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Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt's picture

Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

Professor, Resource, Environment and Development (RE&D) Program

Contact details

Phone: +610409158145

Room: Crawford A Room 3.56

As someone exploring the length and breadth of community issues in natural resource management, my research focuses on water and mining sectors, and uses a mixed methodological approach.

More specifically, as a research methodology I combine political ecology with political economy to holistically capture the intricate complexities at different geographical scales. It reflects the interdisciplinarity inherent in thinking about, and approaches ‘the resources’ as neither ‘socially constructed’ nor ‘out there’ but rather as coproduced by nature and society.

My research philosophy also involves collaborations; I have been actively involved in working with more senior scholars (such as Kathryn Robinson, Robert Wasson and Ruchira Ganguly-Scrase) and with those who are younger to me (Gopa Samanta, Petra Mahy and Kate Harriden).

My core contributions to the field have been in gender and community livelihoods in extractive industries. I have published widely on these areas and my work has had impacts at the international policy level. For example, the World Bank invited me to be a part of their ‘Women in Extractive Industries Action Group’.

In the field of water, my contributions have been in thinking beyond the binary of land and waters through the empirical lens of chars not just as coproduced by nature and culture, but also as a fluid (and hybrid) element in nature, that encourages a rethinking of popular conceptions of adaptation and resilience.

Again, through my research, I have engaged with policy-making in water; for example, I have been highly visible at the international policy advocacy work in Asia Pacific Water Forum and as part of the Steering Committee of GWA.

Research Grants 2015 – 2016 Co-investigator, SANDEE grant of USD 28,000 for research project ‘Property rights in informal gold mining in India’, jointly with Professor Amalendu Jyotishi, Amrita University, Bangalore, India. 2014 – 2016 Lead CI: Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant of AU$ 300,000 for research project ‘Farmers of the Future: the Challenges of Feminised Agriculture in India’. Co-investigators Dr Bill Pritchard, Professor Stewart Lockie, Dr Patrick Kilby and Professor Amita Shah. 2014 – 2015 Co-Director, Indian Council of Social Science Research grant of INR 12,000,000 for research project ‘Challenges of Feminised Agriculture in India’ Jointly with Professor Amita Shah and Dr Itishree Pattnaik (Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad, India). 2013 - 2015 Lead CI: Australian Research Council Linkage Project grant of AU$ 111,191 for research project: ‘Going for Gold: Safe Livelihoods for Informal Gold Miners in South and Southeast Asia’. Co-investigator: Keith Barney. 2013 - 2015 Single CI: Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant of AU$ 295,193 for research project: ‘Beyond the Resource Curse: Charting a Path to Sustainable Livelihoods for Mineral-Dependent Communities’. 2013 - 2015 AusAID ADRAS grant on research project ‘How can a gender-sensitive approach be useful for Mongolia’s development trajectory?’ Co-investigators Professor Saleem Ali, Dr Deanna Kemp and Ms Isabel Cane CSRM, UQ, AU$ >650,000. 2012 – 2014 Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada grant with Professors David Szablowsky, Anthony Bebbington and others at York University on mining and indigenous communities. 2009 World Bank, USD 30,000 ‘Gender, Mining and Sustainable Livelihoods’ conference. 2006 – 2009 Lead CI: Australian Research Council Linkage Project (AU$ 265,000) ‘Creating Empowered Communities: Gender and Sustainable Development in a Coal Mining Region in Eastern Kalimantan, Indonesia’. Co-investigator: Colin Filer. 2005 – 2006 Lead CI: Development Grant (US$ 65,000), jointly with Colin Filer, from Communities and Small-Scale Mines (CASM) on artisanal and small-scale mining in the Asia-Pacific region. 2004 – 2005 Lead CI: Development Grant (US$ 60,000), jointly with Colin Filer, from Communities and Small-Scale Mines (CASM) on artisanal and small-scale mining in the Asia-Pacific region.

ANU Grants

2015 12,000 International Conference ‘Between the plough & the Pick’ (5-6 November, 2015). 2015 $4,000 India Session in the International Conference ‘Between the plough & the Pick’ (5-6 November, 2015). 2015 $4,000 Feminisation of Agriculture in India: Public Lecture & Symposium by Professor Nitya Rao, University of East Anglia, UK. 2011 $60,000 Rethinking Environmental Futures in Asia and the Pacific. RSAP Annual Conference, as part of a team. 2011 $16,000 Tapping the Turn: Waters’ Social Dimensions, RSAP Conference Grant. This project also attracted an AusAID ISSS funding of $31,000. 2013 $5,000 Film: Revisiting the Displaced Indigenous Peoples in Eastern India, RSAP Research Development Grant. 2012 $5,000 Revisiting the Oral Testimony Project of Displaced Indigenous Peoples in Eastern India, RSAP Research Development Grant. 2007 $6,000 Coal mining conference, International Centre of Excellence in Asia-Pacific Research Grant 2004 $3000 Women Miners in Developing Countries, conference grant Asia Pacific Futures Research Network (APFRN) 2003 $5,000 Fluid Bonds: Gender and Water, National Institute for the Environment Small Research Grant

Updated:  19 August 2022/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team