Dr Chiara Holgate


Australian National University


Have you ever wondered where our rainfall comes from? Why sometimes it floods, and sometimes we have drought? Despite Australia being known as “a land of drought and flooding rains”, the natural processes that come together to cause these climate extremes are not well understood.

To understand our past and inform likely future changes, Dr Chiara Holgate studies the hydrological cycle and how it interacts with other parts of the climate to form droughts and floods. Chiara’s enthusiasm for understanding hydroclimate extremes is rooted in her childhood on the farm, where she saw the impacts of drought, and how the return of rain can come in the form of damaging flood – often with little warning. Now, Chiara is working to improve our understanding of these climate extremes, to better prepare Australia for future extreme events.

Chiara received her PhD in 2020 after a circuitous career journey covering industry and academia. Originally completing a Bachelor of Engineering, she went on to work as a Water Resources Engineer and a Hydrologist before returning to university to pursue research. Chiara is committed to showing rural kids what it’s like to be an engineer and scientist, and how they can be one too.

Dr Chiara Holgate is a Superstar of STEM.