PhD Student in Agricultural and Resource Economics at The University of Western Australia, Australia
Research focus: water consumption and public open space design
Claire’s work reflects her commitment to sustainable land use policy and natural resource management. Her research topics address various concepts related to the Sustainable Development Agenda, with a primary focus on UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 (Life on Land).
Claire’s PhD research links SDG 15 to Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production), and Goal 13 (Climate Action). She is exploring public preferences for public open spaces with different levels of native, drought-resistant vegetation and exotic species in parks. The focus of this research is to investigate the public benefits of urban parks with different designs and irrigation needs in order to assess potential opportunities for water conservation in cities. Using the Australian city of Perth as a case study location, Claire weighs the social, health, and environmental benefits of green parks against the costs of irrigation under conditions of climate change and reduced groundwater availability. Policy recommendations for sustainable water management arising from the cost-benefit analysis will further incorporate equity considerations, to ensure access to beneficial public open spaces for all socio-economic groups. This work uses economic non-market valuation techniques and requires the integration of technical information from hydrology, landscape architecture, and urban planning disciplines, along with practical insights from local park managers.
Alongside her PhD research, Claire is currently contributing to a research project that addresses SDG 15 and 2 (Zero Hunger). With this project, she is developing her applied economics skills in agricultural and development economics and working with farming systems experts. This research aims to understand technology adoption behaviour in South Asia. Broadly categorised as Conservation Agriculture and Sustainable Intensification technologies, they offer smallholder farmers in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh the opportunity to modify their current farming practices to enhance financial and food security while avoiding land degradation.
Furthermore, Claire collaborates with colleagues at the University of Alberta on renewable energy systems projects in Western Canada. This work addresses SDG 15 (Life on Land) as well as SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy).
The jury valued Claire’s interdisciplinary and cross-institutional research, as well as the fact that her projects explicitly address diverse SDGs. Claire’s research centers around three areas: water use in public open spaces, sustainable farming systems, and collaboration on renewable energy with Canadian colleagues.
The research of Claire mainly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 2, 11, 12, 13, 15:
Take a look at this video that briefly introduces Claire and her research: