I am an environmental economist with an emerging record of research accomplishments in the study of social and economic aspects of environmental/natural resource management.  In my research I apply economic analysis skills to improve knowledge and inform policy, focusing primarily on investigating and evaluating trade-offs and co-benefits arising from natural resource use/environmental conservation and economic development within northern Australia, involving cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaborations.

My research interests lie in improving our understanding of the economic and social values that are derived from the environment, then using this understanding to inform policy relating to environmental conservation and natural resource management.  I seek to provide a quantitative, integrative approach to understanding the complex problems related to the development of northern Australia, identifying pathways towards the development of solutions to these problems. This involves taking an innovative and solution-focused approach to a range of issues relevant to the development of tropical landscapes in northern Australia and more broadly.

My work reflects the complex and reciprocal nature of the people-environment relationship, including exploring benefits the natural environment (terrestrial and marine) provides to human wellbeing (ecosystem services), and the (positive and negative) impacts that human activity has on the natural environment, in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous contexts.

Ongoing Research Projects

I am currently working with colleagues at JCU, at CSIRO and with other external partners on research focused around environmental and natural resource economics within Northern Australia.  Current significant projects include:

  • National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) - Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub: Synthesis Project: Culteral Connections.  This project investigates how to best acknowledge Indigenous cultural connections within an ecosystem services accounting framework.https://www.nespnorthern.edu.au/projects/nesp/cultural-connections/
  • National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) - Marine and Coastal Hub: Project 1.17 Scoping Study: Research needs for a national approach to socio-economic values of the marine environment
  • Evaluation of the Indigenous Protected Areas Program - The Indigenous Protected Areas (IPA) Program has been helping Indigenous communities voluntarily dedicate their land or sea country as IPAs since 1997. The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) and the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) are overseeing an evaluation of the IPA Program, which is being led by Ninti One and supporting by CSIRO and JCU. The evaluation will assess the extent to which program objectives and associated environmental, cultural, social and economic outcomes are being achieved. It will also guide continuous improvement in future program design. More information can be found at https://www.niaa.gov.au/indigenous-affairs/environment/indigenous-protected-areas-ipas

Completed Research Projects

Previous significant research project on which I have participated include: 

  • BX3024: Economics of Social Policy (Level 3; TSV)
  • EC5207: Economics of Social Policy (Level 5; TSV)
  • EV2003: Introduction to Environmental Economics (Level 2; CNS)
  • EV5003: Environmental Economics (Level 5; CNS)
  • LB5411: Resilience and Sustainable Development (Level 5; TSV)
  • Environmental and natural resource economics, particularly with regard to valuing economic and social benefits derived from the environment, and how the use and management of natural resources can contribute to sustainable development, with a focus on Northern Australia.
  • Sharing my belief that utilising appropriate economic analysis and tools can bring economic, social and environmental benefits; sharing knowledge of which tools are appropriate in which circumstances and the risks that arise from inappropriate analysis.
  • 2019 to present - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2016 to 2019 - Research Fellow, James Cook University/CSIRO (Townsville)
  • 2011 to 2016 - Research Assistant, James Cook University (Cairns)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2021 - Member of the CSIRO led team whose work on the Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment won the R&D Excellence Award at the Australian Water Awards
  • 2021 - CBLG ECR Award for Research Achievements
  • 2021 - Best Uptake of CBLG Research in Popular Press Award
  • 2021 - CBLG Teaching & Learning Excellence Award
  • 2021 - CBLG Excellence in Research Award for publishing in A & A* journals
  • 2020 - College Business Law & Governance Research Recognition Awards prize winner: category 1 - quality publication
  • 2019 - College Business Law & Governance Research Recognition Awards prize winner: category 1 - quality publication and category 4 - research funding award
  • 2018 - Winner Early Career Researcher category, 3MT competition, for presentation on economic co-benefits arising from Indigenous Land and Sea Management Programs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8lyitKKgfE
  • 2019 - Research member of TESS: Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science https://www.jcu.edu.au/tess/people/members
  • 2019 - Research Fellow with the Cairns Institute
  • 2019 - Research affiliate with TropWATER https://www.tropwater.com/person/diane-jarvis/
  • 2022 - CBLG IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Action) Committee member, and Deputy Chair
  • 2022 - CBLG Sustainability Committee member
  • 2019 to 2022 - CBLG Research Committee member
  • 2020 - Peer Review Assessor for Australian Research Council (ARC) - from 2020 onwards, including review of ARC Discovery and ARC Linkage project applications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 59+ research outputs authored by Dr Diane Jarvis from 2013 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Resilient Landscapes Hub - Resilient Landscapes Hub

