Meet Eliza de Vet

Eliza de Vet

Eliza de Vet

The Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER) is a teaching and research group focusing on cultural and social aspects of environmental issues. AUSCCER’s expertise and research is wide-ranging. Each month we’ll introduce a new academic or PhD candidate to give greater insight into AUSCCER’s work.

Eliza de Vet is completing a PhD with AUSCCER. Here she answers questions about her research.

You’re a PhD candidate with AUSCCER and you’ll be finishing your thesis soon. What is the focus of your research?
I’m interested in everyday weather and what it means to individuals in their day-to-day life. So much climate change discussion has revolved around statistics and broad geographic settings. Yet, how climate (change) translates into the daily life of individuals is not well understood. In order to comprehend how individuals experience and respond to climate, it is first necessary to examine the tangible, the amalgamation of climate – weather. This is where my research comes in. Over the past three years I’ve worked with residents in Darwin and Melbourne, exploring the role of weather in their everyday practices. These practices relate to household chores, work, leisure, travel, food, domestic comfort etc. It’s been fascinating to observe how tropical and temperate weather creates different daily challenges and luxuries, how willing and proactive participants were to staying weather connected, and the degree of tolerance participants expressed during less-than-comfortable conditions. These and other findings show promise for individuals capacity to adapt sustainably to future environmental change. Continue reading

Clothing as adaptive strategy

July is the coldest month in Wollongong, and we work in a poorly insulated building with no central heating or cooling (unless you are a computer lab). Even on the beautifully sunny days we’ve had lately it can get down to 10 degrees in the office.


That flushes out all kinds of interesting ways to stay warm. Catherine knits ferociously, Nick runs up Mt Keira, Michael wears polar fleece, Chris has a big woollen jacket, Leah keeps cycling. Jen does fieldwork in warm places and when she gets back has a very elegant black coat she can wear all day. My favourite adaptive strategies are the gorgeous assortments of scarves, shawls and beanies that emerge. Continue reading