Researcher biography

Sharlene is a PhD candidate at The University of Queensland working on understanding ecological grief among local families and children on the Great Barrier Reef. In this project, she aims to understand how families and children cope with changing environments.

Climate change is known to be a massive threat not only to our environments, but also to local people, such as families and children. Knowing that children might not get to know the world as it was 50, 30 or even 10 years ago, and that there is an unknown future for them, is something that can make parents feel hopeless and worried.

Through her project, Sharlene wants to show that there are more than just numbers that show that climate change is a threat, but that also human emotions and feelings are factors that needs to be taken into account, also by political decision-making. 

Sharlene is a Marine (Social) Scientist holding a Master of Science in Marine Environmental Science from the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg (Germany) and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Applied Science Bremen (Germany).

During her studies she focused on the balance between human and environmental needs and how people can find ways to use and protect the environment; and to live in and with it.

In her research, Sharlene wants to show that we need to understand that taking into account human emotions towards the environment can be a key factor to creating a better world.