JCU staff travel to REC meetings & workshops

Indicative Funding
$10,090 over 7 years (administered by University of Western Australia)
JCU is a partner of the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Resilient Landscapes (RL) Hub, and as such is entitled to appoint a representative to the Research Executive Committee (REC). Funding is provided to cover travel by JCU staff to attend workshops and meetings to facilitate the workings of the REC.
Diane Jarvis (College of Business and Law & Governance)
Resilient landscapes

Great Barrier Reef Foundation - Reef Trust Partnership

Sustainable usE And Benefits fOR marinE (SEABORNE)

Indicative Funding
$144,253 over 3 years (administered by CSIRO)
There exists a large amount of data on Great Barrier Reef use and users and the values and benefits derived. Yet despite the volume of information on current data, it tends to be dispersed and not always in the best form to inform GBRMPAs key questions around management decisions or to enable a complete understanding of progress towards Reef 2050 targets over time. Through co-design with the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), the collaborative CSIRO, JCU and CQU team will: analyse the extent and quality of existing data to understand users, their uses and sustainable benefit through time; identify key gaps in data; prioritise data gaps that need addressing; and design and test a monitoring program to continue and improve the supply of critical data into the future.
Maxine Newlands, Diane Jarvis, Victoria Graham, Anthea Coogan, Petina Pert and Jeremy De Valck (Cairns Institute, College of Business, Law & Governance, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation and Central Queensland University)
Barrier Reef; Spatial; Benefits; Monitoring; Sustainable; Values

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - National Environmental Science Program 2 (NESP 2) - Resilient Landscapes Hub

JCU Representative on NESP RL Research Executive Committee

Indicative Funding
$20,000 over 1 year (administered by University of Western Australia)
Dr Diane Jarvis has been appointed as the JCU Representative on the Research Executive Committee of the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Resilient Landscapes Hub, and the Northern Node Leader for the Hub.
Diane Jarvis (College of Business and Law & Governance)
Resilient landscapes; Environmental benefits; Socio-economic and cultural benefits

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - Contract Research

Research on First Nations perspectives on ecosystem accounting in the `Ecosystem Accounting Pilots for Agricultural and Mixed-Use Landscapes? project

Indicative Funding
$65,000 over 1 year (administered by CSIRO)
Through engagement with First Nations Australians from Flinders, Norman and Gilbert River catchment study area, the project seeks to co-design workshops/meetings, ensuring that the outcomes of the conversations flow as benefits to First Nations Australians and inform the Federal Government?s Regional Ecosystem Accounting Pilot (REAP) project. The project will explore perceptions of ecosystem change in mixed use landscapes, exploring the drivers of change and what changes have been observed recently; facilitate the development of one or more ecosystem conceptual models as representation of First Nations understanding of local ecosystems; and provide graphical representations of the First Nations co-designed ecosystem model(s).
Diane Jarvis and Daniel Grainger (College of Business and Law & Governance)
Ecosystem accounting; Environmental economic accounting; First Nations values; Ecosystem Services; Ecosystem models; Ecosystem condition

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - National Environmental Science Program 2 (NESP 2) - Marine and Coastal Hub (NESP MAC Hub)

Project 2.5: Evaluation of recreational fishing behaviour, use, values and motivations that relate to compliance.

Indicative Funding
$72,240 over 2 years (administered by University of Tasmania)
This project aims to inform the use of behavioural change interventions to support compliance of recreational fishers and boaters with regulations. It will deliver proof of concept tailoring of behaviour change to inform the practical design of interventions in case studies for further refinement, implementation and evaluation in subsequent research plans. The project will focus on recreational fishers and boaters in 2-3 case study locations, including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and within the newly designated Australian Marine Parks of Two Rocks Marine Park and Jurien Marine Park.
Tracey Mahony and Diane Jarvis (College of Business and Law & Governance)
Marketing communications; Behaviour Change; Environmental management; Cost effectiveness analysis; Impact Evaluation; Spatial Planning; Stewardship; Implementation of environmental management plans

Sunshine Coast Regional Council - Land for Wildlife South East Queensland (LFWSEQ)

Socio-Economic Dimensions of the Program for Managing the Land for Wildlife South East Queensland.

