Emerging climate change researcher scoops two awards

28 November 2023

Five people with certificates
Dr Luke Harrington with the finalists for the Hamilton City Council Emerging Scientist Award. From left: Dr Swati Jivanji (LIC), Dr Kiri Joy Wallace (University of Waikato), Dr Harrington, Katrin Hewitt (AgResearch), and Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate. Kudos Science Trust

University of Waikato climate scientist Dr Luke Harrington has scooped two awards that recognise his growing reputation in climate change research.

Dr Harrington has been awarded the Hamilton City Council Emerging Scientist Award at the Kudos Science Trust 2023 Awards. He has also been awarded the prestigious Edward Kidson Medal by the New Zealand Meteorological Society, and he's leading three other recent grants that will support environmental resilience in the face of climate change.

The Edward Kidson Medal recognises a scientist who has made a significant contribution that has advanced the science of meteorology and/or climatology.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Karin Bryan said the awards are a fantastic validation of Dr Harrington’s research.

“We’re excited our students can learn from the expertise and passion of an emerging leader in climate change research, especially those working towards the world first Bachelor of Climate Change degree at the University.”

Kidson medal
Edward Kidson Medal.

Of the wins, Dr Harrington said “It’s nice to have the recognition of my peers for some of the research we’ve published, though I’m almost always working with a team of fantastic collaborators. It’s only through these partnerships that we come up with insights which can help decision makers in the real world.”

A Senior Lecturer in Climate Change, Dr Harrington leads the Climate Extremes and Societal Impacts (CLESI) research group at the University.

He says, “We’re looking at extreme weather events, their impacts on society and the role of anthropogenic climate change – all with a view to better prepare New Zealanders for the ongoing impacts of climate change.”

Dr Harrington and CLESI are working on three recently funded complementary research programmes focussed on building the resilience of our environment and homes to extreme weather events. They’re actively seeking postgraduate students to work on the programmes:

Dr Harrington is further collaborating on work to help communities and organisations, both in Aotearoa and globally, adapt to worsening extreme weather events. He’s involved with multiple projects working to understand the health risks associated with extreme heat in Aotearoa.

Internationally, he is working with other researchers to assess how worsening climate hazards can disproportionately affect some of the world’s poorest communities, offering insight into the losses and damages from climate change that are already being experienced.

This research aligns with the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure Reduced Inequalities Sustainable Cities and Communities Climate Action Life on Land Partnerships for the goals

Latest stories

Related stories

three people by conference screen

Don’t blame the mangroves!

A new study shows surprising results around coastal restoration, mangroves and sediment.

Dr Rebecca Lawton Rutherford Discovery Fellow

Prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowship awarded to Dr Rebecca Lawton for marine kelp research

Dr Rebecca Lawton, Senior Lecturer in Marine Science and Aquaculture at the University of Waikato…

Professor Chris Battershill

Renowned scientist honoured for dedication to marine conservation

World-renowned marine scientist Professor Chris Battershill has been honoured for his significant contributions to marine…

Poorer countries must be compensated for climate damage. But how exactly do we crunch the numbers?

As the planet warms, a key concern in international climate negotiations is to compensate developing…

Collectively combating the climate crisis

University of Waikato researchers are helping New Zealand communities mitigate emissions and adapt to the…

Rapid response to protect penguins from bird flu

Professor Craig Cary wasn’t planning to spend part of his 2022/23 Antarctic deployment trekking around…

Oceanography researcher recognised for making waves around the world

With a sea captain for a grandfather and childhood summers spent around the sea, it’s…

An ocean of possibilities in marine research at University of Waikato

Researchers at the University of Waikato are turning to the ocean to clean up our…

Algae to economics: academic promotions announced

The University of Waikato has announced its latest round of academic promotions.

University set to host international epicentre of activity for volcanologists

Hundreds of volcanologists and earth scientists from around the world meet in Rotorua for the…

New app allows easy identification of all NZ plants, animals and fungi

Imagine being able to readily identify every plant and bird in your garden, on a…

Avoiding climate breakdown depends on protecting Earth’s biodiversity – can the COP15 summit deliver?

Thousands of delegates have gathered in Montreal, Canada, for a once-in-a-decade chance to address the…