Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Adjunct Professor Allan Curtis

Adjunct Professor Allan Curtis

BA (Melb) DipEd (Melb) PhD (CSU)

Allan Curtis is an Adjunct Research Professor at CSU. Until December 2017 he was a Strategic Research Professor at CSU. From 2002-2004 he led the Social Sciences Program in the Bureau of Rural Sciences, part of the Australian Government's Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Allan's research examines regional natural resource governance and the social dimensions of sustainable agriculture. He has specific expertise in the role of local organisations, understanding rural landholder adoption of sustainable practices and program evaluation. His expertise spans both qualitative and quantitative social research approaches.

Allan's current research is examine the social acceptability of environmental water, the outcomes of landholder engagement in soil health groups, constraints to the use and trading of groundwater, what it means to be a "flexible and adaptive" cropper, the role of farmer identity in multi-functional landscapes and the social acceptability of measures to manage total grazing pressure in the rangelands. Those projects are funded by Meat and Livestock Australia, the Murray-D​arling Basin Authority, and the Australian Government’s Regional Delivery Program.

Allan has authored/co-authored in excess of 250 academic publications. His publications include 4 refereed books, 112 refereed journal articles, 27 refereed book chapters, 123 technical research reports and 133 major conference presentations. Allan has supervised 23 PhD students to completion in the past 25 years.

Until November 2017, Allan was a Program Leader in the High Performance Soils (HPS) Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) funded by the Australian Government from 2017 to 2027. He is a Principal Investigator in the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) based at Flinders University and includes partners at ANU.

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  • NCGRT (ARC/National Water Commission): risk and trust in groundwater governance; social acceptability of MAR; stakeholder understanding of GDE; role of farmer identity amongst rural landholders in multi-functional landscapes.
  • FRDC: social acceptability of wild catch commercial fishing sector and resource access decisions.
  • Aust Government Regional Delivery Program/ Wimmera CMA: Are farmers involved in the Sustainable Agric program more "adaptive and flexible" managers?
  • North Central CMA: Gathering geo-referenced social data to examine the impact of soil health programs; rural landholder belief in climate change; trust in CMA; risk interpretation.

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  • Allan and Margaret operate a grass-fed beef enterprise in the Ovens Valley of north east Victoria.
  • X-country running; mountain bike riding; X-country skiing.

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View Allan Curtis research profile here.

  • Toman, E., Curtis, A. and E. Mendham. (2018) Same as it ever was? Stability and change over 15 years in a rural district in Southeastern Australia. Society and Natural Resources. DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2018.1505014
  • Mendham, E. and Curtis, A. (2018)Local stakeholder judgements of the social acceptability of applying environmental water in the Gunbower Island forest on the Murray River, Australia. Water Policy, 20:218–234.
  • Sinclair, K., Rawluk, A., Kumar, S., and Curtis, A. (2017) Ways forward for resilience thinking: lessons from the field for those exploring social-ecological systems in agriculture and natural resource management. Ecology and Society 22 (4):21.
  • Sanderson, M.R. and Curtis, A.L. (2017) Are irrigators different from dyland operators? Insights from a comparative study in Australia. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 53(6):1453-1466.
  • Groth, T. and Curtis, A. (2017) Mapping farmer identity. Why? How? What it tells us? Australian Geographer, 48:3, 365-383.
  • Sherry, J. and Curtis, A. (2017) At the intersection of disaster risk and religion: Interpretations and responses to the threat of Tsho Rolpa glacial lake. Environmental Hazards, 16:4, 314-329.
  • Rawluk, A., and Curtis, A. (2017) “A mirror and a lamp”: the role of power in the rural landscape trajectory of the Ovens region of Australia. Society and Natural Resources. 30:8, 949-963, DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2016.1264651.
  • Groth, T., Curtis, A., Mendham, E. A., & Toman, E. (2017) Examining the agricultural producer identity: Utilising the collective occupational identity construct to create a typology and profile of rural landholders in Victoria, Australia. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. 60:4, 628-646.
  • McGee, T., Curtis, A., McFarlane, B.L., Shindler, B., Christianson, A., Olsen, C., McCaffrey, S. (2016) Facilitating knowledge transfer between researchers and wildfire practitioners. Forestry Chronicle: 92 (2): 167-171.
  • Rawluk, A., and Curtis, A. (2016) Reconciling contradictory narratives of landscape change using the adaptive cycle: a case study from south eastern Australia. Ecology and Society. 21 (1):17.  [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol21/iss1/art17/.
  • Sanderson, M., and Curtis, A. (2016) Culture, climate change and farm-level groundwater management: an Australian case study. Journal of Hydrology 536 (2016) 284-292.
  • Groth, T., Curtis, A., Mendham, E. A., & Toman, E. (2016) The utility of a collective identity construct to explore the influence of farming identity on natural resource management. Society and Natural Resources 29 (5) 508-602.
  • Sinclair, K., Curtis, A., Mendham, E., and M. Mitchell (2015) Assessing the efficacy of transition theory to identify industry transformation: a case study examining the deregulation of Australia’s dairy industry. Australian Geographer. 46: 1, 113-129.
  • Ticehurst, J., and Curtis, A. (2015) Can existing practices expected to lead to improved on-farm water use efficiency enable irrigators to effectively respond to reduced groundwater entitlements in the Murray-Darling Basin? Journal of Hydrology528, 613–620.
  • Groth, T., Curtis, A., Toman, E., & Mendham, E. (2015) The development and validation of a collective occupational identity construct (COIC) in a natural resource context. Journal of Rural Studies, 40, 111-119.
  • Curtis, A., Ross, H., Marshall, G.R., Baldwin, C., Cavaye, J., Freeman, C., Carr, A., and Syme, G. (2014) The great experiment with devolved NRM governance: lessons from community engagement in Australia and New Zealand since the 1980s. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management 21:2, 179-199.
  • Mendham, E., and Curtis, A. (2014) What lies beneath?: rural landholder interpretation of the risks of aquifer exploitation. Journal of Hydrology 511: 180-189.

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