John Davis  from Murdoch University in Perth Australia.

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    Dr John Davis
    BSc(Agric), MSc(NatResMgt), PhD

    Honorary Research Associate

    About me

    I am a sustainable development pracademic with experience in development practice, teaching and research. My passion for sustainable development is motivated by concerns for justice – that applies across communities, generations and species. I have worked for government, non-government organisations and Universities, in Asia and Australia.

    I received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a Masters in Science in Natural Resources Management from the University of Western Australia.  In 2015 I was awarded a PhD from Murdoch University for my thesis on coastal and marine stewardship in Western Australia. I retain my strong interest in natural sciences, although my work has increasingly taken me into economics, social sciences and ethics.

    In the past 15 years I have taught in a number of units within the broad scope of sustainable development. I contributed to the development of new degrees, including the Bachelor of Arts in International Aid and Development.

    My research interests include questions of how government environmental policies can enable and empower community stewardship, and what it takes to safeguard commons, whether local or global. My most recent research project with colleagues at Murdoch University is a partnership between CRS Southern Africa and Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. We are evaluating projects which help smallholder farmers in Zambia and Malawi become more resilient through more beneficial engagement with markets.

    Teaching area

    In recent years I have coordinated units and taught: Introduction to Sustainability, Global & Regional Sustainability; International Aid & Development; Working in Aid; Disasters & Risk Management.

    Research areas

    I am interested in the challenges of sustainable development (particularly in relation to international aid, rural development and natural resource management), as seen from interdisciplinary perspectives. My research interests focus on the role of community-based institutions and interventions. Examples include Landcare and marine and coastal policy. I have attracted small research grants for projects ranging from implications of global warming for Australia’s Aid Program, to the adoption of new legumes in Western Australian farming systems. I contributed to an ACIAR funded project relating to agricultural sustainability in communal land of South Africa’s Eastern Cape.

    Together with Dr Davina Boyd and Dr Rochelle Spenser and researchers in southern Africa, I am investigating innovative approaches to develop capacity of smallholder farmers to link into dynamic markets and value chains.

    I have co-supervised a PhD student examining the role of small-scale renewable energy systems in rural Indonesia and Malaysia.

    Doctoral and masters supervisions

    Sari Murni  PhD 2014 The implementation of microhydro projects in remote villages in developing countries: An interdisciplinary approach. (Co-supervisor)



    • Bennett, J., Ainslie, A., Davis, J., (2013), Contested institutions? Traditional leaders and land access and control in communal areas of Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, Land Use Policy: the international journal covering all aspects of land use, 32, , pages 27 - 38.
    • Murni, S., Whale, J., Urmee, T., Davis, J., Harries, D., (2013), Learning from experience: A survey of existing micro-hydropower projects in Ba'Kelalan, Malaysia, Renewable Energy, 60, , pages 88 - 97.
    • Murni, S., Whale, J., Urmee, T., Davis, J., Harries, D., (2012), The role of micro hydro power systems in remote rural electrification: a case study in the Bawan Valley, Borneo, Procedia Engineering, 49, , pages 189 - 196.
    • Bennett, J., Ainslie, A., Davis, J., (2010), Fenced in: Common property struggles in the management of communal rangelands in central Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, Land Use Policy: the international journal covering all aspects of land use, 27, 2, pages 340 - 350.
    • Davis, J., Hogg, N., (2009), What is hindering the adoption of new annual pasture legumes? Extension requirements to overcome these barriers, Extension Farming Systems Journal, 5, 2, pages 29 - 38.
    • Davis, J., Ainslie, A., Finca, A., (2008), Coming to grips with 'abandoned arable' land in efforts to enhance communal grazing systems in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa, African Journal of Range & Forage Science, 25, 2, pages 55 - 61.
    • Salequzzaman, M., Davis, J., (2003), Environmental Education and Environmental Management in Bangladesh and their Sustainability, Environmental Informatics Archives, 1, , pages 70 - 82.


    • Murni, S., Urmee, T., Whale, J., Davis, J., Harries, D., (2014),The Implementation of Micro Hydro Projects in Remote Villages on the Border of Indonesia and Malaysia: Lessons Learnt,In: International Conference and Utility Exhibition 2014 on Green Energy for Sustainable Development (ICUE 2014).
    • Murni, S., Whale, J., Davis, J., Urmee, T., Harries, D., (2010),Status of Rural Electrification in the 'Heart of Borneo': Role of Micro Hydro Projects,In: Solar2010, the 48th Australian Solar Energy Society (AuSES) Annual Conference (2010).
    • Davis, J., (2006),NGOs and Development in Bangladesh: Making poverty history or making poverty business?,In: Anti-Poverty Academic Conference with International Participation (2006).
    • Davis, J., Stocker, L., (2006),'Adopt a beach': Educational praxis for sustainability,In: 14th Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) Biennial Conference (2006).
    • Davis, J., Devereux, P., Pettitt, B., Marinova, D., (2006),Embracing the "Swamp": A Reflective Pedagogical Approach for Interdisciplinary Practitioners,In: Teaching and Learning Forum (2006).