Generating integrated climate change research

The Griffith Climate Change Response Program leads Griffith University’s research into climate change adaptation and mitigation. As climate change issues cut across many fields of study our research projects are transdisciplinary. The program brings together the wealth of Griffith research expertise from across the University, enabling climate change problems to be addressed in a comprehensive manner and often in conjunction with our international partners.

New Video - Combating climate change in the Pacific

Climate change is presenting an existential threat in the Pacific; with island nation states not only a loss of property, but a loss of culture and identity. The EcoAdapt project identifies ecosystem-based approaches for climate change adaptation in the coastal zone of Pacific island states and territories in the face of a rapidly changing climate.


The Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL) is a “one stop modelling shop” that simplifies the process of biodiversity-climate change modelling. A new infographic has been released about the BCCVL, including its partnership with the ‘EcoScience Research Data Cloud and Data Enhanced Virtual Laboratory’ (aka – EcoCloud).

Take a look at the infographic

Snapshots from recent activities and meetings

In the week commencing 7 March 2019, the inaugural ‘Witoelar Dialogue’ was held. It is a high-level dialogue bringing diplomats, policy officials and influencers together in conversation about deepening regional cooperation between Australia and Indonesia on climate change and sustainable development. On the final day of the visit, the delegation visited the Griffith University Gold Coast campus for a roundtable discussion on specific climate change and sustainable development issues and participated in a field visit of coastal sites to explore coastal management responses to climate change.

On 28 February 2019 Prof Brendan Mackey (Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program), Prof Susanne Becken (Director, Griffith Institute for Tourism), Prof Rodger Tomlinson (Director, Griffith Centre for Coastal Management) and climate change researchers from other organisations, joined a roundtable discussion on climate change in Germany, Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region with the Vice-President of the German Budestag, Claudia Roth and other German Government representatives.

A number of researchers from the Griffith Climate Change Response Program (GCCRP) attended as observers at the UN Climate Change Conference held in Katowice, Poland (COP 24) from 2 - 14 December 2018. Dr Johanna Nalau of the GCCRP provided the High Level Statement on behalf of RINGOs (Research and Independent Non-Government Organisations) at the Plenary. Researchers are also participated in various side events at COP 24.

  • See the recording of Needs-based Climate Finance Strategy in Melanesia - initiative led by the Melanesian Spearhead Group with the support of the UNFCCC Secretariat and Griffith University.  Dr Tim Cadman, Research Fellow, GCCRP and Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law, moderated the event

On 2 & 3 November 2018 the Collaborative Australia-Indonesia Program for Sustainable Development and Climate Change was launched in Jakarta. The two-day event included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the Program between Griffith University and Universitas Indonesia, followed by academic discussions in the area of sustainable development and climate change. Prof Brendan Mackey, Director, Griffith Climate Change Response Program (GCCRP) is pictured at the MoU signing. GCCRP will lead efforts to develop, seek funding for, and implement externally funded collaborative multidisciplinary research projects involving Griffith and Indonesian research institutions and government agencies within the broad field of sustainable development and climate change.

On 17 September 2018 Griffith University and the Queensland Government united to share insight and expertise in tackling current and future climate risks at the Queensland Government Climate Action Symposium, held at the State Library.

Almost 100 representatives from across Queensland Government departments attended the one-day event, which included presentations from Dr John Hewson AM, senior State Government officials and leaders from Griffith Climate Change Response Program (GCCRP) and Griffith Policy Innovation Hub (PIH).

The Symposium was the kick-off event for the Queensland Climate Ready program (QCR), a two-year program in which Griffith University will be working in collaboration with the Queensland Government to strengthen institutional framework for managing current and future climate risks.

On 24 August 2018 the Griffith Climate Change Response Program hosted a Panel Discussion and Book Launch, centered around the theme - Climate change update: Moving forward on adaptation.  The eminent panel - Prof Mark Howden (ANU Climate Change Institute), Prof Roger Street (Oxford University) and Georgine Roodenrys (Qld Government) shed light on the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 6th Assessment Report and shared insights into how the Irish, UK, Canadian and Japanese governments are responding to growing climate risks and the state of play with the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy. The book, Limits to Climate Change Adaptation, was also launched. Dr Johanna Nalau, co-editor of the book and IPCC 6th Assessment Report Lead Author, presented some of the main findings from the book.

On 23 August 2018, special guest, Professor Seon Ki Park, from the Dept of Environmental Science & Engineering and the Dept of Climate & Energy Systems Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea, presented a seminar, Integrated regional environment/climate prediction system: Coupled modeling, parameter estimation and data assimilation.  Professor Park discussed Atmospheric Sciences at Ewha Womans University; Numerical Weather/Climate/Environment Prediction; Sensitivity Studies; Subgrid-scale Parameterizations; Optimal Parameter Estimation; Coupled Data Assimilation; Projection of Local Climate Change; and RECIPE (Regional Environment/Climate Prediction  System).

Photo - Dr Serena Lee, Professor Brendan Mackey, and Dr Willow Hallgren from the Griffith Climate Change Response Program with guest Professor Park.

On 21 August 2018, special guest Professor Patrick Nunn, Associate Director, Sustainability Research Centre, University of Sunshine Coast presented a seminar: Improving the Effectiveness and Sustainability of Climate-Change Adaptation Outcomes in the Pacific.  The seminar included a discussion about the role of faith/spirituality in contributing to the acceptance of adaptation by affected communities, especially those in rural parts of the Pacific Islands region where environmental governance (and decision-making more generally) is commonly filtered through religious beliefs was the focus of some of the discussion.

Photo - Professor Brendan Mackey (Griffith Climate Change Response Program) and Professor Nunn.

On 15 August 2018 Professor Brendan Mackey, Director of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program, presented a seminar at the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science at the James Cook University in Cairns. The abstract for his seminar was: Ecosystems throughout the world are being degraded from modern developments including industrial scale land use and transport infrastructure. At the same time, we are experiencing unprecedented human-forced climate change. Together, they are leading to a break down in natural connectivity and dramatic shifts in ecosystem dynamics and species responses. Large scale connectivity conservation has been proposed as an appropriate and necessary response to these threats to ecosystem integrity and biodiversity.

The Griffith Climate Change Response Program was a sponsor of the Narratives of Climate Change Symposium which was held at the University of Newcastle on 5 & 6 July 2018. The symposium was an interdisciplinary collaboration inspired by the possibility that the gap between scientific knowledge and effective political, legal and social action can be bridged by alternative forms of narrative, incorporated into and developed by artistic creations, works of fiction, social and other media, performances of all types including theatrical, activist and absurdist, visionary planning and innovative litigation such as the Children’s Trust lawsuits.

Dr Esther Onyango (in photo) presented at the Symposium as did Professor Brendan Mackey of the Griffith Climate Change Response Program.

Want more snapshots from activities and meetings?

Griffith Climate Change Response Program