ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University



Dr Zsophia (Sophie) Palfi Zsophia Palfi

The influence of soil disturbance on seed dispersal by ants in roadside environments in southern NSW, Australia.

Principal Supervisor Dr Peter Spooner

CSU Faculty of Science scholarship

Sophie, who is Hungarian, is based at the Albury-Wodonga Campus and began her Phd in November 2012 with principal supervisor Dr Peter Spooner. She did her Bachelor and then her Masters Degree in Ecology at Babes-Bolyai University in Romania. She began working on the behavioural ecology of ants in her second year of her under-graduate studies and was a member of that university's social insects working group. Sophie studied obligatory slave-making ants, a big red ant with sharp mandibles (jaws) which are totally dependent on their slaves – another species of ant but closely related - that they 'kidnap' as pupae and take back to an existing nest just for slave ants.

Xiaoying LiuDr Xiaoying (Shasha) Liu

Applying a Transdisciplinary Approach to Improve the Understanding of Current and Future States of Inland Ephemeral Wetlands: An Australian Case Study

Supervisors Prof Max Finlayson, Dr Daryl Nielsen & Dr Darren Baldwin MDFRC

Scholarship funded by the Lake Cowal Foundation

Xiaoying (Shasha) Liu, who is from Beijing in China, began her PhD in July 2012. Her PhD was funded by the Lake Cowal Foundation for a project led by Prof Max Finlayson- Ecological Characterisation and Scenario Setting for Lake Cowal. The aim of the project is to characterise the key features of the ecological character of Lake Cowal, an ephemeral lake in the central west of NSW, and develop plausible futures in response to selected land/water management scenarios and variable climate regimes. As part of her project, Shasha analysed samples of the sediments in Lake Cowal to determine what impact the adjacent Cowal Gold Mine may be having on the lake.
Shasha completed her Bachelor Degree in Applied Chemistry from Shandong Normal University in 2010 before moving to Australia in 2011 to do her Masters degree in Environmental Science at the University of Sydney.


Paul AmoatengDr Paul Amaoteng

The Changing spatial extent of rivers and floodplains and its implications for flooding. The case of Kumasi.

Supervisors: Prof Max Finlayson, Prof Ben Wilson and Dr Jonathon Howard
CSU Faculty of Science scholarship

Paul Amoateng, from the Adumasa in Ashanti Region of Ghana, began his PhD in July 2012. Paul's undergraduate degree was a BSc in Human Settlement Planning (Honours) from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi, Ghana. He then worked for a year as a Teaching and Research Assistant with the University's Department of Planning before beginning his postgraduate studies in Master of Philosophy in Planning in the August, 2011, looking at land-use planning along water bodies.

Chaka ChirozvaDr Chaka Chirozva

Community engagement in the governance of Transfrontier Conservation Areas: An analysis of the implementation of Sengwe Tshipise Wilderness Corridor, Zimbabwe.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Rosemary Black and Dr Joanne Millar i
CSU Faculty of Science scholarship

Chaka Chirozva, from Harare in Zimbabwe in Africa, started his PhD in July 2012.  Chaka completed a BSc in Tourism and Hospitality Management from the University of Zimbabwe in 2002 before doing a Masters in Social Ecology. From 2007 to 2011 Chaka worked for the University of Zimbabwe as a research assistant for a project on participatory scenario planning for local people living in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area. He then had junior lecturer positions with the Great Zimbabwe University and then Bindura University of Science Education in Zimbabwe.

Buddi PoudelDr Buddi Poudel

The effects of pastoralism on the behaviour of the Himalayan marmot (Marmota himalayana) in high altitude rangelands in Nepal

Supervisors: Dr Alison Matthews  and ILWS adjunct Hem Baral (Nepal)

Buddi S.Poudel from Nepal, began his PhD in July 2012. Buddi studied the population and habitat of the Himalayan Marmot, an important food source for the Snow Leopard, an endangered species. One of the highest altitude living mammals, it is presumed Himalayan Marmots will be affected by global climate change which is likely to impact on its population and habitat disproportionately as it is a tree line species. Buddi, who has a background in forestry, did a post-graduate degree in wildlife management in India at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. From 2004 to 2008 he worked for the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conversation, Government of Nepal, and then for the Department of Forest Research and Survey.

