WWRP Societal and Economic Research Applications

Working Group on Societal and Economic Research Applications (SERA)

Drought related photos in Africa - Credit: Cornel Vermaak
Credit: Cornel Vermaak | Taken from WMO Flickr


SERA aims to advance the science of the social and economic application of weather-related information and services through reviewing and assisting in the development and promotion of societal and economic related demonstration projects. SERA has the responsibility for the entire range of timescales and research issues associated with the WWRP. The working group brings the knowledge of how to frame, design, and implement research projects co-designed between physical and social scientists and a range of appropriate actors to achieve more useful information for decision-makers and the public.

Working Group Members

  • Co-Chair: Carla Mooney, BOM
  • Co-Chair: Jane Rovins, DRRS Ltd
  • Martin Goeber, DWD
  • Helen Greatex, PSU
  • Adriaan Perrels, FMI
  • Isadora Jimenez, Science for Change
  • Gilbert Siame, UNZA
  • Donald R. Nelson, UGA
  • Julio C. Postigo, IU
  • Everisto Madepza, IWMI

The members introduce themselves

Co-Chair Jane E. Rovins PhD, MPH, CEM. For over 25 years through 50+ countries Co-Chair Dr Rovins has developed expertise in international disaster risk management and response; training; and policy development. She is CEO of Disaster Reduction & Resilience Solutions, Ltd (Hong Kong) and a Senior Lecturer at Massey University (New Zealand). DRR Solutions provides practical, science-based solutions to disaster risk management and climate change programs and projects. Her recent work includes developing the pandemic planning for indigenous social service organizations, ASEAN Standards and Certification for Experts in Disaster Management (ASCEND) Framework, the National Disaster Response Framework (NDRF) for Indonesia and outreach materials for ASEAN Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Programme, among others. She was the founding Executive Director of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) Programme. Her research is around disaster law and policy, impacts of hazards on internally displaced people, hotel resilience, and infrastructure. She has received distinguished awards including induction into the International Women in Emergency Management Hall of Fame; Massey University Research Medal – Team 2019; the Innolec Lectureship in Disaster Risk Reduction from the Faculty of Science, Masaryk University (Czech Republic), among others. Dr Rovins is a leader in several prominent organizations including co-chairing the WMO Working Group on Societal and Economic Research Applications. www.linkedin.com/in/janerovins/

Co-Chair Carla Mooney (PhD environmental law) is the National Manager of Disaster Mitigation Policy at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. She has extensive experience in applied social research into environmental and weather-related service development. Carla is especially interested in bringing the needs of users into the design of products and services to maximise their capacity to inform decision making by emergency managers and the public. Her focus currently includes the development of a Future Warning Framework which supports the transition to impact-based services and a multi-agency collaboration investigating heatwave vulnerability in Australia with the potential to extend the methodology to other hazards. She has extensive experience in evidence-based policy development in both the academic and public sectors.

Dr Helen Greatrex is an Assistant Professor in Remote sensing and Geospatial analysis at the Pennsylvania State University. Her research centres around the use of rainfall estimates for actionable decision making across agriculture, health and humanitarian response. Her research has a dual focus on the geostatistical processes underpinning rainfall estimation, and on ensuring that rainfall products are used in an effective and equitable way. She has also worked extensively with the agricultural insurance industry on the design of 'weather index insurance', focusing both on index design, basis risk and on the social equity of weather risk management tools. Other recent projects Helen has led or contributed to include the impact of rainfall on infant hydrocephalus; improving geostatistical merging methods for satellite rainfall estimates; a systematic review of flash flood research; and the design of livelihood-derived weather statistics for humanitarian response in Somalia.

Dr Adriaan Perrels (PhD environmental economics) works in the Finnish Meteorological Institute as Research Professor, studying the economic consequences of climate change and the valuation of weather and climate services. Throughout his research career in the Netherlands and Finland his work area clustered around energy economics, infrastructure economics and environmental economics, involving both model-based explorative studies, as well as ex-ante and ex-post policy evaluations. Since the mid-nineties evaluation of climate policy took a growing share of the pie. Last 11 years he focused ever more on climate change impacts and adaptation in Finland, Europe and Globally. Among his 200+ publications are over 40 peer-reviewed articles and books. https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=3RTTdicAAAAJ https://en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi/weather-and-climate-change-impact-research

Dr Isadora Jiménez is the Knowledge Transfer team leader at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). Dr Jiménez has 10 years of experience in science communication and for the last 6 years, she has been involved in the development of weather and climate services with a special focus on visual communication of climate and air quality information. She leads a multidisciplinary team of 12 experts with multiple profiles from Social Sciences and Humanities that covers all aspects of knowledge transfer of climate and air quality information. The transdisciplinary approach in the team enhances the co-design and implementation of user-tailored services ranging from the creation of online digital tools to capacity building. The aim is to facilitate short term decision making regarding air quality and sand and dust storms management (24-48h), as well as climate change adaptation at shorter time scales (from the coming weeks up to years in advance).