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Ms Andrea Leys

profile_leys_thumbMs Andrea Leys
PhD student

Topic: the effectiveness of using participatory modelling techniques to address and resolve natural resource issues in rural communites with a developing plantation forestry industry

Southern Cross University



I grew up on a mixed cropping and livestock property near Gunnedah in north-west New South Wales (NSW), then completed an Honours degree in Rural Science and later a post-graduate Diploma in Education at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW.

I have since worked in a variety of agricultural and natural resource fields including research agronomy with the CSIRO, farm management consulting with a private firm in Harden, NSW, as well as tertiary and secondary teaching in soils, agriculture, biology and science.

I believe there are exciting opportunities for Australian agriculture and forestry in the expanding domestic and global markets. One of the major challenges I see to meeting these markets however, is how to engage and empower those whose livelihoods are at stake to contribute to the development of fair and sustainable natural resources policy, which is used to sustain and develop these industries.  

I have followed my interests in rural sociology and natural resource management to Southern Cross University in Lismore where I have commenced a PhD looking at the effectiveness of participatory modelling techniques for addressing and resolving natural resource issues within Australian rural communities. Particularly, I hope to look at communities that have limited supplies of water and/or land, where some form of conflict or lack of understanding about natural resource use exists – which is a situation that would support the need for policy development that may allow for structural changes and improved community prosperity.

Professor Jerry Vanclay, Chair of Sustainable Forestry at the School of Environmental Science and Management at Southern Cross University, is my sole supervisor.

My PhD studies contribute to the CRC for Forestry Communities Project 4.3.

To browse other PhD projects available with the Trees in the Landscape Programme, click here.