Lesley Hughes

Scientist standing up to politicians’ scepticism in Australia

Lesley Hughes is a globally recognised expert on the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems, but she’s also notable for her role in the Australian Climate Council. This is an independent non-profit organisation formed by former members of the Climate Commission, which had been a government organisation, after it was abolished following the election of Tony Abbott. The startup funding for this new Council was raised through crowdfunding, and Hughes is one of six expert Councillors at the organisation. Hughes therefore not only plays a key role in our recognition of how biodiversity loss intersects with global warming, but is also on the forefront of battles between scientists and sceptic politicians.