By Aimée Komugabe

The timing of ANU’s Climate Change Institute’s PhD EXPO (click here for programme) could not have been more convenient. Just a few days after the “State of the Climate 2012 report” by CSIRO and the Bureau of meteorology   was released (click here for CSIRO link), and also a day after the Workshop on Climate Change Governance in the Asia-Pacific Region , the PhD EXPO was such a success. PhD students from all fields came together to showcase their research.

Thomas Stallkamp, director of Baxter International Inc has famously been quoted saying: “The secret is to gang up on the problem, rather than each other.” So last Friday’s event brought bankers, doctors, economists, scientists, sociologists and other researchers together, ganging up on the problem of climate change. The event, opened by Marnie Hughes-Warrington, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), brought not only researchers from ANU working on climate change but also some from the Asia Pacific Network Group. Researchers based in Singapore, Japan and India, to name a few countries, were in attendance. The event was very well organized by the CCI team, headed by Will Steffen, with Colette Gilmour and senior researchers giving up some of their precious time to chair the sections of the event.

It was exhilarating to see what depth and breadth of research that is being undertaken. There is something that must be said about tackling an enormous problem from different angles – you are part of something bigger, you are inspired to do more, you begin to think more laterally! Charles Darwin could not have put it more eloquently – those who learn to collaborate and improvise most effectively will prevail. This is the only way we can defeat this multi-headed beast called climate change.

This EXPO was definitely not a single event to throw in the back of one’s memory. A CCI PhD network that links all young researchers working in this field with each other is already in the making. This will provide a platform to brainstorm, share ideas and team up on new projects. As a human race, we just might be born survivors!