Q&A

Q&A With 2020 Honours Fellow Sarah Chow

Get to know our new Honours Research Fellow Sarah Chow, who joins the Institute from the School of Geosciences.

Image by Chuttersnap via Unsplash.

What are you researching for Honours?

My thesis explores the current tools and metrics used to finance climate change adaptation. In the face of a climate-uncertain future, it is imperative that the infrastructure around us needs to be adaptable and resilient. Currently, there is an estimated global infrastructure gap of $3.3 trillion needed to provide the infrastructure to address basic needs. An inability to eliminate this shortfall will have an immense global impact and disproportionately affect the most vulnerable communities. My research aims to shed light on the existing systems created to bridge this gap, drawing from local and international networks within the government and financial sectors.

What was the inspiration behind your Honours research? 

My interest in climate adaptation was cultivated through my work at Climate-KIC, a knowledge innovation community where I spent time exploring different schools of thought around climate adaptation systems. This summer I also completed a research project with the University on urban resilience in Sydney, which drew me to further explore the area of climate adaptation.

What do you hope this research will contribute to society and its future?

I hope that my thesis connects and strengthens the current climate conversation between public and private sectors, subsequently enriching the current body of research on climate finance.

Apart from research, what are your passions and interests?

I love checking out museums and new art exhibits – White Rabbit Gallery near the University is a lovely spot. I was recently gifted a Kindle and that has reignited my love for books! I dedicate most of my free time (window) shopping for plants, watching movies and finding the best coffee spots in Sydney. During my holidays, I love to travel – this year I hope to focus more of my trips locally to better explore the environment around me.

What about the Sydney Environment Institute made you interested in completing Honours Fellowship with us?

The amazing network of researchers at the institute was one of the first things that drew me to the SEI. In the past I was part of the advisory group that developed the University’s new Sustainability Strategy, and through there I got to meet other dedicated SEI members. In my previous years I’ve attended a few panels and events and was moved by the variety of disciplines and bodies of research within one institute. It is incredibly comforting to share the same passion for the environment as the SEI members, and I’m incredibly grateful to be part of the Sydney Environment Institute.


Sarah Chow is a 2020 Honours Research Fellow with the Sydney Environment Institute. She holds a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Environmental Studies, and is currently undertaking her Honours with the Department of Geosciences. Sarah’s research interests include exploring the intersections between climate adaptation and the global infrastructure gap. Largely influenced by her time at Climate-KIC, her thesis will evaluate the variety of tools and metrics being used to close the widening investment gap.