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Dr Melita Keywood is a Senior Principal Research Scientist in the Environment Business Unit of CSIRO. Dr Keywood has 28 years of experience in aerosol research and has authored 100 peer reviewed journal publications and over 70 client reports.

Melita acted as the inaugural Research Director for the Climate Atmosphere and Ocean Interactions Program of the Environment Business Unit between December 2022 and November 2023 and is currently a Science Leader for Climate and Atmosphere.

Melita completed her PhD in environmental geochemistry at the Australian National University in 1996 and has worked at CSIRO since, with two six-month breaks taken up with maternity leave. Between 2002 and 2004 Melita visited the Californian Institute of Technology, working with Professor John Seinfeld on the laboratory simulation of secondary organic aerosol.

Melita’s research expertise lies in the chemical and microphysical properties of atmospheric aerosol which she uses in a variety of applications ranging from tracking long term changes in aerosol microphysics and chemical composition of the remote marine boundary layer, to understanding aerosol growth and secondary organic aerosol in urban airsheds and biomass burning plumes.

Melita is a co-leader of the Aerosols, Reactive Gases and Multiphase Atmospheric program at the Kennaook Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Monitoring Station and was an author on the 2016 and 2022 State of Environment Reports. Melita is the 2019 recipient of the Werner Strauss Clean Air Achievement Award from the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Current Roles

  • Science Leader
    Climate and Atmosphere

Academic Qualifications

  • 1996

    Doctor of Philosophy
    Australian National University

  • 1989

    Master of Science
    University of Auckland

  • 1989

    Bachelor of Science
    University of Auckland

Professional Experiences

  • 2002-2004

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    California Institute of Technology

Achievements and Awards

  • 2019-2019

    Werner Strauss Clean Air Achievement Award from the
    Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand

  • 2016-2016

    Clean Air Achievement Award for making a significant contribution to achieving improvements in the quality of the air environment.
    Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand

  • 2014-2014

    Certificate of Recognition for significant contribution to the understanding of the air quality impacts of a major emergency on the local community and environment- Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire 2014
    Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand

  • 2002-2004

    Postdoctoral Fellowship
    California Institute of Technology

Other highlights

  • 2021-2022

    Impact Priority Area co-leader National Environment Science Program, Sustainable Communities and Waste Hub

  • 2020-2022

    Theme leader for the Australian Antarctic Partnership Program

  • 2019-2022

    President Commission for Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (ICACGP)

  • 2016-2018

    Co-Chair, Scientific Program Committee, 14th iCACGP Quadrennial Symposium and 15th IGAC Science Conference Takamatsu, Japan, September 25-29, 2018

  • 2012-2017

    Co-chair of the IGAC\iLEAPS\WMO Interdisciplinary Biomass Burning Initiative

  • 2014-2018

    Vice president Commission for Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (ICACGP)

  • 2014-now

    Member of the WMO Pollution and Atmospheric Chemistry Scientific Steering Committee (EPAC SSC)

  • 2010-2016

    Science Steering Committee Member for International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project (IGAC)

  • 2005-now

    Lead Scientist, Cape Grim Science Program