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:

Recently Completed Projects

Previous significant research project on which I have participated include: 

  • National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) - Tropical Water Quality Hub: Project  5.1 Matching the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Integrated Pest Management to the scale of the new Control Program.  More information can be found at: https://nesptropical.edu.au/index.php/round-5-projects/project-5-1/
  • Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment - major CSIRO report for the Australian Government.  The project aims to identify the potential to increase water-related development opportunities in northern Australia.  Diane is involved in assessing potential social and economic impacts and risks of water resource and irrigation development.  More information can be found at: http://www.csiro.au/en/Research/Major-initiatives/Northern-Australia/Current-work/NAWRA
  • Department of the Environment and Energy - Contract Research - Scoping of Options for the Mid-Term Review of the Reef 2050 Plan - 2017
  • NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub Project 10.2 Socio-economic system and reef resilience 2011 - 2014
  • NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub Project 12.3 Relative social and economic values of residents and tourists in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area 2011 – 2014
  • NERP Northern Australia Hub Project Improving the efficiency of biodiversity investment 2011 - 2014.  More information can be found at: https://www.nespnorthern.edu.au/projects/nerp/improving-the-efficiency-of-biodiversity-investment/
  • BX3024: Economics of Social Policy (Level 3; TSV)
  • EC5207: Economics of Social Policy (Level 5; TSV)
  • EV2003: Introduction to Environmental Economics (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • EV5003: Environmental Economics (Level 5; CNS & 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
  • 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 - Best Uptake of CBLG Research in Popular Press Award
  • 2021 - CBLG Teaching & Learning Excellence Award
  • 2021 - CBLG ECR Award for Research Achievements
  • 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 affiliate with TropWATER https://www.tropwater.com/person/diane-jarvis/
  • 2019 - Research Fellow with the Cairns Institute
  • 2020 - Peer Review Assessor for Australian Research Council (ARC)

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

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 44+ 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.

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, Division of Tropical Environments & Societies, 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

Queensland Department of Environment and Science - Contract Research

Landholders Driving Change

Indicative Funding
$85,000 over 1 year (administered by NQ Dry Tropics)
The objective of the Landholders Driving Change (LDC) Major Integrated Project (MIP) is to work closely with landholders in the Bowen Broken Bogie (BBB) catchments to tackle erosion and improve land management, productivity and reef water quality in the Burdekin region.
Allan Dale, Rachel Eberhard, Anthea Coggan, Diane Jarvis, Anna Roberts, Geoff Park, Steve Skull, Romy Greiner and Jennifer McHugh in collaboration with Stuart Whitten (Cairns Institute, Eberhard Consulting, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, College of Business, Law & Governance, Natural Decisions, Alluvium Consulting and River Consulting)
Erosion; Natural Resource Management; Burdekin Region; Land Management; Water Quality

Qld Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy - Contract Research

Stewardship Indicators to Establish a Human Dimensions Baseline for the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan

Indicative Funding
$19,120 (administered by CSIRO)
The project contributes to the Reef 2050 WQIP objectives of supporting industries and communities to build a culture of innovation and stewardship and developing a quantitative measure of a range of human dimensions related to innovation and stewardship. Desired short term outcomes include a clear and shared understanding of what the 'human dimensions' are as applied to promoting a 'culture of innovation of stewardship' and measureable indicators that inform progress towards that objective and a conceptually robust but operationally pragmatic HD Baseline is compiled that informs future design of monitoring systems and current government program delivery decision-making.
Diane Jarvis (College of Business and Law & Governance)
Human Dimensions Indicators; Reef 2050 Plan; Great Barrier Reef; Water Quality Improvement Plan; Building culture Innovation stewardship; Quantitative measure of human dimensions

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.

  • 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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