Luisa Perez-MujicaDr Luisa Perez-Mujica

Development of a sustainability assessment tool in the context of social-ecological systems using system simulation and participatory modelling: The case of the Winton Wetlands

Supervisors: Professor Max Finlayson and Dr Jonathon Howard
CSU Faculty of Science scholarship

Luisa Perez-Mujica, began her PhD in August 2012, is from Mexico City.  She has a BSc in Biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). While doing her Honours in Ecology (on a mixture of environmental management and law) Luisa worked for Mexico's National Laboratory of Sustainability Sciences.

Eak RanaDr Eak Rana

REDD+ and ecosystem services trade-offs and synergies in community forests of central Himalaya, Nepal

Supervisors: Dr Rik Thwaites and A/Prof Gary Luck
CSU Faculty of Science Scholarship

Eak Rana, who is from Nepal, began his PhD in August 2012. He completed his BSc in Forestry in 1999 at the Institute of Forestry, Tribhuwan University, Nepal before working for Care International Nepal as a Natural Resource Management officer for six years. Eak then did his Masters in Sustainable Resources Management at the Technical University of Munich in Germany. On his return to Nepal he worked for Care International Nepal as a research and monitoring manager for a year before joining the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) where he was a climate change project co-ordinator for nearly three years.

Dr Karma TenzingKarma Tenzing

The role of property rights in Natural Resource Management: the case of high altitude rangeland of Bhutan

Supervisors:  Associate Professor Rosemary Black and Dr Joanne Millar

Karma, from Nepal, commenced his PhD in March 2012.  His research explored the role of property rights in achieving equity, efficiency and sustainability (EES) goals in the context of high altitude rangeland (known as tsa-drog) management in Bhutan. The type of property rights assigned to the resource users can influence the management and governance of natural resources such as rangelands. Bhutan has a complex system of rangeland property rights evolved over many centuries in response to settlement patterns, monastic regulations, elite capture and government policies. The aim of this research was to 1) describe property rights and management regimes across three rangeland sites, 2) determine people's perceptions of traditional and pilot leasing systems, and the proposed nationalisation program in relation to EES goals, 3) explore how property rights influence conflicts and collective action and 4) elicit views on how property rights and rangeland management can be improved in Bhutan.


Bugi Sumirat (Masters) 

Social capital of forest farm groups in Indonesia

Supervisors  Dr Joanne Millar and Dr Digby Race
Australian Centre for International Agricultural research (ACIAR)

Bugi, who is from Indonesia, commenced his Masters in 2007  Bugi's research explores the social relationships and activities of farmer forest groups – a form of social capital- in two case study regions in Indonesia (South Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara).

Vijaykumar Kuttappan (Masters)Vijaykumar Kuttappan

Urban migration in tank irrigation communities in South India: extent, trends, impacts and implications for food security

Supervisors  Prof Allan Curtis, Dr Michael Mitchell and A/Prof Karthikeyan Chandrasekaran from Tamil Nadu State Agricultural University, India. 
CSU Scholarship

The key questions Vijay's research sought to answer were: the extent of rural to urban migration in India, particularly in South India and tank irrigation communities. The trends, drivers and impacts of rural to urban migration in tank dependent communities of Tamil Nadu, South India and the implications it may have on food security in India. More specifically the potential for rural development initiatives to ameliorate the extent that rural to urban migration reduces well-being in tank irrigation communities.

