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Meet Our Staff

Professor Wendy Umberger

BS Animal Science, MS Economics (South Dakota State University), PhD Agricultural Economics (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Professor Wendy Umberger is the Director of the the Centre for Global Food and Resources at the University of Adelaide and specialises in food economics and food policy. Wendy has research projects in Australia, North America, Asia, the Pacific Islands and South Africa related to the economics of global food systems. Wendy's research uses innovative methods to understand drivers of consumer and producer behaviour related to food issues, including nutrition, food safety, and health and marketing claims related to quality (credence) attributes associated with the production and processing of food. She has published extensively and has been invited to present her work internationally to a variety of audiences including industry, government and academic.

Wendy received her B.S. in Animal Science (1996) and M.S. in Economics (1998) from South Dakota State University and her PhD in Agricultural Economics (2001) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to joining the University of Adelaide in 2006, Wendy was an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State University in the USA.

Wendy's research interests include:

  • Consumer behaviour related to food purchases, nutrition and health
  • Food security, including economics of food safety
  • Diet and nutrition transition in less developed and developing countries
  • Producer behaviour and drivers of technology adoption
  • Food policy

Go to Wendy's full University profile for all latest publications.

Dr Sarah Wheeler

Associate Director of Research, Associate Professor
BEc (Hons) University of Adelaide, PhD Economics (University of South Australia)

Sarah is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow with the Centre for Global Food and Resources, University of Adelaide. She is an Associate Editor of the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics and an Associate Editor of Water Resources and Economics. She has been a guest editor for a special issue of Agricultural Water Management and is currently on the editorial boards of Economics and Agricultural Science. Sarah is also the Chair of the Murray-Darling Basin working group of the Food, Energy, Environment and Water (FE2W) Network.
Previous jobs include working at Rural Solutions South Australia, ESCAP United Nations (Bangkok), Environment Agency (UK), the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies and University of South Australia.

Sarah's research interests include:

  • Irrigated farming
  • Organic farming
  • Water markets and scarcity
  • Crime and gambling

Go to Sarah’s full University profile for all latest publications

Craig Johns

Contact Craig

Mr Craig Johns

Associate Director Agribusiness Innovation
BSc (Hons) (Flinders University)

Craig joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources team at the University of Adelaide in April 2011 to work as a value chain analyst across six countries in the Pacific. The role requires him to manage and contribute to a number of different projects in the region including a significant focus on the Fiji horticulture industry and how changing consumption patterns and modern food channels are transforming the local sector.

More recently, Craig has taken on the coordination role for the MGFAB Research Project course, a new ‘Experiences and Impacts in Agri-food Systems’ course, management of the GFS student internship program and the role of CEO for the University Agribusiness Advisory Board. All of these roles have enabled Craig to improve engagement and interaction between the University and leading Australian agribusiness companies for the benefit of both research and teaching activities.

Craig's research interests are:

  • Food and Forestry Value Chains
  • Market and Consumer Analysis
  • ‘Whole of Chain’ Industry Development
  • Read more about Craig's research interests and latest publications

    His initial background is an honours degree in biochemistry which led to further training in food technology, quality systems and business management. He has ten years commercial experience in the food industry including four years as the general manager of a successful and growing food production company in the Adelaide Hills.

    Before taking on an academic role, Craig spent four years providing food industry consultancy services for one of Australia's largest government owned consultancy groups and two years managing an Australian national government food value chain program. These positions involved the project management and delivery of a variety of large scale international collaborative value chain projects. The mixture of commercial, political and research experiences has assisted Craig deliver meaningful outcomes for a variety of a different project stakeholders.

    Selection of Project Reports

    • 'PARDI Objective 1; Develop value chain analysis as a means to prioritise R&D interventions in agribusiness development'; Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative (PARDI) update report on the ongoing activities of the University of Adelaide team, funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
    • 'CHM Value Chain Project'; National Pork Industry value chain research study. Developed an industry wide value chain methodology framework that was used to prioritise both private sector and industry wide development opportunities in two key target markets, funded by Australian Pork Limited.
    • 'Adelaide Showground's Farmers Market Consumer Research and Value Chain Analysis'; Identified and prioritized issues and opportunities facing the market while also helping to justify and direct government and wider industry collaboration in future projects, funded by PIRSA.
    • 'Cherry Export Market Research Taiwan'; a comprehensive market analysis and chain assessment report commissioned by the Cherry Growers of Australia and funded by Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL).
    • 'Commercial Value Chain Analysis of the Spencer Gulf and West Coast Prawn Fisheries – Domestic Retail and Restaurants'; Identified and implemented intervention and improvement activities directly impacting the industry and businesses within it (resulted in a 60% increase in sales in the targeted market channel and a 90% increase in sales if you take into account the new value added products), funded by the Seafood CRC.
    • 'Smallholder commercial pig production in NTT – opportunities for better market integration'; Value chain and market analysis research project in Indonesia, funded by ACIAR.
    • 'Assessment of value adding opportunities for processing mangoes and grapefruit for the Rewards Group Ltd and Manbulloo Ltd'; Private sector funded commercial analysis of existing business strategies and new market and company investment opportunities.
    • 'Market Development for Horticulture in SA'; Identified, prioritized and scoped market development project opportunities for the major horticultural sectors capable of contributing to the 8% growth target in the State Food Plan.

