Mark Stafford Smith

Chair, Science Committee

Dr Mark Stafford Smith is the Science Director of CSIRO’s Climate Adaptation Flagship in Canberra, Australia, where he oversees a highly interdisciplinary programme of research on many aspects of adapting to climate change. He has more than 30 years experience in drylands systems ecology, management and policy, including senior roles such as Program Leader of CSIRO’s Centre for Arid Zone Research in Alice Springs, and then CEO of the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre.  During this time he was a task leader under the Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems core project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP).  He was also a key contributor to the AridNET international network of drylands researchers that devised the Dryland Development Paradigm.  In the past decade his research focus has turned more to adaptation to climate change.  He was an ICSU-appointed member then vice-chair of IGBP’s Scientific Committee during 2003-2009; and co-chair of the Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge Towards Solutions conference on global environmental change in the lead up to Rio+20 in 2012.

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