South African Young Academy of Science

Jennifer Fitchett

Jennifer Fitchett

Jennifer Fitchett is an Associate Professor of Physical Geography in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand. She has a BSc in Environmental and Geographical Science and Ocean and Atmospheric Science from the University of Cape Town, a BSc Honours and MSc in Geography from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a PhD in Geography which was completed split-site, co-registered at the University of the Witwatersrand and University College London. She serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Biometeorology, is an elected member of council of the Society of South African Geographers, and the elected African Councillor of the Executive Board of the International Society of Biometeorology. Her research is situated within the discipline of Biometeorology, exploring the impacts of climate and climatic change, on animal, plant and human communities. This includes research into contemporary changes in the climatology of tropical cyclones, rainfall seasonality and extreme thermal events, analyses of the impacts of climate change on tourism, and investigations of changes plant phenology and plant community assemblages under long- (tens of thousands of years) and short- (decades) time periods. Over the two years, her biometeorological research has extended into the subdiscipline of biometeorology and health, exploring climate change impacts on malaria, and the role of climate in COVID-19 transmission, the latter as a member of the COVID-19 Environmental Reference Group, formed under the auspices of the DSI.