Dr David Adamson

Senior Research Fellow
B AgEcon (UNE), M NatRes (UQ), PhD (UQ)

David Adamson started his professional life as the economist at the CRC for Tropical Pest Management and he has worked on a range of natural resource and agricultural issues throughout Australia. From 2004-2017 David was based at the School of Economics at The University of Queensland working with Professor John Quiggin on climatic variability and uncertainty impacts on water management in Australia’s Murray–Darling Basin.

In 2017 David transferred to the Centre for Global Food & Resources, The University of Adelaide. David's current research activities are split between his ARC DECRA Grant DE160100213 Optimising National Benefits from Restoring Environmental Water Flows and collaborating on a European COST-ACTION Proposal titled 'Network for Evaluation of One Health'.

David has been commissioned to work on The Garnaut Climate Change Review, The Murray-Darling Basin Plan, and was appointed to the 2015/16 Independent Review Panel to examine the National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program.

Go to David's full University profile for his latest publications.

Dr Sharmina Ahmed

Postdoctoral Researcher
BA Science (Animal Science) (Dhaka University, Bangladesh), M Eco (Ritsumeikan University, Japan), PhD Eco (UOA)

Sharmina joined the Centre of Research Excellence (CRE)/Foodplus team at the University of Adelaide in March 2013 as a Post-Doctoral Researcher under the project titled “Food for Future Australians’. Her role is to collaborate with members of CRE/ Foodplus on related projects with an aim to effectively translation of nutrition research into policy and practice change. Responsibilities include analyse and interpret primary and secondary data by using modelling and econometric analysis, conduct cost-benefit analysis and develop survey instruments.

Sharmina's primary area of research is applied and development economics. Her present and previous works also cover areas of Agricultural Economics, Health Economies, and applied econometrics.

Sharmina's research interests include:

  • Development Economics
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Health Economies
  • Read more about Sharmina's research interests and latest publications


    Peer Reviewed Journal Papers

    • Roksana Huque and Sharmina Ahmed, 2005, "Male reproductive organs and radiation induced histological changes of testis of melon fly, bactrocera cucurbitae (coq.) (diptera: tephritidae)". Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, 31(2).
    • Sharmina Ahmed and Christopher Findlay, 2011, "Endogenous Matching and Contractual Choice among Rice Farmers in Bangladesh." The Bangladesh Development Studies (BDS), 34(4).

    Research Paper

    Work in progress

    • Agricultural Contractual Choice and Matching among Rice Farmers in Rural Bangladesh.
    • Efficiency Impact of Share-cropping in Rural Bangladesh.

    Conference Presentations

    • Ahmed, S. (2010) "A Reassessment of Agriculture's Role on the Rural Poverty Reduction Process in Bangladesh", The Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) Conference, 9-12 February, 2010.
    • Ahmed, S. (2011) "Determinants of the Choice of Agricultural Tenancy Contracts in Rural Bangladesh", The Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) Conference, 8-11 February, 2011.
    • Ahmed, S. (2012) "Endogenous Matching and the Agricultural Contractual Choice among Rice Farmers in Rural Bangladesh", The Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) Conference, 7-10 February, 2012.

Mr Jeremy Badgery-Parker

Research Manager
BScAgr (Hons) - University of Sydney, MBA – Southern Cross University

Jeremy is an agricultural scientist with a specialist background in greenhouse horticulture and industry capacity building. He is also a business and personal coach. Jeremy joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources in January 2017 in a part time capacity to undertake the management of an ACIAR project improving market engagement, postharvest management and productivity of the vegetable industries in Cambodia and Laos PDR.

Jeremy is highly experienced in project management, applied research and industry extension and capacity building, with 20 years of experience in research, development and extension in business development, intensive horticulture (greenhouses, hydroponics and low cost protected cropping), good agricultural practice and general consulting. Jeremy has a technical background in intensive horticulture, general agriculture and business.

He currently sits on the Horticulture Innovation Australia expert advisory panel for the Leadership and People Development fund.

Jeremy is also the Director and Principal consultant of Primary Principles – an independent, private consulting and coaching company based in Adelaide.

Jeremy’s current activities and interests include:

  • Personal and business coaching
  • Innovation agriculture
  • Chair, Conference organising committee – Apex-Brinkman FUTURE GROWING conference (Protected Cropping Australia), Adelaide 9-12th July 2017.
  • Sustainable Food security through technology and capacity development
  • Expert opinion work
  • Protecting Australia’s Growing Opportunities – greenhouse horticulture!

Ms Nikki Dumbrell

Research Associate

BSc (Hons) (The University of Western Australia)

Nikki joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources team at the University of Adelaide as a Research Associate in November 2016. Nikki works on projects that are designed to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of vegetable systems in Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR. In particular the projects focus on improving smallholder farmers’ market engagement and establishing more efficient postharvest management systems and processes.

Nikki's research interests include:

  • Identifying win-win scenarios for food and fibre production, natural resource condition and farmer profitability
  • Value chain analyses 
  • Market access
  • Whole-farm bio-economic modelling
  • Greenhouse gas mitigation polices applicable to agriculture

Go to Nikki's full University profile for her latest publications.

Dr Daniel Gregg

Research Fellow

Dr Daniel Gregg is a Research Fellow with the Centre for Global Food and Resources at the University of Adelaide supported by the University of Adelaide Research Fellowships Scheme. He graduated with his PhD in December 2015 receiving the Best Thesis prize from both his graduating institution (CQ University) and, in 2016, from the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economists Society (AARES). Daniel has 10 publications in the areas of production economics, environmental valuation, experimental economics, and natural resource management.

