Research projects

Allan has gained $8.290 million in research grants, including $6.89 million over the past 10 years. He has been awarded Australian Research Council (ARC) funding through the SPIRT and Large Grant programs and through the general calls by the Rural Industries R&D Corporations, including RIRDC and LWA.

Allan has/is undertaking nationally significant research projects related to the management of groundwater; the role and health of community-based natural resource management groups; the assessment of regional NRM governance; understanding landholder adaptation to climate variability; the management of river frontages and wetlands; and providing social data to underpin regional natural resource management.

Recent projects include contributions to large multi-disciplinary teams working in Landscape Logic, the Commonwealth Environmental Research Facilities hub led by Professor Ted Lefroy (UTas); and the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT), as part of the Integration Program led by Professor Tony Jakeman (ANU). 

He currently is a Principal Investigator in the ARC National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT). His recent experience includes leading the social research in the Landscape Logic CERF hub; and as a research partner in the Future Farm Industries and Cotton Catchment Communities CRC’s and the Australian Government’s National Environmental Research Program Landscapes and Policy hub.

The NCGRT, a Co-funded Centre of Excellence (funded by the ARC and the National Water Commission for five years), was established in 2009. CSU is one of 12 university partners in the Centre which also has four Government departments and four industry partners. The Centre is running five programs. Allan is leading a team of social researchers at CSU working in the fifth program, Integrating Socioeconomics, Policy and Decision Support. The CSU social research team is/has included three Post Docs (Dr Emily Mendham, Dr Michael Mitchell and Dr Emily Sharp) and is supporting the work of three current PhD students (Andrea Rawluk, Saideepa Kumar and Theresa Groth).

CSU social research for the NCGRT is focused on the application of resilience thinking (Dr Mitchell); trust between agencies and rural landholders (Dr Sharp); and risk perception by rural landholders (Dr Mendham). Andrea Rawluk's PhD research is examining the social acceptability of conjunctive use of surface and groundwater, with a case study in the Ovens Valley. Saideepa Kumar is investigating ways social researchers can contribute to integrated research modelling surface and groundwater interactions. Saideepa's PhD will initially focus on a case study in the Lachlan catchment where there is the challenge of optimising the benefits of applying 100 GL of environmental water. Theresa's PhD is examining the nature and role of occupational identity in multi-functional landscapes. The CSU team has/is also making important contributions to integrated research within the NCGRT, including by surveying groundwater users in the Namoi valley as a key component of data collection for the Namoi Integrated Project;  co-convening a national workshop examining opportunities for Managed Aquifer Recharge in faming landscapes; and as part of the P5 team engaging stakeholders in modelling future scenarios for groundwater management in Willunga, South Australia. 

Current Projects

  • North Central Catchment Management Authority: North Central Social Benchmarking Study. (2013/2014). $35,000 (Stage 1). With Dr Emily Mendham (CSU).
  • Managing Multi-functional Landscapes at the Interface of Public Forests and Private Land, in collaboration with The Ohio State University, US Joint Fire Service Program. With Dr Maureen Rogers. (2013-14). $60,000
  • Department of Sustainability and Environment: "Critical review of available information relating to enjoyment and appreciation of the natural environment
    associated with Victoria's existing marine protected areas. With Dr Penny Davidson (CSU), (2013-2014). $37,000.
  • Fisheries Research and Development Corporation: Let’s Talk Fish: Assisting industry to understand and inform conversations about the sustainability of wild-catch fishing. With Dr Nicole Mazur (CSU). (2012/2013/2014). $195,000.
  • Joint Fires Science Program (USA): Managing multi-functional landscapes at the interface of public forests and private land: advancing understanding through a comparison of experience in the US and Australia. With Dr Eric Toman (Ohio State) and Dr Hannah Brenkert-Smith, University of Colorado. (2012/2013/2014). $168,917.
  • Australian Research Council/ National Water Commission, ARC/NWC National Groundwater Research and Training Centre (NCGRT): Program 5: Integrating socio-economics, policy and decision support systems (social research component). (2009-2014). $650,000 (Plus $65K from NSW Govt; plus $200K from NCGRT). Total funding $915,000.
  • National Environmental Research Program, Landscapes and Policy Hub: Integrating community values into regional sustainability planning. With Dr Christopher Raymond (CSU). (2012/2013). $175,000.
  • Joint Fire Science Program (USA): Advancing Knowledge about Citizen-Agency Trust in Wildland Fire Management: A Collaborative Assessment Framework for the U.S. and Australia. With Prof Bruce Shindler, Oregon State University; Dr Emily Sharp, CSU, Dr Sarah McCaffrey, USA Forest Service, Dr Tara McGee, University of Alberta, Dr Bonita McFarlane, NR Can Canadian Forest Service (2010-2013).