Will

Steffen

Dr.

Senior research fellow

+61-2-447-980-495

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Staff profile

Will Steffen's research interests span a broad range within the field of Earth System science, with an emphasis on global sustainability integrating Earth and world dynamics, planetary boundaries and the Anthropocene

Profile summary

  • Will's research interests span a broad range within the field of Earth
    System science, with a special emphasis on terrestrial ecosystem
    interactions with global change
  • He has given numerous presentations on climate change, global change and
    Earth System science to political and business leaders as well as
    community groups
  • He has also served on several advisory boards and review panels

His primary position is Emeritus Professor with the Fenner School of Environment and Society, the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra. He is also a Councillor with the independent Climate Council of Australia.

He began his career as a chemical engineer with a BSc from the University of Missouri. He holds an MSc (1972) and PhD (1975) degrees in chemistry from the University of Florida and honorary doctorate degrees from Stockholm University and the University of Canberra. Following a research fellowship at the Research School of Chemistry at ANU from 1977-1980, Will joined the CSIRO Division of Environmental Mechanics in the roles of science management, editing and communication.

In 1990 Will took up the position of Executive Officer for the Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). From 1998 to 2004 he served as Executive Director of IGBP and was based in Stockholm. Will returned to Canberra in mid-2004 and took up a Visiting Fellowship with the Bureau of Rural Sciences, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australian Government. A year later he joined the ANU and was the foundation director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society before serving as Executive Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute from 2008 to 2012.

Will's research interests span a broad range within the field of Earth System science, with an emphasis on global sustainability integrating Earth and world dynamics, planetary boundaries and the Anthropocene.

His work usually takes a synthesis/integration approach to complex questions about the evolution of the human-environment relationship, often working with teams of researchers across ANU and Australia, and internationally.

He has given numerous presentations on climate change, global change and Earth System science to political and business leaders as well as community groups. He has also served on several advisory boards and review panels. He holds an Honorary Professorship in the Department of Geography and Geology, Copenhagen University.

Theme affiliation: Patterns of the Anthropocene

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