Collaborating Researchers

Carlos Hildago, Oil Palm Industry Corporation (OPIC), is an Agricultural Extension officer.

Dr. Ceridwen Spark is a Senior Research Fellow in the Global, Urban and Social Studies Department at RMIT University. She has conducted projects on Indigenous place-making, intercountry adoption, gender and education, gender and leadership, transnationalism in the Pacific and community and belonging in Melbourne. Since 2007, most of Ceridwen’s research has focused on gender in the Pacific, particularly Papua New Guinea.

Geraldine Tilden, University of Western Sydney, is a part time Research Associate. She has a background in agriculture, specifically horticulture, both in industry and academia working in teaching and research roles. Geraldine has been involved in examining the socio-economic factors influencing farm management practices of coffee, cocoa and oil palm smallholders in Papua New Guinea.

Georgina Numbasa is a Geography Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Geography at the University of Papua New Guinea. Georgina’s main area of research expertise is urbanisation and change in Papua New Guinea. She has conducted research on urban informal settlements and land tenure security and the impact of climate change on communities in urban informal settlements. Georgina’s more recent work is exploring how different land tenure arrangements facilitate or constrain the adaptive capacity of migrant settlers in the informal settlements of Wewak to respond to climate change.

Prof. Glen Banks is Head of School of People, Environment and Planning at Massey University. His research is primarily focused on the socio-economic and cultural dimensions of large-scale, private sector investment in the extractive industries in Papua New Guinea. This research is framed by theoretical concerns with development, local agency and empowerment. He is currently conducting collaborative research which critically examines private sector claims of corporate social responsibility in the tourism and resource extraction sectors, based on case studies in Fiji and Papua New Guinea. This research connects with applied contracted research and consultancy for institutional and private sector actors in the extractive sector in the region.

Kathleen Natera, Cocoa and Coconut Institute (CCI), is an Economist in the Enabling Environment Section.

Linus Pileng, PNG Oil Palm Research Association (PNGOPRA), is a Trainee Socioeconomic Supervisor in the Smallholder and Socioeconomic Research Section.

Dr. Mike Bourke is an Adjunct Senior Fellow in the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University. He has been continuously involved in research, training, consulting and development in PNG agriculture since 1970. He has expertise in many aspects of rural livelihoods, agricultural production, food production and food security in PNG. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agriculture and was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Logohu by Papua New Guinea in 2015. Mike has published over 200 papers on PNG agriculture; and has written and edited 12 books on PNG and Pacific agriculture. He has conducted fieldwork in all 85 rural districts of PNG.

Dr. Mark Busse is a Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland. His research concerns social organisation, reciprocity and markets, intellectual and cultural property, and inequality with a geographic focus on Papua New Guinea, where he has done ethnographic research in three distinct societies over the last 35 years. His current research focuses on urban food security in Papua New Guinea through a long-term ethnographic study of the fresh food marketplace in Goroka, the capital of Eastern Highlands Province. This research is funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand’s Marsden Fund.

Dr. Mike Webb, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), is a Senior Research Scientist in plant nutrition and soil chemistry. Over recent years, his research has developed into an understanding of how nutrients move into, through, and out of agricultural farming systems – especially in the tropics. He has worked with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) for 21 years. Mike is leading the agronomic component of the project ‘Improving livelihoods of smallholder coffee communities in Papua New Guinea’.

Merolyn Koia, PNG Oil Palm Research Association (PNGOPRA), is a Socioeconomic Supervisor in the Smallholder and Socioeconomic Research Section.

Dr. Murom Banabas, PNG Oil Palm Research Association (PNGOPRA), Head of Agronomy.

A. Prof. Paul Nelson, James Cook University, has 20 years of experience in crop/soil/water research. He is a soil scientist with research and leadership experience in industry, government and university sectors. His research focuses on land management in the tropics, and he is focussed mostly on how natural processes and management influence the sustainability of tropical cropping systems, including soil condition, nutrient cycling and greenhouse gas emissions.

Prof. Regina Scheyvens is Co-Director of the Pacific Research and Policy Centre at Massey University. Her research focuses on the relationship between tourism, sustainable development and poverty reduction, and she has conducted fieldwork on these issues in Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, the Maldives and in Southern Africa. She is also very interested in gender and development, sustainable livelihood options for small island states, and in theories of empowerment for marginalised peoples. Recent collaborative projects explore economic development on customary land in the Pacific, links between tourism and the SDGs, and links between corporate social responsibility and development in the Pacific.

Robert Nailina is the Acting Enabling Environment Leader of the Enabling Environment Section in the Cocoa and Coconut Institute (CCI), East New Britain. Robert has been involved in coordinating the fieldwork components of projects in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Steven Nake, PNG Oil Palm Research Association (PNGOPRA), is the Head of Smallholder and Socioeconomic Research. Steven has been involved in coordinating the fieldwork components of projects in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Dr. Veronica Bue is a Senior Lecturer at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (UniTech). She teaches agricultural extension and rural sociology. Her research areas include: household food security, household dietary intakes and patterns, smallholder livelihoods and evaluation and impact assessments of farmers’ skills uptake and practice change. Veronica is currently examining opportunities and constraints faced by women in their engagement in small, medium and large-scale agricultural enterprises in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea.

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