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Dr Xuebin Zhang

Principal Research Scientist, Team Leader


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Dr. Xuebin Zhang is a Principal Research Scientist working at Australia CSIRO Environment Division, and is the Team Leader for the Sea level, Waves and Remote Sensing Team. He obtained his Ph.D. in Oceanography from University of Washington (U.S.) and had his postdoctoral training at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (U.S.). In 2010, he joined CSIRO as a sea-level scientist, and has been actively working on sea-level rise, climate change and variability, ocean and climate modelling.

Sea-level rise is an urgent issue for our society to understand and take actions to adapt and mitigate. Xuebin’s research is strategically targeted to address this need by providing better and reliable sea-level rise information. His works on regional sea level change and projection have made him a well-recognized and trusted advisor in sea-level rise both nationally and internationally, e.g., evidenced by frequent requests for his expert’s comments from Australian and international government agencies and his sea-level projection product for the 21st Century being used by ~20 countries including Australia. He also pioneered in producing high-resolution (~10 km) sea level projections, by dynamically downscaling the global climate model simulations, which inspired other international research groups to follow. His current work leading the CSHOR Sea Level Project has also made significant progress in understanding heat uptake and redistribution in the Southern Ocean, separating atmospheric forcing in driving changes of ocean temperature and salinity, ocean circulation and sea level, deriving high-resolution sea-level fingerprints, and closing global and regional sea-level budgets.

He has published ~50 articles in leading professional journals, including six in the Nature publishing group and one by Science. He gained worldwide recognition through service on international research advisory panels like the Pacific Panel of the Climate Variability, Predictability and Change (CLIVAR) program, through invited and plenary talks at international conferences and workshops, by regularly convening sea-level sessions at several international conferences like Asia Oceania Geosciences Society Annual Conferences, and by granting interviews to leading news outlets like the Washington Post, Agence France Presse, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Sydney Morning Herald.

He has secured in millions of dollars in research funding and has been leading several large research projects such as the Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science and Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP) Sea Level Project, CSIRO Ocean Downscaling Strategic Project and the Centre for Southern Hemisphere Ocean Research (CSHOR) Sea Level Project. He is also very active in academic supervision by supervising two postdoctoral fellows, seven Ph.D. students and four honours students during his CSIRO appointment.

As a recognition of his excellent achievements, Xuebin was awarded the prestigious CSIRO Julius Career Award (2018- 2023), which is designed to advance the careers of exceptional early to mid-career researchers.

Current Roles

  • Project Leader
    CSHOR project: the role of the Southern Ocean in sea level change

  • Project leader
    NSW Environmental Trust: Regional 21st Century Sea level Projections for the NSW coast

  • Project Leader
    Ocean Downscaling Straregic Project

  • Main investigator
    Australian Climate Change Science Program

  • Project Leader
    Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP) Program - Sea level understanding and projections for the Pacific Islands region

  • Main investigator
    Pacific Climate Change Science Program (PCCSP)

Academic Qualifications

  • 2008

    PhD of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, USA

Professional Experiences

  • 07/2014-06/2019

    Senior Research Scientist
    CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

  • 08/2010-06/2014

    Research Scientist
    CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

  • 10/2008-08/2010

    Postdoctoral Scholar
    Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Achievements and Awards

  • 2018-2021

    Julius Career Award

  • 2017-2018

    Capability Development Fund to support my secondment at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (US)

  • 2017-2017

    Corporate Citizen Award

Other highlights

  • 1/2017-12/2021

    Member of CLIVAR Pacific Regional Panel


  • 07/2017-06/2022

    CSHOR - The role of the Southern Ocean in sea level change ($2,750K)

  • 02/2015-01/2017

    NSW Environmental Trust - Regional 21st Century sea level projections for the NSW coast ($300K)

  • 07/2014-06/2016

    CSIRO Ocean Downscaling Strategic Project ($650K)

  • 07/2011-12/2013

    Pacific-Australia Climate Change Science Adaptation Planning (PACCSAP) Program - Sea level understanding and projections for the Pacific Islands region ($932K)

We have publications by Dr Xuebin Zhang