Simon Donner

Portrait photo of Simon Donner

Simon Donner

Professor, IRES
Professor, Department of Geography
Professor, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries

Contact Details


Simon Donner is a climate scientist focused on helping the world prevent and prepare for climate change. His research program lies primarily at the intersection of climate change science, marine science, and policy. The specific research areas evolve over time in response to advances in climate change knowledge and to real-world events. Prospective students and post-doctoral researchers should check his web site for current and planned areas of work, as well as for guidance for applicants.

Donner takes his privileged position as a professor seriously, and spends a lot of his time translating the science of climate change to different audiences in hopes of helping people make better decisions about the future. He was a lead author on the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment and serves as an appointed member of Canada’s Net-Zero Advisory Body, which advises the federal government on achieving net-zero emissions.

Featured Publications

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FINDLATER, K. M., SATTERFIELD, T., KANDLIKAR, M. and DONNER, S. D. 2019 ‘Weather and climate variability may be poor proxies for climate change in farmer risk perceptions’ Weather, Climate, and Society 11(4), 697-711

CANNON, S. E., DONNER, S. D., FENNER, D. and BEGER, M. 2019 ‘The relationship between macro algae taxa and human disturbance on central Pacific coral reefs’ Marine Pollution Bulletin 145(August 2019), 161-173

WYNES, S., DONNER, S. D., TANNASON, S. and NABORS, N. 2019 ‘Academic air travel has a limited influence on professional success’ Journal of Cleaner Production 226(July 2019), 959-967

MEHRABI, Z., DONNER, S. D., RIOS, P., GUHA-SAPIR, D., ROWHANI, P., KANDLIKAR, M. and RAMANKUTTY, N. 2019 ‘Can we sustain success in reducing deaths to extreme weather in a hotter world?’ World Development Perspectives 14(June 2019), 100107

DONNER, S. D. and CARILLI, J. 2019 ‘Resilience of Central Pacific coral reefs subject to frequent heat stress and human disturbance’ Scientific Reports 9(3484)

TSURUTA, K., HASSAN, M. A., DONNER, S. D. and ALILA, Y. 2019 ‘Modelling the effects of climatic and hydrological regime changes on the sediment dynamics of the Fraser River Basin, British Columbia, Canada’ Hydrological Processes 33(2), 244-260

TSURUTA, K., HASSAN, M. A., DONNER, S. D. and ALILA, Y. 2018 ‘Development and Application of a Large‐Scale, Physically Based, Distributed Suspended Sediment Transport Model on the Fraser River Basin, British Columbia, Canada’ JGR Earth Surface 123(10), 2481-2508

WYNES, S., NICHOLAS, K. A., ZHAO, J. and DONNER, S. D. 2018 ‘Measuring what works: quantifying greenhouse gas emission reductions of behavioural interventions to reduce driving, meat consumption, and household energy use’ Environmental Research Letters 13(11), 113002

FINDLATER, K. M., SATTERFIELD, T., KANDLIKAR, M. and DONNER, S. D. 2018 ‘Six languages for a risky climate: how farmers react to weather and climate change’ Climatic Change 148(4), 451-465

FINDLATER, K. M., DONNER, S. D., SATTERFIELD, T. and KANDLIKAR, M. 2018 ‘Integration anxiety: The cognitive isolation of climate change’ Global Environmental Change 50, 178-189

HASSAN, M. A., DONNER, S. D., CHURCH, M. A., ROBERGE, L., MORE, M., LEACH, J., and ALI, F. 2017 ‘What are the sources of sediment into the Mississippi River?’ Geophysical Research Letters 44, 8919-8924 doi: 10.1002/2017GL074046

DONNER, S. D., RICKBEIL, G. J. M., and HERON, S. F. 2017 ‘A new, high-resolution global mass coral bleaching database’ PLoS-One 12(4), e0175490

DONNER, S. D. 2017 ‘Publicity or Perish: Finding the balance in science communication’ Biogeochemistry DOI 10.1007/s10533-017-0344-7

DONNER, S. D. 2017 ‘Risk and Responsibility in Public Engagement by Climate Scientists: Reconsidering Advocacy During the Trump Era’ Environmental Communication 1–4, DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2017.1291101

MOTEW, M., CHEN, X., BOOTH, E. G., CARPENTER, S. R., PINKAS, P., ZIPPER, S. C., LOHEIDE II, S. P., DONNER, S. D. et al. 2017 ‘The Influence of Legacy P on Lake Water Quality in a Midwestern Agricultural Watershed’ Ecosystems 1–15 DOI:10.1007/s10021-017-0125-0

WEBBER, S. and DONNER, S. D. 2017 ‘Climate service warnings: cautions about commercializing climate science for adaptation in the developing world’ WIREs Climate Change 8(1) DOI: 10.1002/wcc.424

DONNER, S. D., KANDLIKAR, M., and WEBBER, S. 2016 ‘Measuring and tracking the flow of climate change adaptation aid to the developing world’ Environmental Research Letters 11(5) 054006, DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/5/054006

LEONG, D. N. S. and DONNER, S. D. 2016 ‘Future Water Supply and Demand Management Options in the Athabasca Oil Sands’ River Research and Applications 32(9), 1853-1861 DOI: 10.1002/rra.3033

BUGLASS, S., DONNER, S. D., and ALEMU, J. B. (2016) ‘A study on the recovery of Tobago’s coral reefs following the 2010 mass bleaching event’ Marine Pollution Bulletin 104(1-2), 198-206 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.01.038