Doctor Hamish Clarke

Dr Hamish Clarke joined the HIE as a Research Fellow in March 2016, in a joint position with the University of Wollongong. He is currently working with Dr Matthias Boer (HIE) and Prof. Ross Bradstock (University of Wollongong) on a BNHCRC funded project that examines the effectiveness of prescribed burning in reducing a range of risks across southern Australia.

Dr Clarke previously worked as Senior Climate and Atmospheric Scientist at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. His research focused on understanding the regional impacts of climate change, particularly on bushfire risk.

Dr Clarke completed his PhD in May 2015 at the Climate Change Research Centre, University of NSW (UNSW) under the supervision of Prof. Andy Pitman (UNSW) and Assoc. Prof Jason Evans (UNSW). His PhD research focused on the impact of climate change on bushfire weather conditions and fuel load.

Dr Clarke is co-convenor of Science at the Local, a community initiative bringing people and scientists together in the Blue Mountains.

He is a 2016 executive member of the Australian Academy of Science's Early- and Mid-Career Researcher Forum (EMCR Forum), which aims to be the voice of Australia's emerging scientists.

He is also a member of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management and a Research Fellow of the Earth System Governance Project.

Areas of research/teaching expertise

Dr Clarke is interested in the drivers of bushfire risk and the impacts of planned and unplanned fire. His research has to date focused on fire weather and fuel, climate change and prescribed burning. Dr Clarke is committed to public interest science and collaborative, multidisciplinary projects that engage clients from project conception to completion and beyond.

Awards and recognition

  • 2015 OEH Outstanding Professional Service Awards - Excellence in Innovation or Process Improvement - NSW and ACT Regional Climate Modelling Project and Adapt NSW Delivery
  • 2013 Best Short Presentation, ICYESS 2013 Annual Conference
  • 2006 University Medal, University of Sydney


BNHCRC (2015-2018) From hectares to tailor-made solutions for risk mitigation: systems to deliver effective prescribed burning across Australian ecosystems (modelling lead) Emergency Management NSW (2010-11) NSW & ACT Regional Climate Modelling Project - evaluation of bushfire weather simulations (lead researcher)

Selected publications

Bradstock RA, Nolan RH, Collins L, Resco de Dios V, Clarke H, Jenkins M, Kenny B, Boer MM, (2020) 'A broader perspective on the causes and consequences of eastern Australia's 2019-20 season of mega-fires: A response to Adams et al.', Global Change Biology, vol.26, no.7, pp E8-E9

Cirulis B, Clarke H, Boer MM, Penman T, Price O, Bradstock R, (2020) 'Quantification of inter-regional differences in risk mitigation from prescribed burning across multiple management values', International Journal of Wildland Fire, vol.29, no.s 4-5, pp 414-426

Clarke H, Penman T, Boer M, Cary GJ, Fontaine JB, Price O, Bradstock R, (2020) 'The Proximal Drivers of Large Fires: A Pyrogeographic Study', Frontiers in Earth Science, vol.8, Article no.90

Clarke H, Tran B, Boer MM, Price O, Kenny B, Bradstock R, (2019) 'Climate change effects on the frequency, seasonality and interannual variability of suitable prescribed burning weather conditions in south-eastern Australia', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.271, pp 148-157

Price OF, Penman TD, Bradstock RA, Boer MM, Clarke H, (2015) 'Biogeographical variation in the potential effectiveness of prescribed fire in south-eastern Australia', Journal of Biogeography, vol.42, no.11, pp 2234-2245

Bradstock R, Penman T, Boer M, Price O, Clarke H, (2014) 'Divergent responses of fire to recent warming and drying across south-eastern Australia', Global Change Biology, vol.20, no.5, pp 1412-1428

Clarke H, Evans JP, Pitman AJ, (2013) 'Fire weather simulation skill by the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model over southeast Australia from 1985 to 2009', International Journal of Wildland Fire, vol.22, pp 739-756

Clarke H, Smith PL, Lucas C, (2012) 'Changes in Australian fire weather between 1973 and 2010', International Journal of Climatology, vol.33, pp 931-944

Clarke H, Smith P, Pitman AJ, (2011) 'Regional signatures of future fire weather over eastern Australia from global climate models', International Journal of Wildland Fire, vol.20, pp 550-562