards a more reliable historical reanalysis: Improvements for version 3 of the Twentieth Century Reanalysis system', Royal Meteorological Society. Quarterly Journal, vol. 145, no. 724, pp. 2876-2908.

In 2020, Dr Gergis will teach ENVS2004/6204 Fire, Flood and Drought and ENVS3013/ENVS6303 Climate Change Past, Present and Future.