His primary position is Executive Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. He is also science adviser to the Department of Climate Change, Australian Government.
He began his career as a chemical engineer with a BSc from the University of Missouri. He holds an MSc (1972) and PhD (1975) degrees in chemistry from the University of Florida. Following a research fellowship at the Research School of Chemistry at ANU from 1977-1980, Will joined the CSIRO Division of Environmental Mechanics in the roles of science management, editing and communication.
In 1990 Will took up the position of Executive Officer for the Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). From 1998 to 2004 he served as Executive Director of IGBP and was based in Stockholm. Will returned to Canberra in mid-2004 and took up a Visiting Fellowship with the Bureau of Rural Sciences, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australian Government. A year later he joined the ANU and was the foundation director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society before moving to his current position with the Climate Change Institute.
Will's research interests span a broad range within the field of Earth System science, with a special emphasis on terrestrial ecosystem interactions with global change, the global carbon cycle, incorporation of human processes in Earth System modelling and analysis, and sustainability and the Earth System.
His work usually takes a synthesis/integration approach to complex questions about the evolution of the human-environment relationship, often working with teams of researchers across ANU and Australia, and internationally.
He has given numerous presentations on climate change, global change and Earth System science to political and business leaders as well as community groups. He has also served on several advisory boards and review panels. He holds an Honorary Professorship in the Department of Geography and Geology, Copenhagen University.