Daniel’s current work focuses on decision making in natural resource management and consumption choices including in development contexts, commercial production systems, and regarding private optimisation under limited information and cognitive ability (bounded rationality). Daniel’s research expertise covers grazing and NRM in the Top End of Australia and Queensland, development in Timor Leste, India and Laos, environmental valuation in Queensland and South Australia, production analysis of rangelands environments, experimental evaluation of choice amongst subsistence farmers, managers of rangelands grazing and experimental consideration of theories of cognitively-limited choice. He has been an Associate Director of the Waikato Experimental Economics Laboratory at Waikato University (NZ) and was a founding member of the NZ productivity research group. Daniel has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in agri-business, intermediate production economics, introductory economics and has developed a workshop course for econometric analysis in the R program.

Daniel was born in Darwin (northern Australia) growing up amongst natural environments in the Top End and visiting rural communities where he developed an interest in development and natural resource management. He has a keen interest outdoor activities and the management of these for the enjoyment, and sustainable use of, by communities.

Go to Daniel's full University profile for his latest publications.

Dr Juliane Haensch

Research Fellow
M. Transport Economics & Management (Dresden University of Technology, Germany), PhD Global Food & Resources (University of Adelaide)

Juliane joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources in 2015 as a PhD-Scholar after transferring from the University of South Australia, where she started her PhD studies and worked as a Research Assistant since 2011. She completed her PhD studies in February 2017, which examined the importance of spatial influences on irrigators’ water trading behaviour in Australia’s southern Murray-Darling Basin. Her PhD thesis was awarded a Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence and nominated for a University Research Medal.

Prior to the PhD studies Juliane received her Master in Transport Economics & Management (2008) from Dresden University of Technology (Germany) and was a Research Assistant and Tutor at Dresden University of Technology and a Scholar at the University of Alicante (Spain). After the Master’s studies she gained over two years industry experience working in the public transport management sector in Germany.

Juliane’s research interests include:

  • Environmental, agricultural and resource economics
  • Water markets
  • Spatial economics
  • Farmers’ decision-making
  • Irrigated farming
  • GIS-analysis

Mr Jack Hetherington

Research Associate

Jack Hetherington joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources in 2017, working in an interdisciplinary research team with the aim to improve the supply, competitiveness and livelihoods of smallholder dairy value chains in Indonesia – a.k.a the IndoDairy project.

Jack came to the University of Adelaide after working at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) for over two years where he supported the development and implementation of a range of Agribusiness research projects and help coordinate the evaluation of mobile acquired data. He is the Vice President for the network group called Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID) - an active community of early to mid-career researchers interested in agriculture and international development.

Jack grew up in Sydney but has a passion for understanding how agriculture and food production can contribute to a healthy and sustainable planet. Graduating from the University of Sydney with Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience in 2014, he completed an honours project analysing the interactions of livestock ownership, consumption behaviour and child nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Adam Loch

Senior Lecturer
B. Comm. (Bond University), M Mkt (Griffith), M Bus. (CQU), PhD (UniSA)

Adam’s primary research interests are in the area of water reform and market-based mechanisms that assist in reallocating scarce resources. He was recently awarded an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to investigate and quantify public transaction costs associated with institutional water reform in the Murray-Darling Basin. Adam is also involved in an ARC Discovery project aimed at transitioning to a water-secure future.

He is the current President of the South Australian branch of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES-SA), and a member of several professional associations including the American Agricultural and Applied Economics Society (AAEA), the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EERE) and the Economics Society of Australia (EcoSoc).

Other research interests include:

  • Irrigator and farmer decision-making
  • Resource economics
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Natural resource applied economics
  • Water valuation

Go to Adam's full University profile for his latest publications.

Dr Lenka Malek

Research Fellow
PhD in Medicine (University of Adelaide)

Lenka Malek, a qualified dietitian, completed her PhD in Medicine in 2015. Lenka's Primary Supervisor was Dr Jo Zhou (School of Agriculture, Food and Wine) with Professor Wendy Umberger as co-supervisor. Lenka's PhD title was: “Exploring the nutrition knowledge, attitudes and practices of pregnant women in Australia.” Lenka is now a Research Fellow in the Centre for Global Food and Resources

Lenka’s research interests are:

  • Nutrition and understanding dietary choices
  • Consumer behaviour research
  • Global food policy
  • Health policy
  • Healthy eating in pregnancy
  • Eye tracking to understand use of food labels

Go to Lenka's full University profile for her latest publications.

Susan Nelle

Dr Susan Nelle  6/7/1942 - 18/12/2016 Rest in peace Susan

Senior Research Fellow
BA History, University of the Americas, MEd Counselling Psychology, University of Washington, PhD Educational Psychology

It is with our deepest sympathy to advise that Dr Susan Nelle passed away after illness. Susan's contribution to the Centre for Global Food and Resources has been significant. We are currently working to create a suitable way to honour her memory and important contributions to the Centre, University of Adelaide and South Australia. Our thoughts are with Susan's family and friends. Rest in peace Susan.

Susan joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources in November 2014.  Previously, Susan has been an international management consultant specialising in organisational strategy and change management, Executive Director of Food South Australia, and Managing Director of the National Food Industry Strategy.  She had also been a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Innovation Research Centre at the University of Tasmania.

