Kirsty leads the research into climate change and security, and the delivery of advice on the impacts of climate change to government, particularly in relation to defence and security.
As Climate Security Science Manager, Kirsty leads on all areas of research related to the affects of climate and climate change on human security and well-being. The aim of the Climate Security team is to develop the science behind the application of climate research to issues of long-term human security, in order to provide the evidence base to support decision making and research by a wide range of policy and security analysts. The Climate Security team is responsible for providing climate advice and research support to government, primarily in the areas of defence and security. This involves expert analysis and interpretation of climate projections. It requires a broad overview of all areas of climate science and good links with research scientists, as well as an ability to communicate effectively across disciplines.
Kirsty's recent projects have included the Human dynamics of climate change, and joint research with the UN World Food Programme on Food insecurity and climate change. On-going research interests include systems-led approaches to the interaction between climate and human security, food security and trade, geopolitical impacts of climate change and risk management strategies.
Kirsty first joined the Met Office as a forecaster, specialising in aviation meteorology and travelled extensively in this role. This background in hands-on meteorology enabled Kirsty to gain extensive experience of the impact of weather and climate on operational activities. This experience has been invaluable in understanding how information on environmental conditions and model output can be applied in the real world, and how meteorological advice, uncertainty and risk all affect decision making. After a number of years forecasting Kirsty moved to the Met Office Hadley Centre in 2007.
Before joining the Met Office, Kirsty obtained an MSc in Weather, Climate and Modelling at Reading University in 2001, after studying Physics at Imperial College, London as an undergraduate. She is currently studying for a PhD in Climate Security.