Alois Ndrewou was a lecturer in land studies, agricultural education and extension at the University of Goroka prior to commencing his doctoral studies at Curtin University in 2015. His research examines the impact of Cocoa Pod Borer (CPB) on the livelihood responses of farmers in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea.

Elizabeth Bakri Dumu, a business analyst with Bank South Pacific (BSP) Port Moresby, commenced her doctoral research in 2013 at Curtin University. Her research looks at the use of mobile phones by rural smallholder farmers and how it could be used as a tool to improve livelihood options.

Emmanuel Germis is a socioeconomic researcher with Papua New Guinea Oil Palm Research Association (OPRA), West New Britain. He commenced his Masters by Research in 2016 at Curtin University. His research investigates the migration to agricultural frontier zones, and how migrants negotiate and maintain access to customary land to ensure livelihood security over time.

Esley Tiale Peter is a Socio-economic Research Assistant with Papua New Guinea Cocoa Coconut Institute  (CCI) under the Enabling Environment Program, East New Britain. This year, 2018, Esley enrolled for his Masters research at Curtin University. His research looks into the effectiveness of private extension service to the rural smallholder farmers, and how it has improved rural communities that have not been reached by public extension services over the years.

Jennifer McKellar commenced her PhD with the Pacific Livelihoods Research Group, Curtin University, in 2019 to investigate how gender relations are adjusting to changing relations of commodity crop production in Papua New Guinean coffee farming communities. Her fieldwork will be undertaken in the Eastern Highlands Province. Jennifer has Masters degrees from the Australian National University (ANU) in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development, and Culture Health and Medicine, and recently worked as a researcher at the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Joachim Lummani is an agricultural socio-economist working with the PNG Cocoa Coconut Institute (CCI), East New Britain. He commenced his doctoral research in July 2013 at Curtin University. His research looks at how households responded to CPB in terms of their livelihood strategies to sustain their social and economic returns to labour, both in the short-term and longer-term.

Lincy Pendeverana is a doctoral student at the Australian National University. His research examines oil palm expansion and rural livelihoods in North Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands.

Madeleine Stephens works as a journalist and is undertaking honours research after completing her undergraduate studies in Geography and Journalism in 2018. Her honours research project explores the factors driving dietary change, with a focus on rice consumption, and its effect on women’s labour amongst oil palm smallholders in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Matilda Hamago works as the Training Course Coordinator with the Papua New Guinea Coffee Industry Corporation Limited (CICL) . Matilda commenced her Masters by Research in Philosophy at Curtin University in August 2017. Her study is focussed at the institutional level looking into roles and impact of female extension officers on the participation of women in export crop production in Papua New Guinea.

Robyn Slarke has worked in Papua New Guinea for the last 30 years as an activist and film maker for women’s rights. She is currently completing her PhD at Curtin University within the program. Her research examines women’s leadership in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, with focuses on women’s movement between traditional and non-traditional gender roles.

Past Students

Graham Thompson completed his Honours at Curtin University in 1998. His research focused on the impact of population pressures and land shortages on young families living and working on oil palm Land Settlement Schemes (LSS) in Bialla, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Graham now teaches in the Curtin Geography department.

Senny Kapia-Mendano completed her Masters in 2012 at Curtin University. Her research looked at the effectiveness of extension services provided by OPIC for the production of oil palm to smallholder growers in Hoskins, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea.

Sean Ryan is a Research Associate at Curtin University. Sean completed his Masters at Curtin in 2015, in which he examined educational attainment among oil palm smallholders in Papua New Guinea. His research interests include development studies, economic geography and sustainable livelihoods relating to cash crop farmers. His current research examines inequalities in educational opportunities among oil palm settlers in Papua New Guinea.

Stephanie Harris completed her Honours with Curtin’s geography department. Her research explored the difficulties of saving money in PNG. Stephanie is currently working as a research assistant within the research program.

Susan May Inu is a business advisor at Market Development Facility (MDF), Papua New Guinea. She completed her Masters in 2015 at Curtin University. Her research looked at the influence of socio-economic factors on farm investment decision-making and labour mobilisation in smallholder coffee production in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. Previously, Susan worked as a researcher at the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC).

Dr. Reuben Sengere is a socio-economist with Papua New Guinea’s Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) and an adjunct research fellow in the livelihoods program. He has a background in agriculture, science communication and social sciences.  Reuben’s research investigates the socio-economic factors influencing farming practices of smallholders in Papua New Guinea. Reuben completed his PhD with Curtin University in 2017. His thesis examines the rise, fall and revival of the coffee industry in the highlands of 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 completed her PhD with Curtin University in 2013. Her thesis investigated the role of smallholder farmers in sustaining household food security in WNB oil palm Land Settlement Schemes (LSS). 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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