Her research interests included:

  • Sectoral systems of innovation
  • Regional systems of innovation
  • Foresights-based policy development
  • Value chain analysis

Papers and international presentations:

FundacionChile, Centres of Excellence in the Food Sector: Models and Experiences, “Lessons learned from the Australian National Food Industry Strategy”, Chile, 2007

International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, “Applying a sectoral system of innovation (SSI) approach to the Australian red meat industry with implications for improving innovation and entrepreneurship in the Australian agrifood industry.” with Christine Pitt, United States, 2008 (Winner, Best Paper, Innovation)

International Organisational Development Association,  “Exploring how innovation systems research findings contribute to OD principles and practices, India, 2009

Triple Helix VII, Biennial International Conference on University, Industry & Government Linkages,  “Applying a Sectoral System of Innovation (SSI) Framework to Determining Future Capacility Requirements for Research, Development and Extension in the Australian Dairy Industry”, Scotland, 2009

Australian Innovation Research Centre, “Building Regional Innovation Capability: The Coal River Valley Experience, 2010

Dr Patrick O'Connor

Associate Professor
PhD Terrestrial Ecology, University of Adelaide (2001), BSc (First Class Honours) University of Adelaide (1994), BSc University of Adelaide (1993), Majors in Botany and Soil Science.

Patrick O'Connor is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Global Food and Resources. Patrick O'Connor has a background in research and consulting in natural resource management science and program evaluation. Patrick is also Managing Director of the consulting company O’Connor NRM and holds a Chinese Academy of Sciences President's Fellowship at the Institute of Urban Environments, Xiamen, China. Patrick’s consulting and research work focuses on the design, creation, implementation and evaluation of markets for ecosystem services. Patrick works on projects aimed at overcoming negative environmental externalities from agricultural production systems and has created markets for the conservation of soil and biodiversity and for carbon sequestration. Patrick undertakes research on the design of novel contracts for land management, and toward understanding of price-setting behaviors of landholders supplying ecosystem services. Patrick also works in program evaluation, designing and implementing evaluations to improve program decisions or demonstrate policy and program impact.

Patrick has an additional interest in the application of applied linguistics to scientific writing and is co-author of the successful book 'Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps' which sets out a genre-based approach to training scientists to write research papers.

Patrick's research interests are:

  • Ecosystem service markets including biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, soil management and pollination
  • Monitoring and evaluation of agro-ecosystem services focusing on ecosystem health and biodiversity
  • Evaluation of natural resource management policy and program impact

Go to Patrick's full University profile for his latest publications.

Ms Larissa Gui Pagliuca

Research Assistant
MSc in Applied Economics and Bachelor’s degree in Agronomic Engineering, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Larissa joined GFAR in July 2017 as a casual staff member to work on a survey about behaviors and preferences of urban consumers in Southeast Asia, with Professor Wendy Umberger. For the past ten years, she worked as a researcher at the Center of Advanced Studies on Applied Economics (CEPEA), in Piracicaba, Brazil concentrating on agribusiness marketing analysis of fruit and vegetables. Her recent work has focused on production costs, economic viability and market chain analyses for different fruits and vegetables, including oranges, table grapes, mangoes and tomatoes. She also has participated in reserch and discussions about trends and structural aspects of Brazilian horticulture, identifying problems and opportunities in production chains.

Larissa's research interests include:

  • Market and consumer analysis
  • Agricultural economics
  • Production cost and risk managment

Dr Alexandra Peralta

PhD Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, MSc Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University, Economics Universidad del Valle, Cali Colombia

Alexandra joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources (GFaR) in July 2014. She is a development economist with experience on impact evaluation, field experiments and farmer decision-making models. Her recent research focuses on the use of non-experimental methods to evaluate the impact of rural development projects promoting multiple interventions in Nicaragua (PhD dissertation) and Haiti (with the Inter-American Development Bank). In Nicaragua she also conducted a field experiment to determine the effects on levels of trust of farmers who participated in a microfinance intervention. She also has research experience in East Africa, where she conducted research on farmers’ decisions on whether to grow trees or crops in the highlands of western Kenya (MSc thesis).
Before joining GFaR Alexandra was working as a Research Associate at the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. She was also consulting for the Inter-American Development Bank. She also has experience with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Agroforestry Center (ICRAF).
Alexandra’s current research interests include:

  • Impact of development interventions on poverty reduction and farmers access to markets.
  • Understanding barriers to technology adoption.
  • The use of innovative experimental economics methods to evaluate project impacts and understand farmers’ behavioural changes.

Mr Theo Simos

Research Fellow
Masters, Business (Curtin University), Graduate Diploma, Business (Curtin University), Associate Diploma, Food Control (Hawkesbury Agricultural College)

Theo holds formal qualifications on Food Technology, Management and Marketing with a Master's Degree in Business. He is currently a Research Associate for the Centre for Global Food and Resources, involved in Value Chain Analysis and Market Research projects. His focus as part of this multidisciplinary team is in the Pacific, specially Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Theo has wide experience in the private and public sector and in the last couple of years has travelled multiple times to the Pacific Islands as part of the Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative (PARDI).PARDI is an Australian Government Initiative focused on livelihood improvement and capacity building strategies.

He also has a strong understanding of food and beverage, retail, foodservice and traditional market channels in markets across SE Asia, the Middle East, India, and Pacific.

Theo's research interests include:

  • Value chain diagnostics in international food and beverage agri-chains
  • Marine and Aquaculture sector market chain development
  • Livelihood development projects in developing countries
  • Read more about Theo's research interests and latest publications

    With extensive international experience and cultural sensitivity Theo is recognised for his insightful and innovative approach to business development and management in the food industry.

    His proven commercial track record operating in Australia and international markets (particularly across Asia) managing sales, marketing, business and project management, food processing operations and product development has enabled him to develop commercial nous that is valued by clients.

    He has taken strong leadership roles on many fronts in the public sector and in partnership with the food industry, driven the development of programs and projects and managed their successful implementation.

