Quentin Grafton's picture

Quentin Grafton

Professor; Chairholder UNESCO Chair in Water Economics and Transboundary Water Governance


B.Ag. Econ (Massey), MS (Iowa State University), PhD (University of British Columbia)

Contact details

R. Quentin Grafton, FASSA, is Professor of Economics, ANU Public Policy Fellow, Fellow of the Asia and the Pacific Policy Society and Director of the Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy (CWEEP) at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. In April 2010 he was appointed the Chairholder, the UNESCO Chair in Water Economics and Transboundary Water Governance and between August 2013 and July 2014 served as Executive Director at the Australian National Institute of Public Policy (ANIPP). He currently serves as the Director of the Food, Energy, Environment and Water Network.

He is the recipient of several prestigious awards including and most recently the National Water Commission Professor Peter Cullen Eureka Prize for Water Research and Innovation(2011), the Vice-Chancellors’ Award for Education, Excellence in Supervision and the ANU Commendation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2011).

Previously he was Chief Economist and Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (2011-2013), Senior Fellow at the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies (2001-2004) at the ANU, Director of the Institute of the Environment (1999-2001) at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He has an abiding interest in the problems of the environment and public policy, especially the overexploitation and management of renewable resources (particularly water and fisheries), and the economics of energy and also the economics of non-renewable resources.

He graduated with a PhD in Economics from the University of British Columbia in 1992, and holds an MS degree from Iowa State University and an undergraduate degree from Massey University in agricultural economics. He has served as Editor of the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics and currently serves on the editorial boards of several journals and is the immediate Past President of the Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society. He is presently an Editor for the journal Asia and Pacfic Policy Studies and Editor in Chief of Policy Forum.net. He is the founder and Executive Editor of the Global Water Forum and Convenor of the Geneva Actions on Human Water Security.

He has published some 150 scholarly articles in some of the world’s leading journals in economics and the life sciences (such as Science and Nature Climate Change), 44 chapters in books and 17 edited or co-authored books (in Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press) including: Risks, Rewards and Regulation of Unconventional Gas: A Global Perspective (2017), Understanding and Managing Urban Water in Transition (2015), and Water Security, Economics and Governance (2013), A Dictionary of Climate Change and the Environment (2012), Water Resources Planning and Management (2011), Basin Futures Water Reform in the Murray-Darling Basin (2011), and Handbook of Marine Fisheries Conservation and Management (2010).

He has served in numerous advisory roles and expert panels in Australia and overseas, including as Chair of the Social and Economics Reference Panel of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (2008-2009) and a member of the National Council on Education for Sustainability (2008-2010), Chair of the International Geothermal Expert Group (2013-14, Chair of the Marine Estate Knowledge Panel for the State of New South Wales (2014-18) and currently on the Board of Directors for the [International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture] (https://www.biosaline.org/).

Current projects

  • Food, energy, environment and water opportunities, trade-offs and challenges
  • Optimal investment in water supply
  • Marine reserves and ecological uncertainty
  • Social networks and productivity
  • Energy security
  • Mining productivity

Current PhD students (principal supervisor)

  • Katherine Taylor
  • Khanh Hoang
  • Paul Wyrwoll
  • Albert Lamberte

Professional courses

  • Water Economics » view evaluations PDF, 16KB
  • Environmental Economics for Non-Economists » view evaluations PDF, 52KB
  • Fisheries Management Course » view evaluations PDF, 42KB
  • Fisheries Economics Course » view evaluations PDF, 42KB

Research interests

  • Water markets and water economics
  • Food and water security
  • Resilience
  • Fisheries management (especially marine reserves)
  • Property rights (especially quantitative instruments in resource and environmental management)
  • Energy security
  • Resource taxation
  • Long-term commodity price cycles


Updated:  16 October 2019/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team