Please click on the project numbers below to access more information on the ACIAR project. If you are interested in developing a research proposal aligned to the projects below, please email the ACIAR Graduate Assistant Officer at aciarga@usp.ac.fj. The Graduate Assistant Officer will assist you in contacting the relevant project leaders.

Hotlink to ACIAR research project Discipline Research project title Scholarship location Australian University Australian Project contact
AGB/2014/057 Agribusiness Pacific Agribusiness Research in Development Initiative Phase 2 (PARDI 2) Fiji and Samoa University of Sunshine Coast Lex Thomson mailto:Lex.thomson@gmail.com
ASEM/2016/101 Social Sciences Climate-smart landscapes for promoting sustainability of Pacific Island agricultural systems Fiji University of Western Australia Bryan Boruff mailto:bryan.boruff@uwa.edu.au
FIS/2014/060 Fisheries Developing pearl industry-based livelihoods in the western Pacific Fiji University of Sunshine Coast Paul Southgate mailto:paul.southgate@usc.edu.au
FIS/2018/155 Fisheries Agriculture and fisheries for improved nutrition: integrated agri-food system analyses for the Pacific region Fiji University of Wollongong Neil Andrew mailto:nandrew@uow.edu.au
FST/2014/067 Forestry Enhancing value added products and environmental benefits from agroforestry systems in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Fiji Griffith University Helen Wallace mailto:helen.wallace@griffith.edu.au
FST/2016/147 Forestry Improving Agroforestry Policy for Sloping Land in Fiji Fiji University of Queensland Tyron Venn mailto:t.venn1@uq.edu.au
FST/2016/158 Forestry Domestication and breeding of sandalwood in Fiji and Tonga Fiji CSIRO National Research Collections David Bush mailto:david.bush@csiro.au
HORT/2014/077 Horticulture Enhanced fruit production and postharvest handling systems for Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga Fiji and Samoa University of Sunshine Coast Steven Underhill mailto:sunderhi@usc.edu.au
HORT/2014/078 Horticulture Aligning genetic resources, production and post-harvest systems to market opportunities for Pacific island and Australian cocoa Fiji and Samoa Queensland Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries Yan Diczbalis mailto:yan.diczbalis@daf.qld.gov.au
HORT/2014/080 Horticulture Integrating protected cropping systems into high value vegetable value chains in the Pacific and Australia Samoa CENTRAL QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY Phil Brown mailto:p.h.brown@cqu.edu.au
HORT/2016/185 Horticulture Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific Islands Fiji and Samoa University of Queensland Michael Furlong mailto:m.furlong@uq.edu.au
LS/2014/042 Livestock Increasing the productivity and profitability of smallholder beekeeping enterprises in PNG and Fiji Fiji and Samoa Southern Cross University David Lloyd mailto:david.lloyd@scu.edu.au
LS/2017/033 Livestock Improving small ruminant production and supply in Fiji and Samoa Fiji and Samoa University of New England Frances Cowley mailto:fcowley@une.edu.au
LS/2019/119 Livestock Enhancing the Management of Antimicrobial Resistance (EMAR) in Fiji Fiji and Samoa CSIRO Biosecurity Flagship Paul Debarro mailto:Paul.Debarro@csiro.au
SMCN/2016/111 Soils Soil management in Pacific Islands: investigating nutrient cycling and development of the soils portal Samoa CSIRO Agriculture Flagship Ben Macdonald mailto:ben.macdonald@csiro.au

Potential research topics

Please click on the project numbers below to access more information on the ACIAR project. If you are interested in developing a research proposal aligned to the projects below, please email the ACIAR Graduate Assistant Officer at aciarga@usp.ac.fj. The Graduate Assistant Officer will assist you in contacting the relevant project leaders.

Research Focus Possible thesis topic Australian research agency and contact Scholarship location Hotlink to ACIAR research project
 Horticulture
Fruit Production Systems

 

PhD topic

Is Huanglongbing (citrus greening disease) a potential risk to citrus production in the Pacific? (study area Samoa).

Masters topics

How do Pacific smallholder farmers currently source pre-harvest and postharvest extension knowledge and expertise? (study area in Tonga and/or Samoa).

Smallholder farmer motivations, incentives and resistors to increased citrus production (study area in Tonga and/or Samoa).

 

Professor Steven Underhill, University of the Sunshine Coast

 

sunderhi@usc.edu.au

 

Samoa HORT/2014/077

Enhanced fruit production and postharvest handling systems for Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga

 

 

Coconuts Phenotyping Coconut diversity.

Diagnostics of exotic pests and diseases.

Improving tissue culture techniques.

Business case for replanting coconuts.

Senile coconut resources in Samoa

Impact of Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (CBR).on export potential of the products processed from the nut.

TBC please contact lwess@usc.edu.au

or

sunderhi@usc.edu.au for more information.

 

Samoa HORT/2017/025

Safeguarding and Deploying Coconut Diversity for Improving Livelihoods in the Pacific Islands

 

Protected Cropping Systems

 

Masters topics

Irrigation systems in protected cropping systems.

Variety selection in protected cropping systems.

Pest and disease management in protected cropping.

Professor Phil Brown, Central Queensland University

p.h.brown@cqu.edu.au

 

Fiji and Samoa HORT/2014/080

Integrating protected cropping systems into high value vegetable value chains in the Pacific and Australia

 

Integrated Pest and disease management Masters topics

Diagnostics for pest and diseases.

