Professor Janette Lindesay

PhD (Witwatersrand), HDiPEd (Witwatersrand)
Associate Director Education & Deputy Director, Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Palaeoclimatology 040605
  • Natural Resource Management 050209
  • Climatology (Excl. Climate Change Processes) 040105

Research interests

My principal research interests are in climate variability during the period of instrumental record, and climate change science in relation to vulnerability and adaptation. My current research focuses on integrating multiple influences on low-frequency fluctuations in Australian rainfall, including the potential for deterministic and dynamical seasonal forecasting; climatological aspects of bushfires and drought in Australia; temperature and rainfall trends and extremes; and climate change adaptation. I am also engaged in research into the pedagogy of climate change in academic and professional education.


I obtained my Honours degree in Geography, Postgraduate Teaching Diploma and Doctorate in statistical and dynamical climatology from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and have worked in academic and research organisations in South Africa, the UK and Australia. I have chaired the Atmosphere Reference Group for the ACT Region State of the Environment Report, and am a former President of the Canberra branch of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. In addition to convening and teaching academic and professional programs and courses in climate science and climate change science and policy at the ANU, I teach by invitation at the United Nations University in Tokyo; hold a Visiting Professorship at the University of Tokyo; am a member of a number of professional meteorological societies; and am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academcy (UK). I am responsible for strategic development of the undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs in the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the ANU, and am a Deputy Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute.

Available student projects

Research projects for Honours, Masters and PhD studies are developed in consultation with prospective students.  I supervise projects in climate science, climate change impacts and adaptation, and climate science-policy interaction.

Current student projects

PhD Thesis Research

  • Tricia Wilden: Decision-relevant information for effective disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation decision-making in the Pacific (panel chair)
  • Elizabeth Dovey: Implications of climate change for natural patterns and processes and for people, policy and practice in the Pacific island small island states (panel chair)
  • Luke Kemp: Reforming the anchor institutions for international environmental governance in the 21st century (panel chair)
  • Nicholas Engerer: Weather forecasting and solar energy in Australia (supervisor)
  • Helen King: Soil carbon and landscape function in Australian rangelands (panel chair)

Honours Research

  • Joss Kirk: Severe storms in south-eastern Australia
  • Minna Featherstone: Climate policy and emissions reduction in China
  • Elizabeth Buchan: The role of market mechanisms in national emissions reduction policy

Past student projects

PhD and MPhil Theses

  • Climate change information for adaptation in viticulture (PhD)
  • Large-scale modes of climate variability and south-east Australian rainfall (PhD)
  • Holocene environmental change and variability in the tropics from diatom analysis (PhD)
  • Landscape susceptibility to drought, fire weather and storms: an historical perspective (MPhil)
  • Dendroclimatological reconnaissance of eucalypts in SE Australia (PhD)
  • Dendroclimatological studies in the wet tropics of Far North Queensland (PhD)
  • Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction from the geochemistry of karst cave deposits (PhD)
  • Teleconnections of the El Niño phenomenon: public health and epidemiological prospects (PhD)
  • Inter-annual and low frequency ocean-atmosphere variability in the Indian Ocean region (PhD
  • Spatial and temporal analyses of Australian pressure and temperature fields (PhD)

Masters Research

  • Sources and trajectories of wildfire haze in SE Asia
  • Characterising the urban heat island of Jakarta
  • Flood response discourses in Metro Manila, Philippines
  • Storminess along the Australian east coast
  • Developing a carbon accounting system framework for Pakistan
  • A prompt indicator of international carbon emissions trends
  • Climate change adaptation and human development co-benefits
  • REDD+ implementation in Indonesia
  • Perceptions of climate change risk and coastal adaptation options

Honours Theses

  • Observed and simulated relationship amongst ENSO, the IPO and rainfall variability in eastern Australia
  • Representations of resilience in the disaster policies of four ASEAN member states
  • Migration options for people displaced due to climate change impacts in the Pacific
  • Visualising the spatial and temporal dimensions of climate change
  • Extreme heat events and heat stress in Singapore and Hong Kong
  • Multi-sector urban climate governance: greenhouse gas mitigation in the Australian Capital Territory
  • Potential change in the Alliance of Small Island States
  • Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction from a sediment deposit in Alexandra Cave, Naracoorte, South Australia
  • Simulation of Australian precipitation: comparison of model and observational data
  • Geothermal energy potential of the Clarence-Morton Basin, New South Wales
  • Process-based modelling of dengue fever and climate in Cairns, Queensland
  • Spatial variation in ENSO and the Australian monsoon
  • Social networks and adaptation to climate change
  • Drought and climate change in south-eastern Australia
  • Influence of weather on the prevalence and seasonality of airspora in Canberra, Australia
  • Temperature and rainfall trends in the Canberra region
  • Predicting fire season severity in southern Australia
  • Long-term rainfall trends in the Murray-Darling Basin
  • Climate change perceptions in the Australian wheat industry
  • Atmospheric factors affecting fire season severity in south-eastern Australia
  • Climate science and policy: a case study of carbon sequestration and the Kyoto Protocol
  • Synoptic conditions and severe advective frosts in the Canberra viticulture region
  • Australian region summer tropical-extratropical cloud bands, ENSO and rainfall
  • Interannual sea surface temperature variability in the central southern Indian Ocean


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Updated:  24 January 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers