Sonia Leonard is a research fellow (Indigenous Dimensions of Climate Change) at the University of Melbourne, investigating the effectiveness of climate change adaptation tools for Indigenous communities. She has extensively worked with Indigenous people across Northern Australia over the last decade to investigate the integration of traditional knowledge and western science to develop climate change monitoring and evaluation tools for Indigenous managed estates. Sonia was a writing group member of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facilities team that produced the Australian Indigenous Communities National Adaptation Plan in 2011.
Sonia’s wider research interests include investigating the application of optical stimulated luminescence dating to the reconstruction of floodplain chronostratigraphy in wet tropical river systems of Northern Australia. Sonia was awarded a Queensland Government Smart State award in 2005and in 2009 Sonia was awarded the International Rivers Symposiums ‘Young Water Scientist of the Year’ award for the application of her research to understand changing flood regimes as a result of climate change and their impacts to the Great Barrier Reef.