A flyer for a series of HE roundtable tables

The importance of global expertise and local action in the fight against Climate Change – a Higher Education Roundtable

Date 14.10.2021
Time 7:00pm (AEDT)
Location Online
Date: 14.10.2021 Time: 7:00pm (AEDT)


Knowledge is the key to reducing the impact of and adapting to the consequences of Climate Change, and local action is crucial in addressing this global problem. This roundtable explores a collaborative partnership between academics in official development assistance  (ODA) countries, the UK and Australia, applying local expertise to reduce the causes of global warming and to mitigate its effects in these most vulnerable countries. In a post-pandemic world, these projects also demonstrate new ways of cooperating internationally to create and deliver innovative and actionable solutions.

Geographical separation is not a barrier to global cooperation.

Join this roundtable discussion to hear from experts and project leads delivering research projects to tackle climate change.

Please check your local time.

09:00  UK time or British Summer Time – start time

19:00 Australian Eastern Standard Time – start time






  • Professor Steve Fletcher (Chair)

    Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy at the University of Portsmouth, Steve is an advocate for global ocean conservation and a sustainable future and works directly with the UN. He leads the University’s Revolution Plastics initiative, driving interdisciplinary research and innovation to solve challenges in areas as diverse as recycling, packaging and wastewater treatment.

  • Portrait photo of young woman with long brown hair, smiling and looking at camera. Dark background and wearing dark top

    Dr Vanessa Pirotta is a wildlife scientist, science communicator and woman in STEM. Vanessa’s research uses innovative technologies for wildlife conservation.

    Vanessa’s zoological background has taken her around the world for wildlife research. She is a passionate and experienced science communicator who loves making science accessible. Her keen interests cover topics of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, also known as STEAM. Vanessa has represented Australia internationally as the national winner of a world-renowned science communication competition known as FameLab, where she placed second in the world.

    Dr Pirotta has spoken as an invited marine mammal expert at the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation in Rome, Italy and has presented her research via the TEDx platform. Vanessa’s dedication to outreach within schools and with science professionals has seen her recognized as one of the top 100 Women of Influence judged by the Australian Financial Review. Vanessa has also been listed as one of 60 women from around Australia to join Science & Technology Australia 2021-2022 Superstar’s of STEM cohort.

  • Portrait shot woman, blonde shoulder length hair looking at camera Black jacket

    Sally-Ann Williams is the CEO of Cicada Innovations, Australia’s home of Deep Tech, supporting companies solving the world’s most pressing problems. As a board member for AusOcean’s, NSSN, and Qudos Bank, and former senior executive at Google Australia, Sally-Ann is a key figure driving progress and innovation in Australia.

  • caucasian man wearing dark jumper and shirt, long beard, glasses.

    Dr Alan Goddard is a Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean Education at Aston University.  His research focusses on the use of microbial systems e.g. yeast and bacteria in industrial processes.  He is interested in improving biotechnological processes to mitigate climate change and has particular expertise in modifying strains to be more resistant to the stresses they encounter during fermentation to make chemicals from waste.

    He currently leads the MSCA EU project MemTrain where 12 early stage researchers undertake PhDs in conjunction with industry – Alan is very interested in fostering intersectoral knowledge exchange and training.

  • Black female portrait photo, sunglasses, bright pink and black top and necklace

    Dr Liveness Jessica Banda is an Associate Professor in Animal Physiology and the current Programmes Coordinator at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) in Malawi where she has been working since 2002. She has a PhD in Animal Genomics and Disease Resistance obtained from University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom in 2014; MSc in Animal Science and BSc in Agriculture obtained from the University of Malawi in 1997 and 2001, respectively. She is involved in teaching, research, outreach and consultancy in animal science and related rural development programs. She teaches various courses related to animal physiology, production systems and general livestock production. Her research interests are in livestock reproduction, production and farming systems for efficient and sustainable production systems and socio-economic development in the context of climate change. Her forward look is to innovatively integrate modern technology and farm animal genetic resource management concepts in existing systems for improved livestock productivity, profitability and environmental management using systems approaches. Liveness is the local project lead in Malawi for the project on ‘Enhancing smallholder dairy feeding systems to improve productivity and mitigate climate change impacts in Malawi.’

  • Portrait shot Caucasian man wearing blue t shirt. Background is lake and forests

    Professor Bryan Boruff, The University of Western Australia, is a Geographer and Senior Lecturer in the School of Agriculture and Environment. Prof Boruff’s expertise lay in the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing technologies to the study of environmental hazards. Over the past decade, Dr Boruff’s research interests have expanded to encompass a range of environmental management issues including renewable energy and agricultural production, population health, environmental planning, sustainable livelihoods and the development of spatially enabled eResearch tools. He has extensive experience working in developing nations in multidisciplinary settings with academic, private and government stakeholders.