Our people

Our people


Membership of the Centre for Climate Futures is drawn from across all faculties of the University. The centre aims to encourage interdisciplinary research and build collaborative linkages between researchers.

Prospective members are encouraged to contact the centre and provide details of their work in the area of climate change.

Dr Linda Beaumont, Director of Climate Futures

Linda is a research scientist and lecturer at Macquarie University’s School of Biological Sciences. Her research focusses on the biological impacts of climate change. Much of Linda’s work involves the use of environmental models to assess potential future changes to species distributions. She is also a member of the Earthwatch Scientific Advisory Committee.

Leigh Staas, Executive Officer of Climate Futures

Leigh Staas Leigh's role as Executive Officer is to act as a pivot point between industry, government, academics and students in order to develop multidisciplinary research and education initiatives. Her efforts focus on building capacity within the centre by building collaborative external industry and government linkages and supporting education and outreach programs.

Leigh holds a Bachelor of Science from Macquarie and has a strong interest in stakeholder collaboration, science communication and education.

Climate Futures Members

Climate Futures team brings together world-class expertise. With 20 members from across Macquarie, we aim to take a multidisciplinary approach to understand the risk and impacts that climate change will have on our physical and socio-ecological systems.

  Member Research Interests

Dr Linda Beaumont

Director, Climate Futures

Department of Biological Sciences

  • Climatic and bioclimatic modelling
  • Potential effects of climate change on both invasive weed species and native fauna and flora
  • How species distributions would change under various climate change models
  • Effects of climate change on biodiversity in the Wet Tropics

Dr Melanie Bishop

Department of Biological Sciences

  • Climate change impacts on coastal and estuarine community ecology
  • Impacts of disturbance on coastal environments, especially benthic systems
  • How environmental and ecological factors alter marine biodiversity and ecosystem function

Kirsten Davies

Department of Environmental Sciences

  • Intergenerational Democracy
  • Community engagement and capacity building

Peter Davies

Department of Environmental Sciences

  • Environmental planning
  • Local government sustainability
  • Corporate planning and decision making
  • Community engagement

Dr Sara Fuller

Department of Environmental Sciences

  • Discourses of energy justice
  • Low carbon communities and social justice
  • Energy vulnerability in communities

Dr Rachael Gallagher

Department of Biological Sciences

  • Resilience of vegetation to climate change and human impacts
  • Invasive species management
  • Conservation planning and decision-making
  • Big-data approaches in ecology and conservation


Prof Richie Howitt

Department of Environmental Sciences

  • Social justice, ecological sustainability, economic equity and cultural diversity in the context of indigenous self-determination
  • Recognition of native title and indigenous rights, the social impacts of resource-based development projects
  • Corporate culture in Australia's resource industries, and issues of power, research ethics and geographical scale, social impact assessment, natural resource management, geographical education


Prof Lesley Hughes

Department of Biological Sciences

  • Impacts of climate change on Australian species and ecosystems
  • Climate change and conservation policy


A/Prof Michelle Leishman

Department of Biological Sciences

  • Comparison of traits of exotic invasive species in their original and novel ranges
  • Responses of invasive plants to elevated CO2
  • Modelling exotic species distribution with climate change


Dr Fiona Miller

Department of Environmental Sciences

  • Connections between vulnerability assessment and adaptation in the health and water sectors in the Asia Pacific
  • Social equity dimensions of adaptation
  • Social vulnerability to heat stress
  • Social and cultural dimensions of water planning
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