IAS Fellow, January-March 2022

Associate Professor Marit E Kragt is an Applied Economist at the University of Western Australia School of Agriculture and Environment. She is also an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Research Fellow (2016-now), was an associated with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (2012-2018), and was jointly appointed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Agriculture Flagship (2010-2015).

Marit has an interdisciplinary background with Master degrees in Environmental Science (Wageningen University) and Economics (Australian National University). She completed her PhD in Environmental Economics at the Australian National University in 2010, after which she moved to the University of Western Australia to join the School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Marit’s research interests lie in agricultural economics and mine site rehabilitation. Her agricultural economics research has mostly focussed on options for climate change mitigation in agriculture. This research involved cost-benefit analyses of different mitigation practices, understanding what drives farmers to adopt carbon farming, and public preferences for agricultural climate change mitigation. She is currently looking at opportunities to use crowdfunding to fund climate change mitigation on farms.

Since 2016, Marit has worked on various projects to address the challenges associated with mine site rehabilitation. There are thousands of operating and legacy mine sites in Australia, which all need to be rehabilitated to some extent. It is currently unclear what rehabilitation is possible from an ecological perspective, and unknown what would be feasible and efficient from an economic perspective. Marit’s work does not simply look at the financial costs and benefits of rehabilitation, but at the wider social costs and benefits provided to the community.

Marit is a widely-published expert in interdisciplinary research, cost-benefit analysis, and non-market economic valuation. She has authored over 60 peer-reviewed academic publications (H-index 15), has supervised 15 Postgraduate students to completion, and has attracted nearly $5.5 million in research funding.

During the IAS Fellowship, Marit will work with Professor Riccardo Scarpa at Durham University to analyse non-market valuation surveys that evaluate what values Australians hold for different mine rehabilitation outcomes. Professor Scarpa is a renowned expert on non-market environmental valuation who has pioneered important advances in the econometric analysis of survey data. The survey data was collected in the first half of 2020, and Dr Kragt’s IAS Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to work jointly with Prof Scarpa on the data analysis. Marit intends to write collaborative papers with Prof Scarpa, but also contribute to the wider academic community at Durham University—particularly in a mentoring role to early career researchers. She will present her work on mine rehabilitation and the Australian context during her IAS Fellowship.