Steering Committee

Future Earth Australia is guided and directed by its Steering Committee, made up of one representative from each member institution, and two Early Career Researcher and Professional representatives (one university, one non-university). 

The Steering Committee is currently Co-Chaired by Professor Wendy Steele and Dr. Jemma Purandare.


Professor Wendy Steele (Co-Chair) - RMIT UniversityWendy Steele

Wendy Steele is the Co-Chair of Future Earth Australia, Professor of Sustainability and Urban Governance in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University and the Research Director for RMIT Europe. Her research focuses on cities in climate change as a transdisciplinary agenda with an emphasis on human-nature relationships, rethinking critical infrastructure and socially innovative approaches to addressing urban climate vulnerability. Her recent books include Planning Wild Cities: Human-Nature Relationships in the Urban Age (Routledge 2020), Quiet Activism: Climate action at the local scale (Palgrave 2021), The Sustainable Development Goals and Higher Education (Palgrave 2022) and Hot Cities: A Transdisciplinary Agenda (Edward Elgar 2023). Wendy is a founding member of the Planetary Civics Inquiry (PCI) working in collaboration with diverse stakeholders around ways of governing planetary commons to support and promote more regenerative futures. 



Jemma Purandare (Co-Chair) - ECRP Representative Jemma Purandare

Jemma Purandare is the non-university Early Career Researchers and Professional representative and Co-Chair of Future Earth Australia. Jemma is an environmental scientist who has worked in water quality, estuarine management, and habitat restoration for the past 16 years. She has a background in both environmental science and environmental law, and currently works for the City of Gold Coast's Water and Waste Directorate while working on her PhD in estuarine science at Griffith University's Coastal and Marine Research Centre. She has a keen interest in the bridge between science and policy and hopes to further contribute to developing stronger environmental and climate conservation and protection in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region. Jemma represents an alternative pathway for ECRPs and is keen to ensure all ECRPs are represented, regardless of their age, discipline, or background.  



Professor Stuart Bunn – Griffith University Stuart Bunn

Stuart was the founding Director of the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. His major research interests are in the ecology of river and wetland systems with a particular focus on the science to underpin river management. He has extensive experience working with international and Australian government agencies and with industry on water resource management issues. He is a member of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and has previously served on several National Australian Water Committees. Stuart was recently appointed as a member of the Earth Commission, hosted by Future Earth, and was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2022. 



Professor Tony Capon – Monash University Tony Capon

Tony Capon directs the Monash Sustainable Development Institute and holds a chair in planetary health in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. A public health physician and authority in environmental health and health promotion, his research focuses on urbanisation, sustainable development and human health. Tony is a former director of the International Institute for Global Health at United Nations University (UNU-IIGH), and has previously held professorial appointments at the University of Sydney and Australian National University. He is a member of the Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health that published its report Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch in 2015, and the International Advisory Board for The Lancet Planetary Health. 



Dr Steven Lade – Australian National University Steven Lade

Steven takes a complex systems approach to studying the resilience of systems of humans and nature, from local to planetary scales. He integrates mathematical methods and concepts with knowledge and approaches from other disciplines. He uses these tools in a broad range of intensive interdisciplinary collaborations on topics including water resources, Earth system science, climate change, biodiversity loss, fisheries, poverty and agriculture. Steven currently holds an ARC Future Fellowship, an ARC Discovery Project, and is a Commissioner at the Earth Commission convened by Future Earth. 



Dr Peat Leith - CSIRO Peat Leith

Peat leads CSIRO’s Valuing Sustainability Future Science Platform and is project lead for the Sustainability Science Scaffolding Project. His research areas include social and institutional dimensions of natural resource management; institutional design; the roles of science and technology in sustainability; climate change adaptation in agriculture, fisheries and coastal zone management; social learning and collective knowledge production. His research background has focussed on how science can effectively underpin sustainability outcomes.  



Dr Anna Lintern – ECRP Representative, Monash University Anna Lintern

Anna is a Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering at Monash University. Her research interests lie in trying to better understand the impact of humans on water quality. Specifically, how humans affect spatial and temporal differences in water quality in our waterways. Understanding what drives spatio-temporal variability in stream and lake water quality will enable us to better predict future water quality in both urban and rural catchments. Her studies aim to increase Australia’s ability to design the most effective mitigation strategies for waterway pollution; and thereby protect water sources for both environmental benefits and for human usage. Anna is the University member Early Career Research and Professionals representative for Future Earth Australia.  



Professor Juan Francisco Salazar – Western Sydney University Juan Salazar

Juan Francisco Salazar was born in Santiago, Chile, and migrated to Sydney in 1998. He is an interdisciplinary researcher, author and documentary filmmaker whose academic and creative work explore the coupled dynamics of social-ecological change and is underpinned by a collaborative ethos across the arts, science and activism. Juan’s research interests include environmental humanities, social science, Antartica and outer space, and Indigenous media in Latin America. He is a Professor for the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University, Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2020-2024), and co-founder of the international Antarctic youth Coalition in 2020.  



Professor David Schoeman – University of the Sunshine Coast David Shoeman

Dave is a quantitative marine ecologist who specialises in climate-change ecology and climate-smart marine conservation planning. He has worked professionally as a marine ecologist in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Australia. Dave has been a key member of numerous of collaborative international research networks in ecological analysis and synthesis and has served as a Coordinating Lead Author and Review Editor on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report. In addition to research, Dave teaches ecological statistics both at undergraduate level at UniSC, and as a service to early career researchers. David runs annual workshops for early career researchers on statistical programming environments, training over 1,000 scientists.  



Professor Danielle Celemajer – University of Sydney Danielle Celemajer

Danielle Celermajer is a Professor of Sociology and Social Policy in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney, and Deputy Director – Academic at the Sydney Environment Institute. She is the Director of the Multispecies Justice Project and the Research Lead on Concepts and Practices of Multispecies Justice. Professor Celermajer lived through the 2019-20 NSW bushfires and wrote of her experience of the “killing of everything”, which she calls “omnicide”. She has been widely published on the topic, including her book ‘Summertime: Reflections on a Vanishing Future’. Her research interests lie in multispecies justice and climate imaginaries. 




Academy Guidance

Future Earth Australia is overseen by the Executive Committee of the Australian Academy of Science. We report to Professor Ian Chubb AC FAA FTSE, Secretary Science Policy and Professor Frances Separovic AO FAA, Foreign Secretary.  

ian chubb
Emeritus Professor Ian Chubb
Professor Francis Separovic.