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Tim Flannery

b. 1956

Tim Flannery (b. 1956) grew up in Melbourne, where he spent time in the ocean and completed degrees in English and earth sciences. Moving to Sydney, he gained a doctorate in palaeontology for work on the evolution of kangaroos. (In the course of his decades of research into Australasian fauna, he has discovered 30 new species including two tree-kangaroos.) His academic posts include a visiting professorship at Harvard in 1998-1999, a professorship at the University of Adelaide from 1999 to 2006 and a professorship in the climate research centre of Macquarie University from 2007 to 2013. He was principal research scientist at the Australian Museum from 1984 to 1999; from 1999 to 2006 he was director of the South Australian Museum. From 2007, in the leadup to the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009, he chaired the awareness-raising Copenhagen Climate Council. He and was the first (and to date, only) chief commissioner of the Climate Commission, a Gillard government initiative of 2011 which was defunded by the Abbott government in 2013. With crowd-funding, he and his fellow commissioners established an independent Climate Council of which he is the current chairman. Flannery is a prolific and widely published author; his Who’s Who entry, which lists his publications, runs to nearly a page. His best-selling books The Future Eaters (1994) and The Weather Makers (2005) have taken his ideas about human impact on the natural world to international audiences. His latest publication about sustainability is Atmosphere of Hope (2015).

Updated 2017