Dr Richard Culas

BScAgr (Peradeniya), MScAgEcon (NMBU), MEcon (NHH), PhD (Sydney)

Senior Lecturer in Agribusiness
Building 1001 Room A68

Dr Richard Culas is a Senior Lecturer in Agricultural Economics/Agribusiness at the School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences (SAWS), Charles Sturt University (CSU). His academic qualifications include a BSc Agriculture, MSc Agricultural Economics, Master of Economics and PhD in Economics. Richard has several years of experience in teaching economics and agribusiness subjects, and the supervision of higher degree research (PhD) and post-graduate projects (MSA) for international and Australian students.

At CSU, Richard’s research interests are within agricultural, environmental and development economics and agricultural business management. Richard has worked in funded projects worth about A$6.5m by sources such as ACIAR, Horticultural Innovation Australia, The Crawford Fund and CSU. His research experiences include cross-country analyses, regional and household level case studies (for countries such as Cambodia, Pakistan, Zambia, Australia, PNG and Norway) and the application of econometric methods.

Richard has presented his research in international and national conferences and published in journals such as Agricultural Systems, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australasian Agribusiness Review, Ecological Economics, International Journal of Development Issues, Irrigation and Drainage, IUP Journal of Applied Economics, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Journal of Developing Societies, Journal of East-West Business, Land Use Policy and Sustainability. He has authored or co-authored over seventy research based publications, including a book titled "Deforestation in the Tropics: Causes, Policies and Institutions".

During his career, Richard has served as an external examiner for PhD theses, an expert reviewer for Qatar National Research Fund and peer-reviewer for more than twenty international journals. He chaired contributed sessions for an AARES conference and served in a number committees at CSU. Richard was also a team member of the Strategic Research Area "Improving Rural Livelihoods and Environments in Developing Countries", in the Institute for Land Water and Society, CSU which has received DVC’s Award for Research Excellence in 2016.

Teaching Interests

Dr Culas lecturers in the following subjects:

  • AGB110 Agricultural Economics
  • AGB351 Commodity Trade and Pricing
  • AGB440 Resource Economics (PG)
  • AGB533 Agribusiness Management (PG)
  • AGB550 International Agriproduct Trade (PG)
  • AGR502 Special Topic 2 (Food Security, PG)
  • AHT231 Agricultural Finance and Business Management

Dr Culas also coordinates the subject AGR610 Sustainable Agriculture Dissertation.

Research Interests

Recent research activities
  • Agricultural value chain and trade policy analysis
  • Socioeconomic analysis of groundwater and irrigation management
  • Modelling agricultural land use and enterprise diversification
  • Policy analysis of agricultural productivity, food security and poverty reduction
  • Drivers of deforestation and REDD+ policies
Current Research Projects

● 2016-2020: Improving groundwater management to enhance agriculture and farming livelihoods in Pakistan. Funded by ACIAR (A$ 2,050,000). Co-investigator and lead for socioeconomics. (led by CSU in collaboration with ICARDA and institutions in Pakistan)

● 2016-2021: Developing improved crop protection options in support of intensification of sweet potato production in Papua New Guinea. Funded by ACIAR (A$ 1,508,316). Co-investigator and lead for socioeconomics. (led by CSU in collaboration with USQ and institutions in Papua New Guinea)

● 2017-2020: Field and landscape management to support beneficial arthropods for IPM on vegetable farms (in Australia). Funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia (A$ 1,550,675). Co-investigator and lead for economics. (led by CSU in collaboration with NSW DPI, UQ and IPM Technologies)

● 2020-2021: Developing optimal farming systems to enhance diversified (nutritious) food production and resource (water) use efficiency for improved farming livelihood. Funded by ILWS, CSU (A$ 4,700). Principal investigator

● 2019-2020: Small scoping research project for improving groundwater and salinity management in the coastal ecosystems of Northern Sri Lanka. Funded by ILWS, CSU (A$ 18,000). Co-investigator

Research Supervision

PhD current

● N. Wang “An analysis of impacts of climate and market variability on land use and profitability of

Australian wheat growers” (Principal supervisor)

● S. N. Adhikari “Improving smallholder organic coffee production and export potential in Nepal” (Principal supervisor)

● B. C. Onodu “Value chain analysis of root and tuber crops in Delta State Nigeria: Implications for healthcare” (Principal supervisor)

● M. O. Sedowo “Productivity, market access and value chain appraisal of smallholder cassava farmers in South-Western Nigeria” (Principal supervisor)

● M. A. Imran “Impact of groundwater management on agricultural productivity and livelihood of rural households in Punjab, Pakistan” (Associate supervisor, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan)

● M. Alam “Impact of groundwater quality on the livelihood of farmers in rural areas in Punjab, Pakistan” (Associate supervisor, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan)

PhD completed

● S. M. Khair “The efficacy of groundwater markets on agricultural productivity and resource use sustainability: Evidence from the upland Balochistan region of Pakistan” (Principal supervisor)

● U. M. Mustapha “Impact of climate change and bio-fuel production on agricultural commodity price variability in Nigeria and Niger and possible alternative strategies for food production, sustainable agriculture and rural development”(Principal supervisor)

● M. A. Hanjra “A framework for public private investments for irrigation modernisation: Response to climate change” (Associate supervisor)

● H. F. Gabriel “An appraisal of climate responsive urban groundwater management options in a stressed aquifer” (Associate supervisor)

● I. Hirsi “Economics of conjunctive water management under crop salinity tolerance constraints” (Associate supervisor)

Master of Sustainable Agriculture (MSA)

● Supervised over twenty dissertations on various topics

Professional Memberships

Other Professional Activities

  • Examiner for PhD theses (University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, University of Southern Queensland, University of Agriculture Faisalabad-Pakistan, University of Agriculture Peshawar-Pakistan)
  • Expert Reviewer (Qatar National Research Fund)
  • Peer-Reviewer (over 20 international journals in the areas of economics, science and policy), including:
    • Agricultural Systems, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Agricultural Water Management, Conservation Biology, Ecological Economics, Environment and Development Economics, Environmental Management, Environmental and Resource Economics, Environmental Science and Policy, Human Ecology Review, International Forestry Review, International Journal of Community and Social Development, International Journal of Development Issues, International Journal of Global Warming, Journal of Economic Studies, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Journal of Water and Climate Change, Land Use Policy, Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences, and Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research.
  • Honorary scholar/scientist, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Editorial board member, BUITEMS Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Associate Editor, International Journal of Climate Change (Impacts & Responses)

Recent Publications

View Dr Culas's publications on CRO.

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