• The University of Western Australia (M089), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Atakelty is an agricultural and resource economist. He had a strong and early desire to become a 'scientist' but no interest in economics. That is, until after the devastating (and partly man-made) Ethiopian famine of 1984/5 and until he realised that there was in fact a field of study that put both people and nature (including agriculture) at the centre of it -- Agricultural Economics. He obtained a BSc degree in Ag Econ from Alemaya University (1990). After two years working at Alemaya, he moved to Canada to study for a master’s degree at the University of Alberta where he, with the encouragement of his supervisor, ended up pursuing a PhD instead (1998). He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher with the Canadian Sustainable Forest Management Network before joining the University of Western Australia as a lecturer in 2001.

Atakelty has received numerous academic awards, including the Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award for 1996-1998 from the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society (CAES), and a Chancellor's Gold Medal for his undergraduate academic achievements in Alemaya. His research interests include efficiency and productivity analysis, whole-farm bioeconomic modelling, environmental policy design, and agent-based computational economics.

Atakelty is  the winner of the prestiguous Publication of Enduring Quality Award (CAES, 2018).

Roles and responsibilities

Associate Professor, Graduate Research Coordinator, and Coordinator of Master of Agricultural Economics Program

Previous positions

Invited Professor, ENSAM/INRA, France, 2005;
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Alberta, 1998-2001;

Academic Staff Member, Alemaya (Haremaya) University, 1990-1992

Current projects

Productivity and efficiency analysis 

Valuation of marine based recreation

Integrated economic-hydrologic modelling of land use change

Human development indicators

Carbon abatement costs in China


Recent PhD student project supervision:

No-take marine reserves (Navarro),

Efficiency in Vietnamese rice prodcution (Ho),

Value of Conservation in Ethiopia National Parks (Estifanos), 

TURFs in Vietnam (Nguyen), 

Efficiency in Ethiopia agriculture (Oumer, Durkin, Tirkaso),

Marine resource conservation in Malaysia (Ahmad Kamil), 

Efficiency in Kenyan agriculture (Ogutu)

Teaching overview

Postgraduate Teaching:

Production Economics and Efficiency Analysis (ECON5005)

Climate, Energy and Water Economics (ECON5511)

Data Use in the Natural Sciences (SCIE4401)

Applied Demand and Production Analysis (ECON5510, 2012-2017)

Undergraduate Teaching:

Analytical Methods for Scientists (SCIE1500)

Environmental Economics 2 (ECON2224) (2002-2013)

Agricultural Economics and Marketing (ECON300, 2005-2009)

Economics of Water Management (ECON3323, 2008-2011)


- Productivity and efficiency analysis
- Environmental economics and policy
- Whole-farm bioeconomic modelling
- Recreational fishing management
- Conservation auction design
- Agent-based computational economics
- Non-market valuation


Tigriyna (Tigrigna) and Amharic

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research expertise keywords

  • Environmental economics and policy
  • Productivity and efficiency analysis
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Computational economics (agent-based modelling)
  • Fisheries and coastal management
  • Water economics and policy
  • Whole-farm economic modelling
  • Non-market valuation
  • Auction design
  • Land use policy and catchment modelling


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