Global Challenges Program

General enquiries

Building 20, Level 2.205C
University of Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
+61 2 4221 5116 
Twitter: @UOWGC
Instagram: @UOWGC


Program lead

Distinguished Professor Sharon Robinson, is Dean of Researcher Development at the University of Wollongong and Deputy Director Science Implementation of the ARC Special Research Initiative, Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future (SAEF) Program.

She was formerly UOW’s Associate Dean Graduate Research and Executive Director and Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones Challenge Leader for the UOW Global Challenges Program.

She studies how Antarctic plants respond to climate change and uses radiocarbon signatures, left behind in the atmosphere by nuclear testing, to date mosses and track environmental change around the coast of Antarctica. Her group identifies the sunscreens plants make to protect themselves from elevated UV-B radiation due to ozone depletion. She is also applying new technologies, including the use of drones in Antarctica, to remotely monitor plant health and productivity.

Sharon was educated in the UK, completing her PhD at University College London and she has worked in the USA and Australia.  She is currently a member of the United Nations Environment Programme Environmental Effects Assessment Panel, the SCAR ANTOS Expert Group and a Faculty member for the Homeward Bound Women’s leadership Program. She first visited East Antarctica in 1996 and has been on 13 expeditions to continental Antarctic and sub- and maritime Antarctic islands with the Australian and Chilean Antarctic programs. She is passionate about conserving Antarctic biodiversity.

Sharon Robinson outside