Deep South Challenge Welcomes Suzi Kerr as New Science Lead

Sep 12, 2016

The Deep South’s Impacts and Implications Programme is gearing up with a recent researcher workshop and the recruitment of a new science lead – Dr Suzi Kerr.

As one of New Zealand’s foremost climate economists and researchers, Suzi, a research fellow at Motu, brings a wealth of experience and strong networks to the Challenge. Her new role involves being a key member of the Challenge’s Science Leadership Team and leading the Challenge’s Impacts and Implications Programme (I&I).

The I&I programme will help New Zealanders thrive in a changing climate by bolstering and coordinating New Zealand’s capacity to anticipate potential impacts, understand the implications, and plan and adapt accordingly. It will build on the Climate Changes, Impacts & Implications for New Zealand (CCII) programme in some areas.

Suzi, who led economic research for the CCII programme, is focused on developing a research base for the I&I programme that is useful to end users. “I’m excited about working with the Deep South team and researchers in New Zealand to develop a strategic plan,” she said. “Our modelling should be directed toward specific questions and produce regular outputs that are immediately useful to a specific end user. These results can be tested with stakeholders before more resources are put into further model development and refinement of results.”

Suzi takes over from Dr Daniel Rutledge who emigrated to The Netherlands with his family in June. Her appointment follows a series of successful introductory webinars for I&I in June that reached around 120 stakeholders and researchers, and a workshop in Wellington in August. At the workshop, 35 climate researchers from around New Zealand met to discuss the I&I programme goals, potential projects and plan a collaborative approach.