Dr Jenifer Ticehurst

BSc (REM); PhD (REM)
Honorary Lecturer, Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, Etc.) 079901
  • Natural Resource Management 050209
  • Decision Support And Group Support Systems 080605
  • Soil Sciences 0503
  • Sustainable Agricultural Development 070108
  • Surfacewater Hydrology 040608
  • Environmental Management 050205
  • Crop And Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases And Weeds) 070308

Research interests

Jenifer’s research interests are motivated by her desire to increase the sustainability of Australia’s agricultural industry, while protecting the natural environment. Her early research focused on the biophysical components of agriculture in soil, water and the agronomic system. While more recently she broadened her interests to include economic, ecological, social and governance criteria when informing the management of agricultural and natural resources. She has a strong interest in integrated assessment and modelling, with a particular focus on developing decision support tools using participatory processes, such as Bayesian networks.

Her recent research focuses on the conjunctive use and management of water within the Murray Darling Basin, and the potential for Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) to provide an adaptation option suitable for irrigators and the environment. A new research area for her is using general surveillance (i.e. people from all walks of life) to assist in the early detection of biosecurity threats to Australia’s agricultural production and natural environments.



  After completing a BSc (Resource and Environmental Management) with Honours at the Australian National University in 1996 Jenifer worked as a technical officer with CSIRO (Division of Environmental Mechanics), NSW Agriculture and then CSIRO (Division of Plant Industry). The associated research projects were on the treatment of sewerage waste water through crop irrigation, sustainable grazing systems on the central tablelands, and wheat breeding. She completed her PhD at the Australian National University in 2004, with an investigation into how hillslope hydrology effects locating tree belt plantations to utilise excess water.

After completing her PhD she worked for 15 years at the Fenner School of Environment and Society (FSES) and its' predecessors, as part of the Integrated Catchment Assessment and Management (iCAM) Centre. For many of those years she was heavily embedded in the National Centre for Groundwater Resource and Training (NCGRT). While at iCAM her research projects included the development of the Coastal Lake Assessment and Management (CLAM) tool, Landscape Logic and an invesitgation into the feasibility of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) for Australia's cotton industry.

She began working at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) in the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment in March 2020, as part of the Biosecurity and social science team. Most recently she has developed guidelines to help program staff, funders and policy-makers plan, implement and monitor general surveillance programs and developed and analysed a national landholder survey about the occurrence and management of pests and weeds. 



Researcher's projects

  • Development of the Coastal Lake Assessment and Management (CLAM) tool: Completed in 2006, this project developed Bayesian network models for eight case study coastal lakes/ estuaries in NSW in collaboration with their local stakeholders. The models were designed to assist in management by identifying the biophyscial, economic and social trade-offs of possible future scenarios.
  • Northern River CLAM project: Following on from the success and interest in the inital CLAM project another 16 CLAM tools were developed for lakes/ estuaries in northern NSW in collaboration with the Northern Rivers CMA. This work further developed the methodology, and also engaged local environmental consultants to develop and maintain the tools into the future.
  • Landscape Logic (www.Landscapelogic.org.au) completed 2010: This was a large collaborative project funded by the Commonwealth Environment Research and Facilities (CERF) program, where Jenifer worked as part of the integration team. The project had a strong focus on building research collaborations with the regional NRMs in Tasmania and CMAs in Victoria to provide evidence based tools to assist in the management of water quality and native vegetation.
  • Several project were completed as part of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT  http://www.groundwater.com.au/) with Jenifers' work having a strong focus on groundwater- surface water hydrology and conjunctive use and management of water in the Murray Darling Basin. This work used integrative assessment and modelling to assess the social, economic, governance and ecological trade-offs of water allocation in the Namoi and Campaspe catchments.
  • The feasibility of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) for the Australian Cotton Industry. Completed in 2022,  this project assessed the feasibility of MAR in three existing or emerging cotton growing regions of Australia (Coleambally, Namoi and Gilbert) against a framework of the technical, environmental, social, hydrological, economic and governance potential. 
  • With social scientists at ABARES, used systems thinking, developed guidelines and checklists designed to support policy-makers, funders and program staff to plan, implement and monitor general surveillance programs.
  • With social scientists at ABARES, developed and analysing the occurrance and management of established pests and weeds across Australia via a national survey of landholders.

Available student projects

* Social research exploring the potential for groundwater to buffer impacts of drought and climate change in Australia's Murray-Darling Basin. Possible topics include the social accepatability of different options; and the institutional constraints to changes in governance required to achieve change.

* Social research exploring the influence of risk interpretation on irrigator decisions about trading groundwater.

* Social research examining the stability of rural landholder values, beliefs and attitudes over time. This research would draw on a unique time-series data set gathered at five-yearly intervals between 2002 and 2016 to compare the values, beliefs and attitudes of different occupational groups, enterprise types and modes of residence.


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  28 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers