ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Associate Professor Catherine Allan

Associate Professor Catherine Allan

With a background in agricultural science, and a fascination with the human dimensions of environmental management, Associate Professor Catherine Allan draws her background in agricultural science, environmental management and social inquiry to better understand and influence the management of land and water. Her research revolves around adaptive management of environments and natural resources, especially at local and regional scales. She is particularly interested in collaborative approaches to learning and managing.  Catherine’s quest to understand the human side of living in and using the environments recently manifested in water related research projects in the Southern Murray-Darling Basin, and the Indus Basin in Pakistan. Since 2018 Catherine has also led the Social/ Economic Program in the Soil CRC.

Research Interests

  • Adaptive environmental management
  • Environmental sociology
  • Systems Thinking
  • Participatory processes, learning and collaborative design

Bachelor of Agricultural Science, University of Melbourne, 1983
Master of Natural Resources, University of New England, 1999
Doctor of Philosophy, Charles Sturt University, 2005


External Appointments & Memberships

Board member of the Albury Conservation Company.


Full Publication List   CRO Research Output

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Papers

Conroy, C., Knight, A.K., Wassens, S. & Allan, C. (2019) Consequences of changed water management for Aboriginal Australians in the Murrumbidgee catchment, NSW, Australian Geographer, 50:2, 169-184, DOI: 10.1080/00049182.2018.1545275

Schoeman, J., Allan, C., & Finlayson, C.M. (2019) Exploring the Multiple Meanings of Adaptive Management: A Case Study of the Lachlan Catchment in the Murray–Darling Basin. Environmental Management. doi:10.1007/s00267-019-01203-5

Allan, C. & Watts, R. J. (2018) Revealing Adaptive Management of Environmental Flows. Environmental Management 61: 520-533 DOI 10.1007/s00267-017-0931-3

Webb, J. A., Watts, R. J., Allan, C.  & Conallin, J.C. (2018) Adaptive Management of Environmental Flows. Environmental Management 61: 339-346 DOI 10.1007/s00267-017-0941-1

Stelling, F., Allan, C., & Thwaites, R. (2017). Nature strikes back or nature heals? Can perceptions of regrowth in a post-agricultural landscape in South-eastern Australia be used in management interventions for biodiversity outcomes? Landscape and Urban Planning, 158, 202-210.

Schoeman, J., Allan,C., & Finlayson,M.C. (2014): A new paradigm for water? A comparative review of integrated, adaptive and ecosystem-based water management in the Anthropocene, International Journal of Water Resources Development, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07900627.2014.907087#.U3AoKig-CGY

Allan, C., Xia, J., & Pahl-Wostl, C. (2013). Climate change and water security: challenges for adaptive water management. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 5, 625-632 doi: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877343513001309

Allan, C, Nguyen P.L, Seddaiu,G, Wilson, B, Roggero, P.P. (2013). Integrating local knowledge with experimental agronomy: case studies on managing cropping systems in Italy and Australia. Italian Journal of Agronomy 8 (2), e15

Allan, C. (2012). Rethinking the 'Project': Bridging the Polarized Discourses in IWRM. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, ifirst, 1-11. doi: 10.1080/1523908X.2012.702012

Allan, C. (2011). Exploring the experience of ten Australian Honours students. Higher Education Research & Development, 30(4), 421-433. doi: 10.1080/07294360.2010.524194

Watts, R. J., Ryder, D. S., Allan, C., & Commens, S. (2010). Using river-scale experiments to inform the adaptive management process for variable flow releases from large dams. Marine and Freshwater Research.

Earl, G., Curtis, A., & Allan, C. (2010). Towards a Duty of Care for Biodiversity Environmental Management, 45, 682-696.