    Capable of operating across the value chain Theo brings to clients a wealth of commercial experience, practical business and people management skills, integrity, drive and a 'can do" attitude that helps people translate business vision into reality.

    Experience & Achievements

      • years developing research programs & providing consultancy services for one of Australia`s largest government owned consultancy groups providing client services in food and agribusiness.
      • Over 8 years operating in the industry development sector at State and Federal Government levels in Australia (strategic development programs for the food and beverage industry in market policy, export and trade facilitation roles).

    • Developed and managed in-market demand chain platforms (order fulfilment & demand chains) to open and access new overseas markets (Foodservice and Retail channel development in Asia/Middle East).
    • Directed a series of market intelligence & research projects in overseas markets China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Chile, Singapore, UK, UAE, and India to facilitate market access for food export companies.
    • 22 years commercial experience in the food industry, with a strong background in the fast moving consumer goods operating to senior, executive management levels with proven profit and cost centre track record.
    • Managed the development of the Export Facilitation program "Food for the Future", a partnership between government and Industry that invested in market development programs in international markets for the food industry.
    • Managed an Export sales division to service over 100 international customers located in 30 countries (Asia, Pacific, Europe)
    • FMCG product and brand manager of a large portfolio of national beverage brands distributed in major Retail/Route/Food-Service channels throughout Australia. Managed national advertising and promotional programs, consumer research and retail category and merchandising development.
    • Operated a number of large food processing and distribution operations across a number of locations around Australia.

Professor Randy Stringer

Professor, Agriculture and Food Policy
BA Eco (Southern Methodist University), MA Eco & PhD (University of Wisconsin)

Randy Stringer is Professor, Agriculture and Food Policy, at the University of Adelaide's Centre for Global Food and Resources where he teaches and conducts research on food, agriculture and natural resource policy. From 2002 to 2006, Randy was the Director of the Comparative Studies Service, Agricultural and Development Economics Division, United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.

Randy's research interests include:

  • Food security and poverty reduction
  • Agriculture and environmental services
  • Agriculture policy
  • Read more about Randy's research interests and latest publications

    Randy was the Deputy Director of the Centre for International Economic Studies from 1996 to 2001, managing research programs and lecturing in the School of Economics, University of Adelaide. Over the past thirty years, he has taught, published and conducted research on agricultural development, food security, resource policy, climate change, poverty and environmental services in Australia, the Asia/Pacific, Africa, Europe, the Near East and Latin America.

    Go to Randy's full University profile.


    Sahara, W. J. Umberger, N. Minot and R. Stringer. (2013). Household income and supermarket participation: The case of chili farmers' in West Java, Indonesia. Prepared for submission to Agricultural Economics.

    Yi, D., T. Reardon, R. Stringer. (2013). Modern variety adoption and intensification in Indonesian shrimp aquaculture: Are poor farmers included? Prepared for submission to Journal of Development Studies.

    Maghraby, Wahida; W. J. Umberger, D. Yi, N. Minot and R. Stringer. (2013) Productivity and Technical Inefficiency Of Maximum Residue Limit Compliant And Non-Compliant Farmers: The Case Of Shallot Growers In Indonesia. Australian Agriculture and Resource Economics Annual Conference, Sydney Australia, 5-8 February.

    Books and Book Chapters

    L. Lipper, Sakuyama, T.; Stringer, R.; Zilberman, D. (Eds.). 2009. Payment for Environmental Services in Agricultural Landscapes: Economic Policies and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries, New York: Springer.

    K. Ura, R. Stringer and E. Bulte. 2009. 'Managing Wildlife Damage to Agriculture in Bhutan: Conflicts, Costs and Compromise,' in Managing Environmental Services in Agricultural Landscapes: Policies and Incentives for Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries, L. Lipper, Sakuyama, T.; Stringer, R.; Zilberman, D. (Eds.), New York: Springer.

    Conference Papers and Articles

    Cecil Stephen Camilleri, Randy Stringer and Wendy Umberger, 2009, A Common Sense of Emissions: Value Chains, Life Cycle Assessments and Carbon Labels, paper presented at the Vine to Dine Workshop, 28 January, 2009.

    R. Stringer, 2009. Policy Options to Promote Agricultural Growth for Sustainable Development, prepared for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, New York for presentation at the CSD Policy Session, May 2009.

    Wendy J. Umberger, Emily M. Scott and Randy Stringer. 2008. Australian Consumers' Concerns and Preferences for Food Policy Alternatives. Selected Paper prepared for presentation at the American Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, July 27-29, 2008.

Dr Ying Xu

Research Fellow
PhD in Natural Resource Economics (Virginia Tech), MS in Natural Resource Economics (Virginia Tech)

Ying is an applied economist by training who joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources in 2016. Her previous work has been centred on risk analysis from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, which covers a wide range of topics including forest management under sequential natural disturbances, agricultural water use and irrigation technology adoption under climate risks, and wildlife conservation decisions under spatial-correlated risks. She is also involved in research projects on forest tenure reform in rural China funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the World Bank, Ford Foundation, Rights and Resources Initiatives (RRI), and the EfD Initiatives. Her current research projects include climate change and agricultural development in China (funded by ACIAR), and environmental pollution and children’s health in Australia.

Ying's research interests are:

  • The multidimensional impacts of climate change on agriculture and natural resource use
  • The mechanisms and empirical linkages between environmental and health outcomes
  • Natural resource management under risks
  • Agricultural development in China

Go to Ying's full University profile for her latest publications.

