Lisa Alexander awarded Copernicus Medal 2024

The Copernicus Medal 2024 has been awarded to Lisa Alexander for her pioneering and ground-breaking work on climate extremes, observations and model evaluation, her global influence via the World Climate Research Programme, International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences and the World Meteorological Organization, and her excellent leadership of the CLIMDEX project.

Lisa Alexander is a professor at the Climate Change Research Centre at UNSW Sydney, Australia. She has previously worked as a research scientist for the UK Met Office Hadley Centre, including a secondment to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. She completed her doctorate at Monash University in 2009, winning the Mollie Holman Medal for best doctoral thesis.

Her research has concentrated on understanding the variability in and driving mechanisms of climate extremes. Her primary work aims to improve our understanding of observed changes in these events, using multiple research tools ranging from station observations to climate model output. Much of her work has been focused on the creation of high-quality global datasets and their comparison with state-of-the-art climate models. Of particular significance is Lisa's work on the production and assessment of global datasets of temperature and rainfall extremes under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI) and, more recently, the Expert Team on Climate Information for Decision-Making (ET-CID).

She has led regional capacity building and development workshops on behalf of the WMO in numerous developing countries, which has included the creation of the Climpact software to calculate and analyse climate extremes and the Climdex portal to serve the resultant data. Climpact is widely used by the National Hydrological and Meteorological Services, as well as other climate researchers around the world, and forms part of the WMO's regional online training accreditation. Lisa has contributed to numerous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports, including as a lead author on the Fifth Assessment Report. She served as editor-in-chief of Weather and Climate Extremes for 5 years and has sat on several high-level committees, including as a current member of the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme.

More information on the Copernicus Medal.
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