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Dr Cathy Trudinger’s research focuses on mathematical modelling and inverse methods applied to the study of greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere, and processes involved in trapping air in bubbles in polar ice. Cathy leads the Modelling - Greenhouse and Ozone Depleting Substances Team in the CSIRO Environment Business Unit.

Cathy joined CSIRO in 1991, working initially on inversion of atmospheric CO2 measurements using a three-dimensional tracer transport model. She then moved into the area of modelling diffusion and bubble trapping in firn (compacted snow) and developed the CSIRO firn model. She used a globally-aggregated model of the carbon cycle and a Kalman filter (a data assimilation method) to interpret ice core measurements of CO2 and the stable isotope 13C in CO2 to estimate sources and sinks of carbon over the last 1000 years. Cathy developed and applied new methods for deriving atmospheric histories (with uncertainties) from measurements of air extracted from firn and ice. Cathy applied globally-aggregated models to policy-related work on the Brazilian proposal (an approach for attributing responsibility for climate change based on historical emissions), and focussed on methods for attributing non-linear effects.

Cathy applied model-data fusion methods (parameter estimation and data assimilation) to land surface models of carbon and water. She was part of the Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP) team that built the first operational system to monitor the state and trend of Australia’s terrestrial water balance at 5 km resolution ( Cathy applied model-data fusion methods to the land surface model CABLE (Community Atmosphere Biosphere Land Exchange Model), focussing on parameter estimation, and uncertainty in model predictions due to parameters that are not well constrained by observations.

While still active in the areas of firn modelling and reconstruction of atmospheric histories from firn and ice core measurements, Cathy now also uses atmospheric observations, models of atmospheric transport and inverse methods at the regional scale to infer emissions of greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances.

Cathy is an author/co-author of over 60 peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters with over 4400 citations. Her h-index in 32.

Academic Qualifications

  • 1990

    Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours)
    Monash University

  • 2000

    Doctor of Philosophy
    Monash University

Achievements and Awards

  • 2016

    CSIRO Medal for Impact from Science
    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

Other highlights

  • 2000-2000

    Visiting Scientist - Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany

  • 2003-2008

    Member of Scientific Coordination Committee of MATCH, the international ad hoc group for Modelling and Assessment of Contributions to Climate Change (reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2016-2018

    STEM Professionals in Schools partnership with Cornish College