Mr Rohan Yargop

Research and Teaching Associate

B.A. (Hons) Culinary Arts (University of Huddersfield, UK)
Master of Global Food and Agricultural Business (University of Adelaide)

Rohan joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources team at the University of Adelaide as a Research and Teaching Associate in March 2016. Rohan is a recent graduate of the Master’s program offered by CGFAR. Rohan has worked on projects for the South Australian state government through PIRSA (Primary Industries and Regions South Australia) and international project on smallholder inclusiveness in Indonesia. Rohan’s current research looks at innovation systems and pathways to collaboration in the South Australian agrifood sector. Rohan combines quantitative and qualitative techniques to interpret primary and secondary data. Rohan also assists in delivery of the Innovation systems and policy transformation course in the Master’s program.

Rohan's research interests include:

  • Value chian analyses
  • Market research
  • Sectoral systems of innovation
  • Regional systems of innovation

Go to Rohan's full University profile for his latest publications.

Dr Dale Yi

Postdoctoral Researcher
BA Psychology, Economics & Mathematics (Calvin College), MSc Agricultural Economics & PhD Agricultural, Food & Resource Economics (Michigan State University)

Dale joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources team at the University of Adelaide in Septermber 2012 as a Post-Doctoral Researcher. His current work examines how government policies, government programs, private sector initiatives, and scientific research influence the transformation of horticultural value chains in Indonesia, focusing particularly on identifying instruments to aid smallholders and rural communities in participating in the development of the value chains.

Dale's research interests include:

  • Transformation of horticulture and aquaculture value chains
  • Efficiency analysis of farms and trade enterprises
  • Technology adoption

Before joining the Centre for Global Food and Resources team, Dale was a graduate student at Michigan State University where he conducted research on aquaculture producers and traders in Indonesia, examining the adoption of aquaculture technologies, environmental impacts of shrimp HYV adoption, and identifying determinates of efficiency in production and marketing.

Professor Mike Young


Mike Young holds a Research Chair in Water and Environmental Policy at the University of Adelaide, was the Founding Executive Director of its Environment Institute, is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, and is a Distinguished Fellow of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

Mike's research interests include:

  • Characteristics of Transformational Policy Reform
  • Development of Water and Environmental Policy Options
  • Public Choice Theory
  • Read more about Mike's research and latest publications

    In 2013/14, Mike will take up the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Chair in Australian Studies at Harvard University. In the past, he has led teams that have developed a framework for the introduction of a greenhouse gas emissions trading system for Australia; fishery management in NSW; biodiversity conservation on private land; and in rangeland management in NSW, SA and the NT. For three years he worked on the integration of agricultural and environmental policies with OECD. He also played a key role in establishing Australia's National Land and Water Resources Audit.

    A member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Water Security, in 2010/11 has lead the water component of a UNEP study on opportunities to pursue green growth strategies throughout the world.

    In 2006, Mike Young was awarded Australia's premiere water research prize – the Land and Water Australia Eureka Award for Water Research. The award recognizes the significant contribution of his research with Jim McColl to the introduction of improved water entitlement, allocation and trading systems in Australia.

    Mike is best known for his contribution to the development of natural resource and environmental policies. In recent times, his research has focused on the use and design of market-based instruments with attention to water. He has played a critical role in the consideration of options for the Murray Darling Basin. Internationally, he is known for his capacity to integrate biophysical and economic information to produce innovative policy proposals that catalyse change.

    Prof Young is an Honorary Professor with the University College London and has just spent several months in the United Kingdom working on water policy options for the Department of Environment, Food and Regional Affairs. This includes consideration of ways to significantly reform water abstraction licensing and pricing arrangements.
    Prior to joining the University of Adelaide, Mike spent 30 years with CSIRO where amongst other things he established their Policy and Economic Research Unit with offices in Adelaide, Canberra and Perth.

    In 2003, Mike was awarded a Centenary Medal "for outstanding service through environmental economics". In 2009, he was named South Australian of the Year in the Environment Category.

    His full curriculum vitae lists over 230 publications. He holds degrees in economics and agricultural science. More information is available at

Dr Di Zeng

PhD in Agricultural Economics (Virginia Tech)

Di is an applied economist with research experience in agricultural development, food and health economics whose work covers East Africa, East Asia and the United States. His research aims to disentangle the complicated mechanisms linking food, health, and economic development from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. He has collaborated extensively with CGIAR centres in Africa and Europe and several governmental agencies in the United States.

Di maintains research interests in the following areas:

  • Agricultural development and welfare outcomes in developing countries
  • Food access, food choice and health consequences
  • Mechanisms generating and relating to health disparities
  • Natural resource management in economic development

Dr Alec Zuo

Senior Research Fellow
Bachelor of Business Administration (First Class Honours, Lingnan University, Hong Kong), PhD Economics (University of South Australia)

Alec joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources in June 2015. As both an individual researcher and as part of expert teams, Dr Zuo has been the recipient of a range of grants to support his research, from organisations including the Federal Department of the Environment, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the National Climate Change Adaption Research Facility (CNNARF), and the National Water Commission.

Alec’s research interests are:

  • Environmental and Agricultural Economics
  • Water Markets
  • Climate change and migration
  • Labour Economics
  • Health Economics

Go to Alec's full University profile for his latest publications.

