The benefits and limits of diversity in agricultural systems

About Francesco

Francesco is a PhD Student with the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture of the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and CSIRO Agriculture and Food in Australia. With a background in environmental economics, his PhD research focuses on the environmental and socio-economic benefits of increasing biodiversity in different agricultural systems.

Prior to starting his PhD, Francesco was a visiting researcher with the Institute for Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Amazon (IDESAM) in Brazil. He was involved in work that investigated ways to increase socio-economic benefits for local farming communities and the sustainability of farms by converting traditional coffee plantations to agroforestry systems in the Brazilian Amazon. Francesco has also worked as a research fellow for the Development Impact Unit of Bioversity International, one of the CGIAR centres, in Rome.

Francesco enjoys playing basketball and guitar.

Contact: [email protected]

About the project

The proposed research aims at exploring which type of diversification can provide the benefits discussed above and in which context it can be a solution to sustainable agriculture with the overarching research question being to what extent can the productivity, profitability, and sustainability of agricultural systems in Australia and globally benefit from being diverse? The two hypotheses to test and either providence evidence for or reject are:

  • Extensive/mixed agroecosystems are higher in diversity and/or more resilient to climate change than highly specialized systems, such as monocultures.
  • Increasing agricultural and tree biodiversity within the broader landscape will improve productivity, deliver ecosystem services, and improve rural livelihoods.

Location

St. Lucia CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia

Period

From June 2019 to June 2023

Supervisors

Dr Jonathan Ojeda (Primary from UTAS), Dr Katharina Waha (CSIRO), Dr Peat Leith (TIA-UTAS)

Funded by

University of Tasmania CSIRO and Australian Sustainable Agriculture Elite Scholarship (CSIRO-TIA/UTAS)

Grant amount

Total: AUD$303,226

  • UTAS Tuition Fee: AUD$144,900
  • Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship and CSIRO living allowance: AUD$108,328
  • Australian Sustainable Agriculture Elite Scholarship: AUD$49,998
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Jonathan Ojeda
Crop Physiologist – Crop Modeller

My research interests include the use of crop models to understand GxExM crop interactions.