Dr Helen Adair Cleugh

PhD (Physical geography / Atmospheric Science)
Honorary Professor
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Atmospheric Sciences 3701
  • Atmospheric Dynamics 370105
  • Climate Change Science 3702
  • Climate Change Processes 370201
  • Greenhouse Gas Inventories And Fluxes 370203
  • Climatology 370202

Research interests

Micrometeorology and convective boundary layer dynamics.

Climate and hydrology in cities, forests and agricultural regions via measurements and modelling of the land – air fluxes of energy, water and carbon.

Informing carbon and water resource management via in-situ measurements combined with remote sensing.

Effects of windbreaks on airflow, surface energy balances, crop microclimates and productivity.

Global climate and Earth System science - especially linked to cliamte adaptation and mitigation strategies.



I am an atmospheric scientist with a PhD from the University of British Columbia in Canada, on urban climate processes. I was a Lecturer in Physical Geography at Macquarie University in Sydney, NSW from 1987 to 1994 before joining CSIRO as a Research Scientist in 1994 where I remained until my retirement in late 2020. I am now an Honorary Professor at ANU.

I was inaugural Director of CSIRO's Climate Science Centre from 2017 to 2020 and, for over a decade prior, was a senior leader of CSIRO’s climate and atmospheric research. I built collaborations within CSIRO and nationally, including national research infrastructure for terrestrial observations (NCRIS TERN) and Earth System Models (ACCESS-NRI).

My research explores the influence of land-air interactions on climate, carbon uptake and water availability, and how this affects carbon and water resource management, environmental outcomes, and climate – at local to global scales and in cities, agricultural and forested landscapes. This research has provided data, information and knowledge for resource managers, urban planners, and decision and policymakers.

I am a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) and the Australian Meteorological Society (AMOS) and a member of the World Climate Research Programme’s Joint Scientific Committee since 2015 and I am currently the Vice Chair.


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Updated:  15 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers