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Climate change research

Rangahau i te hurihuri o te āhuarangi

Leith river in flood in 2006 imageClimate change is a critical issue. Many impacts are already inevitable and we have a short window of time to massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid even more serious outcomes.

At the Centre for Sustainability we work with whanau, hapū, iwi, communities, councils, businesses and others in responding to these challenges.

Our research includes community resilience and adaptation to sea level rise and extreme weather events, as well as innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy, transport and agriculture sectors.

Lead researchers' interests and projects

Research Professor Janet Stephenson

Director, Centre for Sustainability (on study leave returning January 2022)

Janet Stephenson thumbResearch Professor Janet Stephenson is passionate about collaborative, interdisciplinary research. Her research interests include indigenous resource management; the interconnections between people and their local environments; and the role of individuals and organisations in the transition to a sustainable future.

Project

  • Climate Adaptive Communities

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Dr Jen Purdie

Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Sustainability

Jen Purdie thumbDr Jen Purdie works at the nexus of climate and energy. Her research interests include climate change impacts on the energy system, and climate forecasting on a range of timescales.

Email jen.purdie@otago.ac.nz

Project

  • Climate change impacts NZ Electricity

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Professor Merata Kawharu

Research Professor, Centre for Sustainability

Merata Kawharu thumbProfessor Merata Kawharu (Ngāti Whatua, Ngāpuhi), has research interests that have over-arching themes of supporting Māori leadership, community and education. She has focused in areas such as land and water, capability building, climate change resilience, and connections to ancestral marae by young Māori.

Email merata.kawharu@otago.ac.nz

Project

Current postgraduate climate change research projects

Postgraduate students research projects contribute hugely to the advancement of sustainability research. Read more about their work: