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AMOS Awards 2021

AMOS is pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2021 AMOS Awards.

Uwe Radok Award

The Uwe Radok Award is for the best PhD thesis in the AMOS fields of oceanography, glaciology or climatology, awarded in Australia. It honours the contributions of Dr Uwe Radok who was one of Australia’s pioneers in meteorological and glaciological research. He was Head of the Department of Meteorology at the University of Melbourne from 1960 to 1977 and played a leading role in the development of Australian Antarctic meteorology and glaciology.

Awarded to: Jaiwei Bao

The Uwe Radok award for best PhD thesis in 2020 is awarded to Jaiwei Bao from UNSW, Sydney for his thesis titled “Understanding extreme precipitation and its links with convective organisation”. Jaiwei’s thesis used observations and regional model simulations to explore how extreme precipitation changes in response to warming. His research found flawed assumptions in a commonly used method to explore correlations between temperature and rainfall characteristics. This work has been published in Nature Climate Change and has currently received more than 100 citations. Jaiwei also showed that changes in extreme rainfall are related to the degree of organisation of convection in work published in JAMES that was given an editor’s highlight. Jaiwei was supervised by Steven Sherwood and Lisa Alexander.


Zillman Medal

The Zillman Medal acknowledges scientists in their mature years who have carried out most of their research in Australia and have made a significant contribution with a record of innovative and transformative research. The award is named in honour of the distinguished contributions of Dr John Zillman to Australian and international meteorology and science. Dr Zillman was the Director of Meteorology from 1978 to 2003 and President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) from 1995 to 2003 and is now an honorary senior adviser at The Bureau of Meteorology.

Awarded to: Scott Power

The 2021 Zillman Medal is awarded to Professor Scott Power, Director of the Centre for Applied Climate Sciences at the University of Southern Queensland, Adjunct Professor in the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment at Monash University, and an Associate Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes. Before joining USQ Scott was a Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Bureau of Meteorology, where he also served as International Development Officer and head of climate monitoring and prediction services. He was also the climate science advisor to the Australian Government’s Climate Change Authority 2018-2021 and CLA on the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Scott is widely regarded both nationally and internationally as a leading authority on global warming, ENSO, Australian climate, and climate variability and projections. He pioneered a number of major discoveries in climate science concerning ENSO and its changing impact on Australia and the Pacific. He described and named the “Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation” (IPO) and discovered that ENSO can drive climatic regime shifts in the subsurface ocean on decadal time scales. He has published over 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals including the Science and Nature series. He served on many national and international committees and coordinated the Australian Climate Change Science Program and the Pacific Climate Change Science Program. Scott has dedicated passion and effort over many years in capacity building in the Pacific, and to mentoring and supervising many students and post-docs.


Priestley Medal

The Priestley Medal recognises personal excellence in meteorological, oceanographic or climate research carried out substantially within Australia by a mid-career scientist no older than 45 years. It commemorates the life-long contributions of Dr C H B Priestley, the first Chief of the CSIRO Division of Meteorological Physics, to meteorological and oceanographic research.

Awarded to: Shayne McGregor

The 2021 Priestley Medal is awarded to Associate Professor Shayne McGregor from Monash University. Shayne is one of Australia’s foremost experts in tropical climate variability and climate change. His work spans an impressive array of areas that has led to important discoveries related to: (i) the recent tropical Pacific trade wind acceleration and its relationship to global warming variations; (ii) understanding El Niño event dynamics, particularly El Niño event onset and termination; (iii) developing our understanding of how explosive volcanism can impact El Niño; (iv) understanding the drivers of regional patterns of sea level rise; and (v) paleo-climatic reconstructions of past ENSO variability. As a result of Shayne’s work, we now have a much better understanding of global decadal climate variability and inter-basin teleconnections. He has made important contributions to several key national and international reports (including IPCC AR6) on the role of the oceans in climate variability and change. He is a member of the AMOS expert group on Climate Variability and co-chairs the WCRP’s CLIVAR Pacific Region Panel.


Science Outreach Award

The Science Outreach Award recognises AMOS outreach ambassadors, who inspire other AMOS members to undertake science engagement activities, and additionally recognizes those who engage with the public, politicians, schools, businesses and communities, to educate and inform those groups on topics associated with AMOS themes.

Awarded to: Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick

The 2021 Science Outreach Award is awarded to Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick of UNSW, Canberra. Throughout her career and especially during the last five years, Sarah has provided a reliable and honest voice to the Australian and international discussion on climate science including the link between heatwaves and human health outcomes. She has featured in all major news outlets across Australia, written almost 30 articles for The Conversation, been generous with school engagements and contributed to an impressive range of community events, while raising a young family. Her fortnightly communication through NSW and ACT newspapers is bringing climate change into regular view of Australians. She has established and maintained an online heatwave tool (scorcher.com.au), and been featured in documentaries and TV programs (e.g. BBC Life at 50 degrees; National Geographic Nature’s Fury). She has also given climate briefings to politicians, business, education and legal professionals. In October 2021, Sarah addressed the National Press Club on IPCC-related science.


AMOS would like to thank all those who participated in the 2021 awards process.

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