Australian National University
Dr Lewis’ research looks at the causes of recent extreme weather and climate events, such as heat waves and floods, in Australia using computer climate models. Climate extremes can have disastrous environmental and social impacts. Understanding the causes of extremes and their links to global warming can help us assess what types of climate extremes we should be planning for and so be better prepared for future climate change. Using many experiments conducted with computer models, she investigates whether recent extremes, such as the heavy rains in Queensland in 2011, were more likely to have occurred due to human-caused greenhouse gas warming.
Sophie was embedded at The Age newspaper in 2013 as the inaugural Australian Science Media Centre Scientist in Residence, publishing an expert comment addressing the myth that global warming had ceased. She was selected as a participant in the competitive Climate Fellows Program facilitated by the Climate Commission, a four-month science communication fellowship that led to numerous radio and television interviews and several articles on the news web site The Conversation. I have participated in school-based and community outreach programs and public science events, including as one of four invited experts at the AMOS State of the Climate 2014 public forum in Melbourne, which was attended by 300 people.