Our Administrative Staff

Dr Natasha Caulfield

Business Manager
Bachelor of Arts (Monash University), Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology (Education, Monash University), Master of Psychology (Organisational, University of South Australia), PhD (University of South Australia)

  • Responsible for high-level project and planning support for GFAR research and programs
  • Actively supports the strategic objectives of GFAR
  • Provides high level executive support to the Executive Director and Associate Directors of GFAR
  • Prepares comprehensive and complex reports, manages finances, research grants, project and contracts

Ms Julia Avdeeva

Administration Officer

  • Environmental and Agricultural Economics
  • First point of contact for visitors and enquiries
  • Event management and administration for events, workshops and seminars
  • Coordination and booking of travel for staff, visitors and PhD students
  • Coordination of office supplies and resources
  • Diary management and administration support for the Director
  • Collection of research activities information for staff and students


Dr Jennifer Cleary

Adjunct Associate Professor

Jen is a geographer with research interests in rural, regional and remote social and economic policy and development. She is highly experienced in participatory research and specialises in community engagement. She works across Australia, and has worked extensively with Aboriginal peoples from many Language Groups in remote Australia. Part of her work in research in remote Australia has focused on understanding the ways in which remote Aboriginal women participate in the Australian bush foods industry. Jen currently works part-time with GFAR, where her research is focused on maximising benefits to regional rural and remote communities from the export value of premium food and wine.

As a high profile regional Australian, Jen also holds a number of senior positions in national and international organisations concerned with rural, regional and remote development and is recognised for her expertise, experience and extensive networks in this field. In September 2012, she co-convened the fifth world forum of the International Rural Network. Following the success of the Forum, Jen was elected co-chair of the Network. Jen currently chairs the National Reference Group for Regional Australia, established in 2015 by former Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss. She also chairs Regional Development Australia, Far North and is a board member of the Country Arts SA Trust. Jen is a member the SEGRA (Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia) National Steering Committee.

Dr Jeff Connor

Adjunct Professor

Dr Jeff Connor from CSIRO is an environmental and agricultural economist with specialisation in quantitative economic, environmental and social integrated systems modelling. He has a history of working closely with Governments at local, State, National and International levels to provide policy advice based on rigorous economics including work as an advisor to the Murray Darling Basin Authority, the Australian State departments for water of South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia, the Australian international aid agency (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade), and the government of Bangladesh. Dr Connor has held various leadership positions in CSIRO including the position of Group leader for Natural Resource Economics (2006-09), leader for a CSIRO initiative to develop hydro-economic modelling for the Murray Darling Basin (2005-08); team leader for the Adelaide based economic and geographic information sciences group (October, 2015 to present).

Jay Cummins

Dr Jay Cummins

Adjunct Senior Fellow
Appl Sc. Ag. (University of Adelaide), Grad Dip. Ag (University of Adelaide), Grad. Dip. Ag. Extension (University of Queensland), PhD (University of Adelaide), DBA (Southern Cross University)

Jay joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources in October 2017.  Jay offers extensive international development experience in food and water security research and capacity development including agricultural extension systems development, on-farm innovation and farmer adoption of best management practices.  With a background in consulting, research, training and capacity building in government and private sectors, Jay has worked extensively across Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Pacific regions.

Jay’s current research interests include the following:

  • Developing effective high-impact extension services through the use of Innovation Platforms and the development of inclusive partnerships with the private sector.
  • Enhancing crop water use and on-farm irrigation practices through soil-water monitoring and development of conservation agriculture practices
  • Understanding farmer decision-making practices and the impact of socio-economic and risk management characteristics in relation to the adoption of innovations
  • Motivational characteristics and coping mechanisms of young agricultural professionals in developing countries


Dr Garry Griffith

Dr Garry Griffith

Adjunct Professor
BAgEc (Hons) (University of New England, 1972), MEc (Macquarie University, 1978), PhD (Distinction) (University of Guelph, 1980)

Garry teaches a value chain course in the Centre for Global Food and Resources at the University of Adelaide.

His current research interests include specification and validation of equilibrium displacement models of agriculture and food industries and the use of these models to evaluate producer response to new production technologies, consumer response to advertising programs and new products, and the impacts of changes in government policies. He has a strong interest in assessment of the nature of and limitations to the adoption of new technology, and the nature of price transmission processes in agricultural value chains. He has undertaken a number of consultancies in the broad area of R&D project evaluation, evaluation of large program investments, and training other professionals in the principles and practices of R&D evaluation. He currently has funded projects in South Africa, Canada, the US and Germany, and is the project leader for a GRDC project “An EDM of the Australian Grains Industry”.

Garry also holds part time Professorial roles in the UNE Business School at the University of New England and in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Prior appointments include Principal Research Scientist, NSW Department of Primary Industries, and Chief Economist, CRC for Beef Genetic Technologies. He is a Distinguished Fellow of AARES and has won a Eureka Prize for Research by a Multi-disciplinary Research Team (“Meat Standards Australia Pathways Team”).

Dr Xiaobo He

Adjunct Researcher
Master of Economics (University of Adelaide), PhD in Economics (University of Adelaide)

Xiaobo joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources in July 2013. From 2013 to 2015, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at CGFR with research interests in applied microeconometrics, health economics, labor economics and development economics.

Xiaobo’s research topics include:

  • Dietary and individual health
  • Pollution and health
  • Female labor force participation
  • Returns to education

Go to Xiaobo's full University profile for his latest publications..