Book Chapters

Conallin, J. C., Dickens, C., Hearne, D., & Allan, C. (2017). Stakeholder Engagement in Environmental Water Management. In A. C. Horne, E. L. O’Donnell, J. A. Webb, M. J. Stewardson, M. Acreman, & B. D. Richter (Eds.), Water for the Environment: from Policy and Science to Implementation and Management (pp. 129-151). London, UK: Elsevier Academic Press.

Webb, J.A., Watts, R.J., Allan, C., & Warner, A.T. (2017) Chapter 25: Principles for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Adaptive Management of Environmental Water Regimes. In Horne, A.C., Webb, J.A., Stewardson, M.J., Richter, B., Acreman, M. (Eds.,) Water for the environment: From policy and science to implementation and management (pp. 599-623). Elsevier, London https://www.elsevier.com/books/water-for-the-environment/horne/978-0-12-803907-6

Allan, C., Curtis, A., & Shindler, B. (2012) Watershed scale adaptive management: a social science perspective, Chapter 10 in J. Stanturf (Ed.), Forest Landscape Restoration: Integrating Natural and Social Sciences: Springer

Conference Papers and Proceedings

Akhtar, S., Zeeshan, M., Allan, C. & Mitchell, M. (2019) Community involvement in water management in Punjab, Pakistan: A strategy to sustainability of livelihoods of farmers. Paper presented at Australasian Ground Water Conference, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Queensland, November 24 -27.

Hassan, G., Allan, C., Punthakey, J., Mitchell, M. &Aktar, S. (2019) Groundwater regulation-governance-management nexus: a case study from Punjab, Pakistan. Paper presented at Australasian Ground Water Conference, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Queensland, November 24 -27.

Mitchell, M., Allan, C., Akhtar, S., Khair, S., Mangan, T. & Javad, K. (2019) Supporting better management of groundwater in Pakistan: a collaborative approach. Paper presented at Australasian Ground Water Conference, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Queensland, November 24 -27.

Khair, S.M., Rasid, A., Ahmed, F., Khilji, R., Mitchell, M. & Allan, C. (2019) Improving groundwater management using a participatory research approach in Balochistan, Pakistan. Paper presented at Australasian Ground Water Conference, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Queensland, November 24 -27.

Mangan, T., Nangraj, M., Mitchell, M., Allan, C. & Punthakey, J.F. (2019)  Exploring options for improved groundwater management using a participatory research approach in Sindh, PakistanPaper presented at Australasian Ground Water Conference, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Queensland, November 24 -27.

Javad, K., Mitchell, M., Allan, C.A. & Punthakey, J.F. (2019)The role of communications in building collaborative inquiry: Reflections from a complex groundwater project. Paper presented at Australasian Ground Water Conference, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Queensland, November 24 -27.

Khan, M., Punthakey, J., Mitchell, M., Allan, C. & Iqbal, S. (2019) Integrating web and mobile applications for improved groundwater management in a developing world context. Paper presented at Australasian Ground Water Conference, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Queensland, November 24 -27.

Hassan, G.Z., Allan, C. & Hassan, F.R. (2019) Historical sustainability of groundwater in Indus Basin of Pakistan. Paper presented at the 3rd World Irrigation Forum of ICID, Bali, Indonesia, September 1-7.

Technical Reports

Mackay, M., Colliver, R., Wallis, P.J., Ison, R.L., Davidson, S. & Allan, C. (2020) Opportunities for NRM Governance in Victoria. ILWS Report 138.

Mitchell, M., Allan, C., Punthakey, J., Barrett-Lennard, E., Heaney-Mustafa, S., Lashari, B., Baig, I. & Hussain, I. (2020) Living with Salinity in the Indus Basin: SRA 2 Final Report. Prepared for Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

Gonzalez, P., Allan, C. & Spennemann, D.H.R. (2020) Boiler plating’ in fire management plans
Is command and control planning failing cultural heritage protection?
ILWS report 135

Earl, G. & Allan, C. (2019) Murray Landcare Collective and Murray Regional Landcare Facilitator project 2014-2018 ILWS Report 124

