Skip to content

Agroforestry & Extension Systems

For information about the research conducted by the Agroforestry and Extension Systems group, please contact Dr Ian Nuberg.


Agroforestry broadly studies how woody-perennial species in agricultural and pastoral systems can be managed to enhance their productivity and the ecosystem services they provide. This can include activity that is quite different from what is conventionally considered as ‘forestry’. For example, some research projects currently being pursued by this group

  • Short-rotation fuelwood production systems in PNG (ACIAR funded)
  • Effective irrigation of tea in Sri Lanka
  • Genetic risk of agroforestry species (Acacia saligna)
  • Impact of livestock and other herbivores on rangeland trees and shrubs.

FuelwoodThe ACIAR fuelwood project has 7 participating landholder groups in the highlands and 3 in the region surrounding Port Moresby. This group, the Mt Sinai Bible College community group near Mt Hagen in the Western Highlands are looking forward to planting their multi-purpose, short-rotation, coppicing woodlots from which they will sell fuelwood, charcoal and building poles. They will also experiment with different tree species and spacings to determine the best system for their needs

Researchers: Dr Ian Nuberg, Dr Desmond Coleman

Postgraduate researchers: Mr Shyamantha Bandara, Ms Melisa Millar

Collaborators: Mr Brian Gunn (CSIRO-Ensis), Mr Roy Banka (PNG Forest Research Institute), Prof Janendra De Costa (University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka), Dr Margaret Byrne (DEC-WA)

Extension Systems

Social aspects of land use

Agricultural systems research often requires understanding of associated social and institutional systems. This knowledge is required for either, developing new technology and facilitating its adoption, or for recommending policy for industry management. Most research projects in this discipline group are concerned at some level with social processes – e.g. farm-participation –but some research projects specifically under this category are:

  • Impact evaluation of agricultural research in West Papua
  • Social and institutional dimensions of managing kangaroos
  • Aboriginal small business enterprise

Researchers: Dr Ian Nuberg

Postgraduate researchers: Mr Sukendra Mahalaya, Ms Dana Thomsen, Ms Louise Moylan

Collaborators: Dr Colin Cargill (SARDI), Dr Jocelyn Davies (CSIRO-Sustainable Ecosystems); Prof Randy Stringer (UA), Dr Jim Taylor (UA)

farmers in Punjab

A farmer meeting in Punjab to discuss zero-til wheat (background: zero-til wheat in a farmers' field)

Farmer Participatory Research

Farmer participatory research can have a major impact on the rate of adoption of complex agricultural technologies. This approach was used successfully in northern India on a project tacking management of herbicide resistant Phalaris minor. Zero-till wheat production was one of the technologies that emerged from that ACIAR funded project led by A/Prof Gurjeet Gill. This technology adoption grew from less than 4 ha in 1998 to more than 1 million ha in 2005 – a staggering rate of adoption! In a follow-up 5 year project, the same team led by A/Prof Gill is focussing on developing direct seeded rice production systems in the Indo-Gangetic Plains.

Researchers: A/Prof Gurjeet Gill, Sam Kleemann

Collaborators: Prof RK Malik (CCS Haryana Agricultural Univeristy, Hisar, India), Dr US Walia (Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India) and Dr Ravi G Singh (CIMMYT, India).

For information about studying in this field please visit our Future Students page.


School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

School of Agriculture Food & Wine


T: +61 8 8313 8149
F: +61 8 8313 7109

Student Enquires

T: +61 8 8313 5673
F: +61 8 8313 4386