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Optimising portfolios of management for the Great Barrier Reef

This project will involve adapting Modern Portfolio Theory to develop optimal management approaches to sustain the Great Barrier Reef. Modern Portfolio Theory is an integer programming approach that allocates resources in risky scenarios where investment options are correlated. It can accommodate significant and unavoidable uncertainties, stochasticity, and correlations between options. A diversified portfolio is less volatile than the sum of its parts, and therefore in order to ensure environmental benefits in the future we should invest in a diversity of …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences

The perverse risks of strong enforcement

Environmental groups often argue that governments should have strong regulatory powers. That is, they should be allowed to:close down fisheries (e.g., the international whale fishery)ban the export of exploited organisms (e.g., the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES)make environmentally destructive actions illegal (e.g., land clearing). However, if the economic actors who are exposed to these changes – the fishers, hunters, farmers – are aware that changes are imminent, they might take strategic, preventative steps to avoid the associated …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences

Optimal management of revolving funds in biodiversity conservation

In Australia, private biodiversity conservation organisations use revolving-fund programs to achieve conservation goals. Using a fixed amount of capital, land is purchased, protected via conservation covenants, and then re-sold for a profit. The revolving-fund managers then move on to a new property.To achieve long-term success, revolving-fund managers need to ensure that the properties they purchase:contain important biodiversity valuescan be resold at close to or greater than the purchase price (adjusted for inflation), andcan be resold in an appropriately short amount …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences

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