UM professor receives prize for climate change risk assessment and response

Prize recognizes contribution of up-and-coming climate change researcher
UM professor receives prize for climate change risk assessment and response

Katharine Mach, Ph.D. 

Photo: Jenny Abreau

Miami-- University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Associate Professor Katharine Mach, whose work informs effective and equitable adaptation to the risks posed by climate change, will receive the Piers Sellers Prize for her solution-focused climate research at a virtual event in June.  

The award is bestowed annually in the name of Piers Sellers, the former astronaut and climate scientist, by the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds. This year, nominations were focused on the contribution of an up-and-coming researcher or research group. 

The prize recognizes Mach as a rising star of the interdisciplinary climate research field and her unwavering commitment to climate solutions via her many publications over the past five years, and significant involvement with Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as co-director of scientific activities and as a lead author. This work on impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability so far has culminated in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report and its Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. The associated global scientific collaborations have supported diverse climate policies and actions, including the Paris Agreement. 

Her work focuses on developing new ways to bring researchers and stakeholders together to understand complex climate risks for human security. She also explores how to address challenges central to responseswhether equity and justice or the need for attention to long-term consequences of present-day choices. Her research assesses climate-change risks and response options to address increased flooding, extreme heat, wildfire and other hazards. 

The award presentation will feature a keynote lecture from Mach on integrative assessment of climate risks and adaptations in support of decision-making and policy. She will discuss recent work on climate and security and on managed retreat, a particularly complicated form of adaptation.

Mach joined the UM Rosenstiel School in August 2019. She is also a faculty scholar at the UM Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. 

Mach is a lead author for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report and the U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment. She serves as an associate deputy editor for Climatic Change and an advisory board member for the Aspen Global Change Institute and Carbon180. Mach received her PhD from Stanford University and AB summa cum laude from Harvard College.