Dr Lei Yinru 'Ruby'Lei Yinru

Human Migration Decision-making in Response to Climate Change - A Case Study in Shangnan County, China

Supervisors: Prof Max Finlayson and Dr Rik Thwaites
PhD scholarship offered by CSU and Hohai University, Nanjing, China in line with a global alliance between the two universities

Ruby started at CSU in February 2011. . Ruby , who did her undergraduate studies in land and resource management at Nanjing Agricultural University had been upgraded to PhD status one and a half years into her Masters. She was doing her PhD under principal supervisor Prof Shi Guoqing , the Director of China's National Research Centre for Resettlement at Hohai University when the opportunity came up to come to Australia. (Prof Shi was one of three senior scientists from Hohai University who visited the Institute and Australia in May, 2009).

Dr Mohan PoudelMohan Poudel

Examining outcomes of REDD+ through community forestry in rural Nepal 

Supervisors Dr Digby Race and Dr Rik Thwaites. 
Australian Postgraduate Award

Mohan a social forester, who has worked for Nepal's national Forest Service for 14 years and has a M.Sc. from ITC in the Netherlands examined the potential livelihood implications of the reducing emissions form deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+). REDD+ is an international climate change mitigation mechanism of UNFCCC. REDD+ is not just focussing on emissions reduction but also on well being of the forest dependent people and sustainable management of forest resources in the developing countries.

Dr Yustina Murdiningrum
Yustina Murdiningrum

The Capacity of Non-Government Organisations to Enhance Peasants' Livelihoods through Farm Forestry in Indonesia

Supervisors Dr Digby Race, Dr Geoff Bamberry (CSU Business) and Dr Brain Furze (La Trobe University). 
CSU International Postgraduate Research Scholarship

Yustina  is from Indonesia.  She completed her Masters Degree (2005-2007) at the renowned Wageningen University in The Netherlands where she undertook a major in International Development Studies and conducted thesis research on the conflict in natural resource management between Government and a local NGO in the Mount Merapi National Park in Joyakarta.


Dr Patrick Brandful Cobbinah
Patrick Cobbinah

Reducing Poverty in Developing Countries through Ecotourism: A Case Study of Kakum Conservation Area in Ghana

Supervisors  Associate Prof Rosemary Black and Dr Rik Thwaites.
CSU Faculty of Science Scholarship

Dr Sonny Domingo

Economic modelling of optimal strategic production options and welfare impacts subject to resource constraints and risk aversion among smallholder farmers in the southern Philippines

Supervisors Professor Kevin Parton and Dr Digby Race.

Dr Popular GentleDr Popular Gentle

Equipping poor people for climate change: Local institutions and Pro-poor adaptation for rural communities in Nepal

Supervisors: Dr Digby Race, Dr Rik Thwaites and Dr Kim Alexander (CSIRO). 
International Post-graduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) and Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) by CSU

Popular from Nepal, began his PhD in February 2011.  Popular, a forester, has been managing and coordinating natural resources and climate change related projects in Nepal (working for Care International) for more than 14 years. He obtained his Masters in Forestry Science from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2001.

Dr Kuenga NamgayKuenga Namgay.

Transhumant Agro Pastoralists of Bhutan: Do they have a place in the 21st century?

Supervisors: Dr Joanne Millar and Associate Prof Rosemary Black.
Australian Leadership Award scholarship

Kuenga,  from Bhutan, began his PhD at the beginning of 2010.
The aim of his research was to build the pastoralist's capacity for leadership in their home country. His  While in Australia, Kuenga did an internship with a local organisation in Albury/Wodonga to learn about leadership in rural development.

Dr Karolina Petrovic Dr K Petrovic

Herbivory of common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula, Marsupialia: Phalangeridae) at different scales of resource heterogeneity. 

Supervisors:  Prof David Watson and A/Prof Ian Lunt.

Supervisors: Prof David Watson and A/Prof Ian Lunt.
CSU International Postgraduate Research Scholarship and Australian Government European Endeavour Europe Award

Karolina,  from Poland, commenced her PhD in 2007. She focused primarily on possum food preferences and investigated the role of native trees and mistletoes in the brushtail possum's diet. Her field work was in the Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria.