Dr Suzie Newman

Adjunct Senior Lecturer
B.Hort.Sci (Hons), PhD Plant Science (Postharvest) - Massey University, New Zealand

Dr Suzie Newman joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources in January 2014, where she led a series of ACIAR projects in SE Asia. In 2017, she took up a new position with Plant and Food Research in New Zealand as Team Leader – International Aid and Development, but has retained an adjunct position with GFAR. She has extensive experience in production and postharvest horticultural and agribusiness research, development and extension. Prior to joining the Centre for Global Food and Resources team, Dr Newman spent 16 years as a scientist with NSW DPI. Since 2003, Dr Newman has worked in international development where she has led and collaborated on projects in South East Asia, Papua New Guinea and Africa, and from 2009-2016 was based in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Her current research interests include:

  • Food security and poverty reduction
  • Value chain analysis
  • Gender responsive agriculture development
  • Participatory Action Research (PAR)
  • Postharvest physiology and technology of horticultural crops
  • Consumer preferences
  • Farmer Business School (FBS) design and evolution

Dr Risti Permani

Adjunct Lecturer
BA Science (Statistics) (Bogor Agricultural University), M Eco (UOA), PhD Eco (UoA)

Risti's primary area of research is development economics. Her works also cover areas of education economics, agricultural economics, East Asian Economies, and applied econometrics.

During her PhD, she focused her research on the economics of religious schools covering various aspects such as inequality of income and education, earnings, demand for religious education, the role of religious leaders, impacts of government policy, and more.

Her recent work mostly covers various issues in Indonesian agricultural sectors such as climate change, export taxes and self-sufficiency issues.

Risti is also involved in the GoLive Indonesia Project, and her other research interests include:

  • Livestock self-sufficiency
  • Export taxes
  • Labour migration issues

Risti will lecture in East Asian Economies II at Winter School 2013 offered to postgraduate and undergraduate students.

Go to Risti's full University profile for all latest publications.

Tom Reardon

Tom Reardon

Adjunct Professor, Agriculture and Food Policy

Thomas Reardon is Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University; a visiting Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); and 1000 Talents Program Scholar in the School of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development at Renmin University of China.

Professor Reardon is a globally recognised agricultural economist and a leading researcher with extensive research experience on food industry transformation. In particular, he has lead work on the "supermarket revolution," the transformation of the wholesale market, mill, and cold storage sectors, and their impacts on the evolution of value chains and food security in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. One of his articles is ranked as the third most cited among the A* journal, American Journal of Agricultural Economics. In 2009, Michigan State University presented Professor Reardon with the 'Distinguished Faculty Award'.

Dr Kurt Schwabe

Adjunct Professor
B.A. in Mathematics and Economics at Macalester College, an M.S. in Economics at Duke University, and Ph.D. in Economics at the North Carolina State University

Professor Kurt Schwabe is a Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy at the School of Public Policy in Environmental Sciences and Policy at University of California, Riverside, and his research focuses on economic issues associated with water use, agricultural production, urban water conservation, ecosystem services, and environmental regulation.

His papers have appeared in wide range of peer-reviewed publications, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, and the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, and is co-editor of two recent books on water titled, Drought in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions: A Multi-Disciplinary and Cross-Country Perspective, and The Handbook of Water Economics. Dr. Schwabe received a B.A. in Mathematics and Economics at Macalester College, an M.S. in Economics at Duke University, and a Ph.D. in Economics at the North Carolina State University.

Dr Jayanthi Thennakoon

Contact Jayanthi

Dr Jayanthi Thennakoon

Adjunct Lecturer
BA Economics (First Class Hons) (University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka), MSc Economics (National University of Singapore), PhD Economics (University of Adelaide, Australia)

Jayanthi joined the Centre for Global Food and Resources team in September 2013. Jayanthi is currently working on a project on "Assessing farmer responses to climate change – adjustment policy options" involving China and Vietnam.

Jayanthi's research interests are:

  • Economics and Political Economy of Trade Policy Interventions
  • Trade and Agricultural Commodities
  • Food Price Distortions
  • Farmer Responses to Climate Change
  • Applied Econometrics

Go to Jayanthi's full University profile for all latest publications.


Adjunct Researcher
BS Agricultural and Resource Economics (IPB), MS (IPB), PhD in Global Food Studies (University of Adelaide)

Wahida is recently graduated from Global Food Studies in 2015. At the moment, she is the Agricultural Attaché to the Europe and the Mission of Indonesia to the European Union and based in Brussels, Belgium. She will be appointed for this position for the next 3.5 years (2017- 2020). After the completion of her PhD in University of Adelaide, Wahida has spent a six month post-doctoral fellow with Global Food Studies under supervision by Prof. Wendy Umberger. In the early 2016, she returned to Indonesia as researcher in her former office at the Indonesian Centre for Agriculture Research and Policy Studies (ICASEPS) and based in Bogor. Prior to her returned to the office, Wahida has helped the office to start the research collaboration between Indonesia and Australia through several ACIAR Projects. From such period of time (September – November 2016), Wahida led the monitoring and evaluation division of the SMARTD (Sustainable Management of Agricultural Research and Technology Dissemination), a loan-funded project by the World Bank. SMARTD Project has an objective to strengthen IAARD’s capacity in developing and disseminating best practice technologies to improve agricultural productivity, profitability and sustainability. At the end of October 2016, Wahida selected as the Agricultural Attaché and since January 2017 she moved to Brussels, Belgium and works at the Embassy of Indonesia and Mission of Indonesia to the European Union. With this current role, she will be represented the Indonesian Government to promote collaboration networks in food and agriculture sector in different platforms, e.g. bilateral, regional and multilateral with the EU member countries and the European Union.

The Centre for Global Food and Resources

Level 6,
10 Pulteney Street
The University of Adelaide SA 5005
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Telephone: +61 8 8313 0087
Staff Directory: The Centre for Global Food and Resources