BSc Hons University of Cape Town (1993)
PhD (Climatology) University of Cape Town, South Africa (1999)
Debbie is a Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (2003-present) focusing on sub-seasonal and seasonal climate prediction. She completed her PhD in climatology at the University of Cape Town, followed by a post-doc at the UK Met Office investigating climate change over southern Africa using global and regional climate models.
Debbie is currently leading the Bureau component of a large multi-institution project that will deliver direct value to agriculture through providing forecasts of extremes and equipping farmers with the information and tools to be forewarned and prepared. The Bureau, working with research partners, will develop and deliver forecasts of the likelihood of climate extremes on sub-seasonal to seasonal timescales – beyond the 7-day weather forecast. This will provide farmers with the first ever forecasts of extremes weeks to seasons ahead.
Apart from investigating the prediction of extremes, Debbie is heavily involved in leading the development and evaluation of the Bureau's seasonal forecast system (ACCESS-S) and its progression from R&D into operations and services. She is particularly interested in how forecast initialization and ensemble design affects forecast skill; the sources of sub-seasonal and seasonal predictability; forecast verification; developing forecast products and interfacing forecasts to applications and decision-making.
Debbie is a member of the Academy of Science’s National Committee for Earth System Science and is on the "Extremes" and "Verification and Products" sub-projects of the international WMO (WCRP/WWRP) Sub-seasonal to Seasonal (S2S) Project.