After earning a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Wollongong in 2012, Dr. Burrell completed his Ph.D. at the University of New South Wales Climate Change Research Centre in 2019. His thesis used satellite data and machine learning to distinguish between climate change impacts, land-use changes, and natural climate variability in dryland ecosystems. Dr. Burrell studied forests in Siberia as a postdoctoral research associate for the University of Leicester before joining Woodwell Climate Research Center in 2020.
While his interest in environmental science began at a young age, Dr. Burrell became captivated by satellite data and the technical aspects of big data analysis as an undergraduate. Since then, studying topics at a large scale has been a constant thread throughout his research, whether he is studying the entire dryland ecosystem or the whole boreal forest. Dr. Burrell is driven by this fascination with the methods of his research, as well as the societal implications of the results.
In 2021, Dr. Burrell was an invited speaker at the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Conference.