Fiona Dempster

Dr, BSc PhD W.Aust.

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

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
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Personal profile


I am passionate about generating knowledge to enable policy makers, farmers and community to make informed decisions. I enjoy bringing people and ideas together to solve complex issues, using a combination of biophysical, management and economic data. My research is currently focused on the economics of using insects to reduce inputs in farming systems. I have expertise in prioritisation, benefit: cost analysis and non-market valuation for farming systems, bushfire mitigation, biodiversity restoration and water. I stay connected to real, on-ground farming problems by working remotely from Mingenew in the northern Wheatbelt of Western Australia.

Roles and responsibilities

My current position is Research Fellow, funded through two Rural R&D for Profit grants: black soldier fly technology to turn animal waste to fertiliser products and dung beetles as ecosystem engineers. I previously held post-doctoral positions in the Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre, NESP and ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions.

Future research

I am keenly interested in understanding farmer decision making under uncertainty, valuing agricultural extension and understanding the adoption drivers for agricultural technologies.

I have a number of projects suitable for Honours, Masters and PhD research students and scholarships may be available for talented students.

Funding overview

R&D4P - Closing the loop, Black Soldier Fly technology to convert agricultural waste into high quality fertiliser and soil improvers from DAWR, Jenkins, S., Kragt, M., Ryan, M., Guzzomi, A., Dempster, F., Vercoe, P., Waite, I., Kidd, D., Santini, T., Siddique, K. & Abbott, L. Australian Pork Limited. 18/04/19 → 15/08/22

R&D4P - Dung beetle ecosystem engineers - enduring benefits for livestock and producers via science and a new community partnership model, Evans, T., Simmons, L., Didham, R., Kennington, J., White, B. & Dempster, F. Meat & Livestock Australia. 7/05/17 → 6/05/22

Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC - Economics of natural hazards, Florec, V, Hailu, A, Pannell, D, Rogers, A, Gibson, F. 2017 - 2020. 

Previous positions

President and Councillor, WA Branch, Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society

Board member, Mingenew Midwest Expo

GRDC Western Panel


Currently I’m working on:
Identifying and estimating the value of health, social and environmental impacts from animal waste production systems

Identifying farmer preferences for novel farm inputs

External positions

Environment Committee, Mingenew Irwin Group, Mingenew Irwin Group

Board Member, Mingenew Community Resource Centre

Industry keywords

  • Agriculture and Food

Research expertise keywords

  • Non-market valuation
  • Environmental economics
  • Natural resource management
  • Natural resource economics
  • Environmental policy
  • Water source valuation
  • Fire risk management
  • Ecological economics
  • Structural equation modelling
  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Decision tools
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Community environmental attitudes
  • Agricultural policy


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