Dr. Rebecca Harris
Climate Research Fellow
Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems CRC
University of Tasmania
Bec works in the Climate Futures team at the Antarctic Climate Ecosystems CRC, which interprets fine-scale regional climate projections over Tasmania and South-eastern Australia. Her principal research interests are in the areas of conservation management and climate change impacts on natural and human systems. Recent research has focused on the impact of climate variability and extreme events on natural ecosystems and the adaptability of species and humans to change. She is currently working to improve the application of climate science to ecological research and adaptation responses by incorporating the high frequency and seasonal information available in regional climate projections with species-specific biological information. She is a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group II.
She is currently the lead researcher on the project “An assessment of the viability of prescribed burning as a management tool under a changing climate”, funded by the National Disaster Resilience Grants Program, 2016 and the Tasmanian Bushfire Mitigation Grants Program, 2018. This research is investigating the changing conditions for prescribed burning in Tasmania under climate change, focusing on seasonal and monthly changes in the climate variables that determine when prescribed burning can be applied; the frequency and distribution of daily weather patterns associated with atmospheric instability and extreme fire danger; and changes to broad vegetation types that may result from the interaction between climate change and frequency of burning.