Name: Dr, Helene, Jacot des Combes

Teaching : EV424: Disaster Risk Management.

Tel: +679 323 3192

Fax:+679 323 2891

Email: descombe_h(at)

Job title: Lecturer in Climate Change

Job responsibilities and teaching interests:

Dr. Helene Jacot des Combes is the EV424 course coordinator

She is currently developing a proposal to offer at USP a full Post-Graduate Diploma on disaster risk management. She is also delivering guest lectures on the ocean response to climate change. Besides disaster risk management, her teaching interests cover the different aspects of ocean response to climate change, from paleo-climate reconstructions to future climate projections by coupled models. Marine ecosystems responses to climate change are also included in Dr. Jacot des Combes interests

Research Centre or Group:Dr. Helene Jacot des Combes is currently part of the Climate Change Research Cluster

Research, scholarly and professional interests:

Ocean response to climate change: climate change will have strong impacts n the ocean, changing its physical (temperature, currents) and chemical (salinity, ocean acidification) parameters. These changes will impact marine ecosystems, in terms of biodiversity and services rendered to Humankind.

Disaster Risk Management in the South Pacific: PICTS are vulnerable to several natural hazards. Improve the understanding of the vulnerability of communities in the region and identify prevention and mitigation measures to reduce this vulnerability. Specific area of interest is the coastal area, but the interest is more general.

Transmission of the climate change message from scientists to community: climate change information is often expressed in a scientific vocabulary and uses references sometimes not completely relevant for community members. How to make sure that the message is transmitted to and understood by the community is another scholarly interest

Current projects and major grants:

Pacific Public Sector linkage Program, Capacity Building on Land Tenure and Disaster Risk Management, Dr. David Mitchell, Aus AID funded project, February-December 2012. This project is a cooperation between RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) which manages the projects and the associated funds, and USP through PACE-SD. Three USP staff went to RMIT in February to get trained in land tenure issues and to prepare training material. In July, 25 participants from NDMO and Land departments of six countries took part in a one-week training
on this topic.

Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Islands Region, Hanna Sabass, GIZ-SPC project, 2012-2016. USP is a partner in this project. No direct funds are attributed to USP but the expenses are covered by GIZ. USP participates in the review of school curriculum to ensure climate change information are correct and support the development of training of teachers training material and courses.

Information for prospective research students:

Dr Jacot des Combes has supervised research students working on projected ocean response to climate change (chlorophyll distribution and ocean acidification) in the region.

She co-supervises students studying the impact of climate change on fisheries, and climate change impacts in the region (extreme events occurrence and ENSO and sub regional climate changes).

Other supervision prospects cover:

  • soft measures to reduce disaster risk for coastal communities.
  • Coral reefs and climate change
  • Evaluation of climate change adaptation projects


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