Dr KristianaTri Wahyudiyati
Tri Wahyudiyati

Forest Community Development: Enhancing corporate social responsibility in Indonesia's forestry sector.  

Supervisors: Dr Digby Race, Dr PK Basu and Prof Udiansyah from the University of Lambung Mangkurat in Indonesia.
Tropenbos International scholarship

Tri, who is from Jakarta in Indonesia, commenced her PhD in 2010. She investigated the relationships between forestry corporations in Indonesia and communities that are living close to their operations. Tri  has a Masters in Natural Resources Law from the University of Wollongong.


Dr Oyunbadam Davaakhwa

Development Strategies and Structural Change: An analysis of Trade Orientation and Foreign Direct Investment in Mongolia.

Supervisors: Prof Kishor Sharma and Dr Yapa Bandara.

Dr Kelly MarshDr Kelly Marsh

Indigenous values and Historic Preservation management in Western Micronesia: A study in cultural persistence

Supervisors: A/Prof Dirk Spennemann from CSU and Dr Anne Hattori from the University of Guam. CSU International Postgraduate Research Scholarship

Kelly, who is from Guam in Micronesia, began her PhD at the Albury-Wodonga campus in 2006. Her thesis explored the degree of presence traditional cultural island values have in historic preservation offices within Micronesia.


Lukas WibowoLucas Wibowo

Optimising the policy and institutional settings for community-based forestry in Indonesia

Supervisors: Dr Digby Race and Professor Allan Curtis.
ACIAR scholarship

Lukas, who is from Indonesia, commenced his PhD in 2008. His research analysed the different models of community-based forest management (CBFM) being developed in Indonesia, and the extent that the most popular models are likely to achieve CBFM's goal which is to reduce deforestation and rural poverty, and build a sustainable resource. His field work was in Jambi Province in Sumatran Islands, Konawe Selatan in Southeast Sulawesi Province as well as Java (East Java Province and Jakarta). His  Link to Research PDF

Binod DevkotaBinod Devkota

Socio-economic outcomes of community forestry for rural communities in Nepal

Supervisors: Dr Digby Race, Dr Joanne Millar and Dr Rik Thwaites
ACIAR scholarship
CSU International Postgraduate Research Scholarship
Binod, who is from Nepal, commenced his PhD in 2008. His research analysed the nature and range of socio-economic outcomes of long-term investment in community forestry for different segments of rural communities, particularly those groups identified as the target audience for community forestry (for example, disadvantaged people including women, poor and ethnic minorities). His research focused on case studies of Community Forest User Groups in the Sindhupalchok and Kabhrepalanchok Districts of Nepal, where a long-term community forestry project ran from 1978 to 2006. His findings will help inform Community Forestry policies and implementation elsewhere in Nepal and internationally. Link to Research PDF

Viengxay Photakoun (Masters) Viengxay Photakoun

Evaluation of capacity building for livestock extension in Lao PDR

Supervisors: Dr Joanne Millar and Dr Digby Race.
ACIAR scholarship

Viengxay, who is from Laos, commenced his Masters in 2007. His study evaluated the effectiveness of capacity building methods for livestock extension staff across a range of livestock projects in the northern provinces of Laos. The results will assist the Lao government and NGOs in designing appropriate training and on the job learning opportunities for staff who work with farmers. Viengxay's research was based on qualitative interviews with program managers, field staff and district managers.  EASLP Project


Kim Alexander Kim Alexander

Agricultural change in Lao PDR : pragmatism in the face of adversity

Supervisor: Dr Joanne Millar
Industry funded CSU scholarship

Kim Alexander completed her doctoral thesis in 2007 on agricultural change in the uplands of Lao PDR. She conducted a survey of 30 villages in the district of Xieng Ngeun, Luang Prabang province to determine changes to their cropping and livestock systems as a result of Lao government policy to eradicate shifting cultivation. Kim's research also examined the growing role of markets in driving farming decisions for those villages with road and river access. Kim is now working with CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems group in Canberra.  Link to Project Summary.