Improving extension systems through plant doctors and village plant health clinics.

Professor Mike Furlong, University of Queensland

m.furlong@uq.edu.au

 

Fiji and Samoa HORT/2016/185

Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific Islands

 

Forestry
Gender Gender dimensions of employment in the forest products processing sector. Robbie McGavin, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Queensland

 

Robbie.mcgavin@daf.qld.gov.au

 

 

Fiji FST/2019/128

Coconut and other non-traditional forest resources for the manufacture of Engineered Wood Products

 

Value-chains Pacific value-chain for engineered wood products.
Restoration Use of nut tree enrichment in forest restoration. Professor Helen Wallace, Griffith University.

 

Helen.wallace@griffith.edu.au

 

Fiji FST/2014/067

Enhancing value added products and environmental benefits from agroforestry systems in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific

 Fisheries
Post-harvest Processing Masters topics

Utilization of pearl oyster tissue by-product as fertilizers for food.

 

Optimizing the nutrient composition and improving the post-harvest processing yield of Holothuria fuscogilva in Fiji.

 

Assessing the fish-aggregating effect of pearl culture infrastructure.

Professor Paul Southgate, University of the Sunshine Coast

 

p.southgate@usc.edu.au

 

 

Fiji

 

FIS/2016/122

 

FIS/2019/122

Towards more profitable and sustainable pearl-industry based livelihoods in the western Pacific

Aquaculture products for improved nutrition Masters topic

Application of seaweed to develop new food products.

Dr Libby Swanepoel,

University of the Sunshine Coast

 

lswanepo@usc.edu.au

 

Fiji FIS/2019/125

Improving nutrition through women’s and men’s engagement across the seaweed food chain in Kiribati and Samoa

Livestock
Small ruminants Masters topics

Natural and chemical worm control methods in sheep.

 

Value chains for sheep and goats and their meat in Fiji and Samoa.

 

The social role of sheep and goats in Fijian and Samoan cultures.

 

Labour for sheep and goat production systems.

 

Reproduction and health in sheep and goats.

Professor Frances Cowley, University of New England

 

fcowley@une.edu.au

 

Fiji and Samoa LS/2017/033

Improving small ruminant production and supply in Fiji and Samoa

Market and consumption analysis

 

Implications of market context, and consumer purchasing and consumption patterns for policy, investment and development options in the sheep and goat meat sector in Fiji and Samoa. rodd@focusgroupgo.com

 

University of Sydney

 

Fiji and Samoa LS/2018/183

Sectoral analysis and investment requirements for improving Fiji and Samoa small ruminant sector

Policy and institutional research in areas of agriculture, trade, public health, and food safety

 

Analysis of current policy and institutional barriers and opportunities affecting competitiveness and public health outcomes in goat and sheep meat sector in Fiji and Samoa.

 

Value chain and stakeholder research

 

Analysis of actors and indirect stakeholders with the motivation, capability and willingness to facilitate necessary changes and investments in the sheep and goat value chains.

 

 Soils and Land Management
Circular Economy What are the opportunities to utilise waste streams for improved agronomic production? Dr Ben MacDonald, CSIRO

 

Ben.macdonald@csiro.au

 

Samoa SMCN/2016/111

Soil management in Pacific Islands: investigating nutrient cycling and development of the soils portal

Soil water testing Utilisation of soil water sensors (fullstops and chameleons) to understand nitrate leaching and irrigation scheduling.

 

Intensification and intercropping Intensification of cropping systems by using intercrops and double taro cropping.
Soil testing

 

Developing fertiliser recommendations from ‘quick’ soil field test kits.

 

Characterising soil chemical properties using mid-inferred spectroscopy.

 

Water and Climate
Climate change and food security What are the medium and longer-term impacts of climate change on agricultural production and food security along defined ‘reef-to-ridge’ transects encompassing different crops and systems?

 

TBC please contact lwess@usc.edu.au

or

sunderhi@usc.edu.au for more information.

 

 

 

Samoa and Fiji  

WAC/2020/178

Climate Risks and Decision Making for Transformational Adaptation to Climate Change in Agriculture and Land Systems in Pacific Island Countries

 

What are the vulnerabilities and opportunities for agricultural production (crops and systems) in each segment of the ‘reef-to-ridge’ transects in the light of increasing climate change pressures?

 

What are the implications for agricultural production in each segment of the ‘reef-to-ridge’ transects of adopting as the climate change adaptation response (1) adjusting practices and technologies, (2) changing systems, or (3) transformation?
To what extent can a region employ climate projections, vulnerabilities, and adaptation options to assess the optimum timeliness for transfer from incremental to transformational adaptation?
What existing and potential weather and climate services would most strongly support transformational adaptation, and how would the two be best integrated?
What mechanisms and processes enable integrating transformational adaptation into existing decision-making processes for agriculture and land use?
Other research topics
Pacific food systems Citizen-centred innovation to reshape Pacific food systems –identifying entry points for change. Dr Libby Swanepoel,

University of the Sunshine Coast

 

lswanepo@usc.edu.au

 

Fiji FIS/2019/125

Improving nutrition through women’s and men’s engagement across the seaweed food chain in Kiribati and Samoa

Eating behaviours Perceived environmental influences on eating behaviours in the Pacific.