Mitchell, M. & Allan, C. (2019) Local Landcare Coordinator Initiative: Results of Landcare NSW’s Report Card 2 Organisation Capacity Survey, 2017 & 2018 ILWS Report 129

Mitchell, M & Allan, C. (2018) Murray Region Community-Based Groups Capacity Needs Assessment: Results of the 2016-2017 Baseline Survey for Murray Local Land Services ILWS Report 115

Vella, S., Fuller, G., Mitchell, M., Allan, C., Burmeister, O. (2018) Automated process to create snapshot reports based on the 2016 Murray Community-Based Groups Capacity Survey: User Guide  ILWS Report 116

Minato, W., Allan, C. (2017)  An evaluation of the Lake Cowal Foundation. A report prepared for The Lake Cowal Foundation. ILWS Report 108

Wilson, A., Dehaan, R., Murray, P., Allan, C., Burns, H., Finlayson, M., Hume, I., Krebs, G., Neilsen, D., Nordblom, T., Wassens, S., Griese, V., Hendy, A., Walcott, A. (2011) Farm Focus Wetland Study Report for the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority Report PDF

Watts R.J., Allan C., Zander A., and Burns A. (2011)  Environmental monitoring of pulsed releases from Dartmouth Dam to the Mitta Mitta River in 2009/2010. ILWS Report 63


Current Projects

CRC for High Performance Soils: I.2.003 Collaborative approaches to Innovation. Pawsey, N., Allan, C., Frost, M., Lynch, J., Wong, A. (2019-2020), Soil CRC Project details

Program 1 – Investing in high performance soils Soil CRC Scoping Project 1.2 Project leader Allan, C. (2017-ongoing)  Details

Improving groundwater management to enhance agriculture and farming livelihoods in Pakistan. (2016-2020) Hall, A., Punthakey, J., Allan, C., Mitchell, M. ACIAR & CSU ($100,000), Total value of the project $2,15M  Project details

Completed Projects

Living with salinity in the Indus Basin: SRA 2. Mitchell, M., Barrett-Lennard, E., Allan, C. & Punthakey, J. (2019) Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), $88,000  Project details

Landcare Report Card 2. Mitchell, M. & Allan, C. (2019) Landcare NSW, $20,000 Project Details

Billabong Yanco Social Research. Allan, C., Mitchell, M. & Minato, W. (2016) Murray LLS, $30,000 Project details

Community groups capacity check. Allan, C. & Mitchell, M. (2015) Murray Local Land Services $29,900 Project details

Environmental Monitoring and Training for Aboriginal Communities. Wassens, S., Allan, C., Whitsed, R. & Bond, J. (2017-2018) NSW OEH, $20,000 Project details

Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Lake Cowal Foundation. Allan, C. (2017) Lake Cowal Foundation Ltd. $25,000

Group Capacity snapshot project. Allan, C. (2017-2018) Murray LLS, $10,000

Improving salinity and agricultural water management in the Indus Basin of Pakistan. Finlayson, M., Allan, C., Culas, R., Mitchell, M., Punthakey, J. (2017) ACIAR, $50,000 Project details

Review of the Murray Landcare Collective and Murray Regional Landcare Facilitator project 2014-2018. Allan, C., and Earl, G. (Murray LLS) (2018) Holbrook Land Care Network, $5000

Stakeholder Satisfaction Survey, Allan, C. (2015) Murray Local Land Services, $14,900 Project details

2011 Review of River Murray System operations adaptive management approach, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, $10 000 (PI)

2010 Evaluation of the Roadside Landholder Engagement Project, Indigo Shire, $9900 (PI)

2010 Rapid Appraisal methods review, for Policy, Governance and Communications Division Industry & Investment NSW, $4000 (PI)

2010-2011 Focus farm wetland Study, Murrumbidgee CMA, Caring For Our Country & NSW Government. $257,000 project (Lead, social research component) Report PDF