Advisory Committee

Linking research, industry and community
Our Advisory Committee brings together leading thinkers from around the world to provide insight and advice on our strategic direction, research and partnerships.


Ali Abbas   Director of the Laboratory for Multiscale Systems, University of Sydney
Melissa Haswell Professor of Practice (Environmental Wellbeing), University of Sydney
Peter Lipman Founder, Anthropocene Actions
Iain McCalman Emeritus Professor of History, Australian Catholic University
Joel Negin Professor of Public Health, University of Sydney
Jenny Newell Curator, Climate Change Projects, The Australian Museum
Dagmar Reinhardt                      School of Architecture Design and Planning, University of Sydney
Tim Stephens Professor of International Law, University of Sydney
Glenda Wardle Professor of Ecology and Evolution, University of Sydney
Zoe Whitton Managing DIrector, Head of Impact, Pollination Group
Bhiamie Williamson Research Fellow, Fire to Flourish, Monash University
Christine Winter Senior Lecturer in the Politics Programme, University of Otago
Georgina Woods Head of Research and Investigations, Lock the Gate

Ali Abbas

Professor Ali Abbas received both his Bachelors and PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Sydney, Australia. He held a lecturing contract at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Sydney before joining the new School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in 2004. In 2007 he was appointed as a lecturer at UNSW Asia in Chemical Engineering in the Division of Engineering Science and Technology. Associate Professor Abbas returned to the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Sydney later in 2007. His engineering research is in the area of Process Systems Engineering with an emphasis on model-based optimal operation of particulate, energy and bio- systems. He has strong interests in education and teaching with particular focus on curriculum design and integration as well as on experiential e-learning and virtual worlds (such as the University's Second Life world).

Melissa Haswell

Melissa Haswell is Professor of Practice (Environmental Wellbeing) in the Office of the DVC (Indigenous Strategy and Services) at the University of Sydney. Melissa works at the interface between the One Sydney Many People and Sustainability Strategies, including Academic Leadership of Service Learning in Indigenous Communities (SLIC), working alongside Coordinator, Suzanne Kenney. Since 1996, Melissa has taught Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, ecological and planetary health. Her research on the measurement of empowerment, social and emotional wellbeing, transformative learning and advocacy on local and global impacts of gas mining and climate change, especially in the Torres Strait and Northern Territory, is recognised internationally.

Peter Lipman

Peter Lipman is the former (founding) chair of Transition Network and Common Cause Foundation and also chaired the UK government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change’s Community Energy Contact Group. He’s been a teacher, a co-operative worker, an intellectual property lawyer and worked at UK charity Sustrans, most recently as external affairs director, before setting up Anthropocene Actions, a community interest company which promotes experiments in enabling fair, loving and ecologically regenerative societies.

Iain McCalman

Professor Iain Duncan McCalman, AO, FRHistS, FASSA, FAHA, FRSN was born in Malawi, Africa, schooled in Zimbabwe, and earned his BA, MA and PhD in Melbourne and Canberra, Australia. He recently retired from a position as Research Professor of History and Co-Director of the Sydney Environment Institute at the University of Sydney. He has held many Visiting Research Fellowships in Britain and the United States, including at All Souls and Oriel Colleges, Oxford, Princeton,New Jersey, and as a Mellon Visiting Professor at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. Iain is a Fellow and former President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and a Fellow of three other Learned Academies in Australia and Britain, and is a Professor Emeritus of the University of Sydney and the Australian National University. He was Director of the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University, Canberra, from 1995 until 2002. He was made an Officer of Australia for Services to History and the Humanities in 2007. He has written and edited more than fourteen books and numerous articles on modern British, European and Australian cultural history and has also been a historical consultant and narrator for a several BBC, ABC and commercial TV and film documentaries.

Joel Negin

Professor Joel Negin, PhD, is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney.  Joel’s research focuses on the social determinants of health with a focus on improving the health status of those with greatest need.  He maintains projects in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Fiji. Before moving to Australia, he was awarded degrees from Harvard and Columbia Universities and then worked for six years in sub-Saharan Africa on various health and development programs. In his current role, he is responsible for the University’s partnerships and agreements with a variety of health and medicine collaborators.

Jenny Newell

Jenny Newell

Jenny Newell is Curator, Climate Change Projects at the Australian Museum. Jenny works on the cultural dimensions of climate change, focusing on communities in Australia and the Pacific. She aims to increase engagement in environmental stewardship through the medium of museums. With a background in environmental history, Jenny has worked with Pacific communities and collections at the British Museum, National Museum of Australia, the American Museum of Natural History (New York) and the Australian Museum to amplify voices on climate change for broad audiences. Jenny convenes the Museums & Climate Change Network and is a member of the International Council of Museums’ Working Group for Sustainability.

Dagmar Reinhardt

Dr Dagmar Reinhardt is a practising architect, researcher and educator. Dr Reinhardt leads the robotics research group and the Master of Digital Architecture Research stream and at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney, and her design research studios are regularly awarded the prestigious National Student Award for Structural Innovation and for Digital Innovation by the AIA Institute of Architects, Sydney, NSW. Lecturing internationally, she was the Foundational Program Director of the Bachelor of Architecture and Environments (BAE, 2014-2018). As a practising architect, her built works, competitions and installations are research-based, widely published and have received numerous recognitions and awards for affordable and multi-generational residential works ( 
Dr Reinhardt’s research focuses on the intersection and integration of architecture, acoustics, structure, robotics, fabrication, material and constructions constraints into design and interdisciplinary collaborations. She investigates opportunities for leveraging robotic fabrication methods to adapt geometry, materiality and construction methods within design technology, so new solutions become available for the difficult relationship between human labour and construction automation in the building trades. Reinhardt leads two substantial industry and state-government funded projects on new robotic applications for workspace scenarios, and for safer and healthier construction work environments. As associate editor of the Springer Journal of Construction Robotics, she networks the Australian section. Dr Reinhardt is currently writing a book on ‘Design Robotics’ that bridge robotic approaches between construction robotics, social robots, and collaborative and creative robotics.

Tim Stephens 

Tim Stephens is Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney Law School. He teaches and researches in public international law, with his published work focussing on the international law of the sea, international environmental law and international dispute settlement. Professor Stephens' major publications include The International Law of the Sea (Hart, 2010, 2016, co-authored with Donald R Rothwell), and International Courts and Environmental Protection (Cambridge University Press, 2009). He holds a PhD in law from the University of Sydney, an M.Phil in geography from the University of Cambridge, and BA and LLB degrees (both with Honours) from the University of Sydney. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law. 

Glena Wardle

Glenda Wardle has PhD and MS degrees in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago (USA). Her research training began in New Zealand with a BSc in Botany and an MSc (First Class Honours) in Ecology from the University of Auckland. After Chicago, Glenda moved to Australia to take up an academic position at the University of Sydney, where she is currently a Professor of Ecology and Evolution. Glenda co-leads the Desert Ecology Research Group (DERG), well known for their long-term field research in arid Australia studying the dynamics of populations, species and ecological interactions to improve conservation and management of ecosystems, particularly deserts. She provides expert advice to several projects for the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and NGOs such as Bush Heritage Australia and the Central Land Council and is an internationally renowned expert advising several global projects.

Zoe Whitton

Zoe Whitton is Head of Impact at Pollination Group, a specialist climate change investment and advisory firm. Zoe assists companies and investors to navigate the impacts of climate change and to build new businesses and products which are transition aligned. She previously led the award-winning APAC ESG Research team at Citi, advising institutional investors globally on climate change and sustainable development. Earlier in her career Zoe covered ESG and climate change at Credit Suisse and at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and served as a youth delegate to the UNFCCC. She serves on the boards of the Investor Group on Climate Change and the Centre for Policy Development, and on the Steering Committee of the Australian Climate Governance Initiative. She is also member of the Australian Sustainable Finance Institute’s Technical Advisory Group, and the Sydney Environment Institute’s Advisory Group. Zoe has won numerous awards for her research and work on climate finance and risk, and regularly contributes to the wider conversation on sustainable finance by commentating in the Australian and international press along with various publications.

Bhiamie Williamson

Bhiamie, is a Euahlayi man from north-west NSW with family ties to north-west QLD.  As a Roberta Sykes Scholar, he completed a Masters of Arts in Indigenous Governance from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) from the Australian National University, and a Professional Studies Certificate in Indigenous Governance from the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona in the United States.  His Honours thesis When the Wattle Flowers, investigated the roles and functions of Aboriginal Ranger organisations throughout Australia, comparing and contrasting them to the National Landcare program and it was awarded the Charlie D Jubb Prize for Environmental Research in 2014. 

Bhiamie's fields of professional and academic experience include Indigenous land and water management, cultural burning, Indigenous youth leadership, Indigenous governance and Indigenous data sovereignty. Bhiamie's PhD at the Australian National University investigates Indigenous men and masculinities. He is currently Research Fellow, Fire to Flourish at Monash University.

Christine Winter 

(Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairoa,  Ngati Pākehā)

Dr Winter is senior lecturer in environmental, climate change, multispecies and indigenous politics in the Politics Programme at the University of Otago/ Te Whare Wānaga o Otāgo, and a Research Affiliate with the Sydney Environment Institute. Her research focuses on the ways in which political theory, and particularly theories of justice, continue to perpetuate injustice for some Peoples (and more specifically for Māori) and the environment. She developed a decolonial critique of theories of intergenerational justice in The Subjects of Intergenerational Justice: Indigenous philosophy, the environment, and relationships (2022 Routlege). She is currently writing about justice, and the planetary boundaries when seen through a decolonial lens. 

Georgina Woods 

Georgina Woods is an environmentalist and writer living and working by the sea on Worimi and Awabakal land. She has 25 years’ experience in environmental advocacy which has taken her from the paddocks and forests of rural resistance coal and gas mining, to the hallways of UN climate conferences and the decks of the Rainbow Warrior. Her experience ranges from organising, facilitation and direct action in grassroots collectives for biodiversity conservation and against the causes of climate change, to work for national and international non-government organisations on policy, law reform, communications and strategy. Her passions are biodiversity, literature, cooperation and complexity. She is a founder and board member of the Hunter Community Environment Centre and the Hunter Jobs Alliance and is currently Head of Impact for Climate Risk and its sister companies XDI and Climate Valuation, deploying those companies’ sophisticated data and analysis of climate change physical risk towards transformative global action on climate change. She is also a poet, and her debut collection The Tide Will Take It is published by Puncher and Wattman.