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Dr Terry O'Kane

Group Leader

Contact details:

GPO BOX 1538


Terry O’Kane is currently the group leader of Modelling the Earth System and senior principal research scientist in the Environment Business Unit of CSIRO, Hobart. He previously led the Geophysical Fluids, Climate Forecasting and Ocean Modelling teams. Terry is currently leading projects around "Causal inference in high dimensional multiscale systems" delivering to CSIRO missions and Future Science Platforms. Terry has previously led the data assimilation and modelling activity of the CSIRO decadal prediction project and the National Environmental Science Program Earth System Climate Change Hub project “Towards an ACCESS Decadal Prediction System”. Together with Prof. Adam Scaife (UK Met Office), Terry was co-chair of the committee for the World Climate Research Program Grand Challenge for Near Term Climate Forecasting.

Between 2013-2016 Terry was an ARC Future Fellow at the Full Professor level. He has or holds adjunct positions in mathematics (Professor, Senior Research Fellow) and marine and antarctic science (Senior Research Fellow) at the University of Tasmania and with the ARC Centre for Climate Extremes (CLEX). Prior to joining CSIRO, Terry was ensemble prediction scientist at the Bureau of Meteorology where he implemented the Australian Global and Regional Ensemble Prediction System adapted from the UK Met Office MOGREPS system.

Terry has over 120 publications (web of science B-1655-2009) including on the statistical mechanics and dynamics of geophysical flows, for which he was awarded the 2013 JH Michell Medal, of the Australian Mathematical Society (Applied Mathematics) In 2023 Terry was made a Fellow of the Australian Mathematical Society.

In October 2022 Terry was awarded Doctor of Science (DSc) from the University of Melbourne for a substantial body of work spanning the disciplines of atmospheric dynamics, physical oceanography, stochastic analysis and modelling.

Terry's recent work has focussed on the application of machine learning to climate regime identification and prediction and on the development of the Climate re-Analysis and Forecast Ensemble (CAFE) system at CSIRO. The CAFE60 re-analysis represents the first large ensemble reconstruction of the climate over the last six decades with nearly 100 replicant earths and is publicly available as an open data platform at Amazon Web services ( Completed in early 2020, the CSIRO CAFE prediction system is currently the first and only operational climate forecasting in the Southern Hemisphere

Current Roles

  • Group Leader
    Modelling the Earth System

Academic Qualifications

  • 2022

    Doctor of science
    The University of Melbourne

  • 2003

    PhD (Applied Mathematics)
    Monash University

  • 1999

    MSc(by research) 1st class H1A (Theoretical Physics)
    The University of Melbourne

  • 1997

    BSc(Hons) 1st class H1A (Pure & Applied Mathematics)
    LaTrobe University

Professional Experiences

  • 2022-present

    Senior Principal Research Scientist
    CSIRO Environment

  • 2015-2022

    Principal Research Scientist
    CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere

  • 2014-2017

    Adjunct Professor (mathematics)
    University of Tasmania

  • 2013-2017

    Australian Research Council Future Fellow (Full Professor)
    CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere

  • 2010-2013

    Senior Research Scientist
    CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere

  • 2009-2010

    Research Scientist
    CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere

  • 2007-2009

    Ensemble Prediction Scientist
    Bureau of Meteorology

  • 2006-2007

    Research Fellow

  • 2003-2006

    Emerging Science Postdoctoral Fellow
    CSIRO Atmospheric Science

Achievements and Awards

  • 2023-present

    Fellow Australian Mathematical Society
    Australian Mathematical Society (FAustMS)

  • 2022-present

    Doctor of Science
    The University of Melbourne

  • 2021-present

    Associate editor: Journal of advances in modelling earth systems (JAMES)
    American Geophysical Union

  • 2014-2018

    Adjunct Professor - mathematics
    University of Tasmania

  • 2013-2017

    ARC Future Fellow
    Australian Research Council

  • 2014-2022

    Adjunct Senior Research Fellow

  • 2013-2013

    Visiting Scientist
    Princeton University

  • 2013-2013

    JH Michell Medal
    Australian Mathematics Society

Other highlights

  • 13 July 2022-15 July 2022

    Plenary speaker SIAM Mathematics for planet earth (MPE22), Pittsburgh, USA

  • 2nd October 2019-4th October 2019

    Panelist: Intelligence Amplified: D61+ LIVE 2019: Big Ideas Stage: AI for environmental and social good:

  • 3rd December 2019 -6th December 2019

    Keynote speaker: 63nd Annual Meeting of the Australian Mathematical Society, Monash University

  • 14th August 2017-18th August 2017

    Invited speaker: Turbulent Mixing and Beyond, Sixth International Conference Tenth Anniversary Program, 14-18 August, 2017 the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Strada Costiera 11, Trieste, Italy

  • 2o November 2016-26 November 2016

    Invited lecturer: Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach seminar series, Oberwolfach, Germany, November 20-26, 2016 “Different mathematical perspectives on description of unresolved scales in multiscale systems” with (R. Klein, C. Hartmann & I. Horenko)

  • 2nd Feb 2014-6th Feb 2014

    Plenary Speaker: Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM) Conference 2014, 2nd-6th February, Rotorua, New Zealand


  • 2016-2018

    NESP ESCC Project 2.3 Towards an ACCESS decadal prediction system

  • 2013-2016

    ARC Future Fellow: The stability and predictability of the Southern-Hemisphere coupled ocean-atmosphere climate system

  • 2015-2016

    CSIRO Complex Systems Science Travel Grant

  • 2018-2020

    eResearch collaboration project (x2): Inhomogeneous turbulence closures on GPUs for application to problems in climate modelling

  • 2003-present

    Multiple Emerging Science, ACE CRC, OCE, ResearchPlus, Antarctic Gateway, MLAI FSP postdoctoral and research fellow grants

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2018-2022

    Co-chair World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Grand Challenge Near Term Climate Prediction

  • 2019-present

    WCRP Decadal Prediction Committee

  • 2019-present

    assessment panels for the National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme (NCMAS)

  • 2020-present

    assessment panels for the Australian Leadership Computing Grants (ALCG) scheme

  • 2018-present

    O&A High Performance Computing committee

  • 2020-present

    CSIRO Research Integrity Adviser Oceans & atmosphere

  • 2019-present

    CSIRO Career Mentor

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