Bernie Goldie

Budding scientist’s atmospheric achievement

A CSIRO scholarship has landed UOW student Rebecca Buchholz the chance to work on a world-first project that is expected to accurately predict climate change scenarios over the next 50 years.

The Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry PhD candidate in the School of Chemistry will join scientists from the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology to provide combined earth system and climate modelling data for natural resource management.

Earlier this year Rebecca also attended the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society conference in Wellington where her presentation on extreme weather was recognised as the best student talk.

Rebecca’s passion for the environment started at a young age.

“I remember learning about the holes in the ozone layer when I was young and then later, after my undergraduate degree, I just kept coming back to this topic of study,” Rebecca said.

“This work is important because we need to understand what we’ve got and where we’re going. I mean, we only have one environment,” she said.

The Australian Community Climate and Earth-System Simulator (ACCESS) project aims to simultaneously model the interactions of oceans, sea ice, atmospheric chemistry and climate.

As part of the scholarship, Rebecca will be supervised by members of the ACCESS atmospheric team and investigate the effect of changes to climate on atmospheric chemistry.

The real-world data generated by ACCESS will also be compared with measurements that have been collected by the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry over the past 15 years.

UOW senior lecturer of Chemistry Dr Clare Murphy and Professor David Griffith are the co-supervisors of Rebecca’s research.

By Melissa Coade


  • PhD student Rebecca Buchholz adjusts an infrared Fourier Transform Spectrophotometer (FTS) to measure atmospheric composition

  • In her lab, Rebecca carefully pours liquid nitrogen into the FTS

  • CSIRO scholarship recipient Rebecca Buchholz will have the chance to work with a new earth-system simulator