McMaster University, BA Sc
Duke University, MEM
University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002, PhD


Why does climate matter? This question is the basis of a broad program of field and model research at the interface of climate science, marine science, and public policy. This research provides insight into the causes and effects of human-induced climate change, the efficacy of policy and mitigation options, and the consequences for human welfare. Current areas of research include climate change and coral reefs; ocean warming and El Nino; climate change adaptation in the developing world; Canadian and international climate policy; public engagement on climate change. I’m also the director of UBC’s new “Ocean Leaders” program, which provides young researchers with the skills to address tomorrow’s interdisciplinary ocean and climate challenges.


CARILLI, J., MCGREGOR, H.V., GAUDRY, J., STEVENSON, S., DONNER, S.D., GAGAN, M., WONG, H. and FINK, D. 2014 ‘Equatorial Pacific coral geochemical records show recent weakening of the Walker circulation’ Paleooceanography 29(11), 1031-1045 DOI 10.1002/2014PA002683

LEONG, D.N.S., DONNER, S.D., HASSAN, M.A., GABOR, R. and DRUMMOND, J.D. 2014 ‘Sensitivity of stoichiometric ratios in the Mississippi River to hydrologic variability’ Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 119(6), 1049-1062 DOI 10.1002/2013JG002585

DONNER, S.D. 2014 ‘Finding your place on the Science-Advocacy continuum’ Climatic Change 124(1-2), 1–8 DOI 10.1007/s10584-014-1108-1

BANHOLZER, S. and DONNER, S.D. 2014 ‘The influence of different El Niño types on global average temperature’ Geophysical Research Letters 41(6), 2093–2099 DOI 10.1002/2014GL059520

DONNER, S.D. and WEBBER, S. 2014 ‘Obstacles to climate change adaptation decisions: a case study of sea-level rise and coastal protection measures in Kiribati’ Sustain Sci DOI 10.1007/s11625-014-0242-z



LOGAN, C.A., DUNNE, J., EAKIN, C.M. and DONNER, S.D. 2013 ‘Incorporating adaptive responses into future projections of coral bleaching’ Global Change Biology DOI 10.1111/gcb.12390

DONNER, S.D. and MCDANIELS, J. 2013 ‘The influence of national temperature fluctuations on opinions about climate change in the U.S. since 1990’ Climatic Change DOI 10.1007/s10584-012-0690-3



FRIEDLER, K., MEINSHAUSEN, M., GOLLY, A., MENGAL, M., VAN DER MERWE, K., DONNER, S.D. and HOEGH-GULDBERG, O. 2012 ‘Majority of coral reefs already at risk below 1.5°C global warming’ Nature Climate Change 3, 165-70

LATHUILLIÈRE, M.J., JOHNSON, M.S. and DONNER, S.D. 2012 ‘Water vapour use by terrestrial ecosystems: evidence of green water trade-offs in Mato Grosso, Brazil’ Environmental Research Letters 7, 024024

DONNER, S.D. 2012 ‘Sea Level Rise and the Ongoing Battle of Tarawa’ EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 93(17), 169-70

CARILLI, J., DONNER, S.D. and HARTMANN, A. 2012 ‘Historical Temperature Variability Affects Coral Response to Heat Stress’ PLoS-One 7(3), e34418



DONNER, S.D., KANDLIKAR, M. and ZERRIFFI, H. 2011 ‘Preparing to manage climate change financing’ Science 334, 908-909

DONNER, S.D. 2011 ‘Making the climate a part of the human world’ Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 92(10), 1297-1302

DONNER, S.D. 2011 ‘An evaluation of the effect of recent temperature variability on the prediction of coral bleaching events’ Ecological Applications 21(5), 1718–1730

THOMPSON, S.E., HARMAN, C.J., SCHUMER, R., WILSON, J.S., BASU, N.B., BROOKS, P.D., DONNER, S.D., HASSAN, M.A., PACKMAN, A.I., RAO, P.S.C., TROCH, P.A. and SIVAPALAN, M. 2011 ‘Patterns, Puzzles and People: Implementing Hydrologic Synthesis’ Hydrological Processes 25(20), 3256–3266

BASU, N.B., RAO, P.S.C., ZANARDO, S., DONNER, S.D., YE, S. and SIVAPALAN, M. 2011 ‘Spatio-temporal averaging in-stream solute removal dynamics’ Water Resources Research 47, 10.1029/ 2010WR010196



DONNER, S.D., KIRATA, T. and VIEUX, C. 2010 ‘Recovery for 2004-2005 mass coral bleaching in the Gilbert Islands, Kiribati’ Atoll Research Bulletin 587

Winter 2018

GEOG312 Climate Change: Science and Society Sections

Climates over the geological, historical and instrument periods. Theories of climatic change. Monitoring and modelling the climate system. Impacts of change on environmental and socio-economic systems.

Winter 2018

GEOG314 Analysing Environmental Problems Sections

Concepts and techniques employed in environmental research; challenges in the areas of climate change, water use, knowledge translation and natural hazards.