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Schools in Science


This group aims to better understand, model and predict wildfires and the related weather and climate. Current projects include high-resolution downscaling of fire weather, coupled atmosphere-fire modelling with ACCESS, and high-resolution modelling of pyro-convection and pyro-tornadoes. On longer timescales scales, the group relates Australian wildfire activity with large-scale climate phenomena such as the El Niño - Southern Oscillation, and develops systems for the prediction of seasonal wildfire activity.

Research Team

Prof Michael Reeder

Fire weather, high-resolution wildfire simulation, pyro-convection.

Prof Neville Nicholls

Climate - wildfire links and prediction of seasonal wildfire activity.

Prof Nigel Tapper

Fire energy characteristics, fire weather and climate.

Dr Sarah Harris

Variability and change in fire weather, climate-wildfire links and prediction of seasonal wildfire activity.

Recent Publications


  • Reeder, M.J., Spengler, T., Musgrave, R.C., 2015, Rossby waves, extreme fronts, and wildfires in southeastern Australia, Geophysical Research Letters [P], vol 42, issue 6, Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken NJ USA, pp. 2015-2023
  • Harris, S., Mills, G., Brown, T., Podnar, D., Reinbold, H. and Fearon, M., 2015, Victoria fire weather climatology dataset. Proceedings of the Research Forum at the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC conference, Adelaide, 1 September 2015, pp. 93-109


  • Harris, S., Nicholls, N., and Tapper, N., 2014. Forecasting fire activity in Victoria, Australia, using antecedent climate variables and ENSO indices. International Journal of Wildland Fire, doi: 10.1071/WF13024.
  • Parker, T. J., G. J. Berry, and M. J. Reeder. 2014. The structure and evolution of heatwaves over southeastern Australia. J. Clim., 27, 5768 – 5785.
  • Parker, T. J., G. J. Berry, M. J. Reeder, and N. Nicholls. 2014. Modes of climate variability and heat waves in Victoria, Southeastern Australia. Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 6926 - 6934.

Recent Grants

ARC Discovery Project. Numerical prediction of bushfire behavior and bushfire weather. CIs: Prof Michael Reeder, A/Prof Todd Lane. (2013 – 2015)