Indicative Funding
$24,900 over 1 year
Land for Wildlife is a free, voluntary nature conservation program that encourages and supports landholders to maintain and enhance wildlife habitat on their properties through cooperation and advisory services. This project will explore ecological, social and economic assets, opportunities and barriers within the program, based upon surveying the LfW membership. Priority themes include, but are not limited to, assessing program effectiveness in building conservation skills, knowledge and confidence of LfW members; contributing to member's health and wellbeing; cost effectiveness of outcomes; value for money; alongside profiling the target market to identify potential behavioural appeals to retain and increase membership base.
Diane Jarvis and Tracey Mahony (College of Business and Law & Governance)
Ecological, social and economic benefits; Program impact evaluation; Stewardship; Value for money; Behaviour change; Human dimensions of env Management

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - National Environmental Science Program 2 (NESP 2) - Marine and Coastal Hub (NESP MAC Hub)

Project 1.17: Socio-economic dimensions for managing the marine estate

Indicative Funding
$6,000 over 1 year (administered by University of Tasmania)
Effective management of the marine estate requires recognition that we live in a connected human-natural system. Beyond biophysical information, effective management requires a solid understanding of policy priorities and matched social/economic information regarding (a) the social, economic and cultural 'values' of the marine estate; (b) best-practice ways of incorporating multiple values into policy and decision making; and (c) best-practices ways of implementing policy for successful environmental outcomes. This project will consider stakeholder needs; review existing datasets, publications and reports; and identify significant knowledge gaps. Outputs will include reviews &/or synthesis workshops and a prioritised set of socio-economic research needs.
Diane Jarvis and Tracey Mahony (College of Business and Law & Governance)
Non-market valuation; Environmental economic accounting; Impact Assessment; Behaviour change for improved environment management; Stewardship; Implementation of environmental management plans

CSIRO - Contract Research

Roper River Water Resources Assessment (RoWRA)

Indicative Funding
$45,000 over 2 years
The Roper River Water Resource Assessment is a CSIRO led project, working with the Northern Territory government, research partners and communities, to assess the opportunities for water and agricultural development in the Roper River catchment in the Northern Territory. The assessment will provide a comprehensive and integrated evaluation of the feasibility, economic viability and sustainability of water and agricultural development in the Roper River catchment.
Diane Jarvis (College of Business and Law & Governance)
Water Resources; Regional economic analysis; Input-output models; Regional multipliers

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) - Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub

Synthesis Project - Kakadu Cultural Connections

Indicative Funding
$90,000 over 2 years
The national land account project, within the Department of Environment and Energy is developing an Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (EEA) system, strongly guided by the UN System of Environmental Economic Accounts (SEEA). This project will explore options and make recommendations for acknowledging and possibly including Indigenous cultural connections within that ecosystem accounting framework. It may be possible to generate some monetary estimates of value, but the explorations may instead conclude that Indigenous cultural connections should be considered alongside, rather than as a subset, of other ecosystem services (much as the government compiles tourism satellite accounts that are published alongside the national accounts).
Diane Jarvis, Natalie Stoeckl, Daniel Grainger and Michael Douglas (College of Business, Law & Governance, Academy, Indigenous Education & Research Centre and The University of Western Australia)
Indigenous cultural connections-country; system of environmental economic a/c; ecosystem services accounting; non-mnarket valuations; Cultural Ecosystem Services; indigenous cultural values

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Program (NESP) - Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ Hub)

Matching the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish integrated pest management to the scale of the new control program

Indicative Funding
$39,900 over 2 years (administered by CSIRO Land & Water)
Thorns Starfish Integrated Pest Management Program is designing an ecologically informed control program that integrates knowledge of the spatial and temporal dynamics of CoTS outbreaks and the operations of on-water control to provide i) the most efficient strategies for investing management effort at all scales of management; ii) an operational framework for the control program, and (iii) to identify and fill key research gaps. This project will support the expansion of the tools to match the expansion of the control program, finalise scenario testing to assess appropriate control objectives, and, assess the social benefits of the CoTS training program.
David Westcott, Cameron Fletcher, Peter Mumby, Kay Critchell, Russ C Babcock, Scott Condie, Eva Plaganyi-Lloyd, Matthew Curnock and Diane Jarvis (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, The University of Queensland, College of Business and Law & Governance)
Cdrown of Thorns Starfish; benefits of CoTs training program; Impact Evaluation; social return on investment; CoTS training program evaluation; reef 2050 Indigenous strategy

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Influences on attitudes of sugarcane farmers toward the adoption of best management practice for improved environmental outcomes (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Spatial and Longitudinal Variations in the Economic, Social and Environmental Factors of Life Satisfaction (PhD , Primary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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