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We are pleased to welcome Swiss researcher Raphael Neukom to the University of Melbourne as part of a National Science Foundation post-doctoral fellowship. He will be working with us for six months between July–August 2010 and April–July 2011 developing Southern Hemisphere climate reconstructions.

Raphael is a palaeoclimatologist who received his PhD from the University of Bern for compiling all the annually-resolved proxy records for South America as part of the Past Global Changes (PAGES) regional 2K initiative and developing the first large-scale climate reconstructions for the continent.

His two most recent publications include a summer and winter temperature and precipitation reconstructions for southern South America as far back as A.D. 900.

He is spending time with Joelle Gergis and Ailie Gallant discussing reconstruction methodology and data management to help the SEARCH project develop its long-term climate reconstructions for south-eastern Australia and the broader Australasian region.

During his fellowship, Raphael will compile all the currently available high-resolution records from Australasia and South America regions to develop seminal Southern Hemisphere–wide climate reconstructions.

Reconstructions of past atmospheric circulation from this less-studied region of the globe will then be compared against climate model data to assess the regional climate variability in different parts of the Southern Hemisphere.

Raphael plans to have his results ready in time for incorporation into the next global climate change assessment report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) due out in 2013.

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