Dr Stuart Whitten

Group Leader - Economics and Future Pathways


Dr Whitten is an environmental and institutional economist with CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences. His particular specialisation is the design and delivery markets for ecosystem services including auctions and tenders, biodiversity offsets and cap and trade approaches. He has worked on the design and implementation of environmental markets for the Australian Government (Reef Tender, Environmental Stewardship Program, Forest Conservation Fund) and for several regional natural resource management groups. At a policy level his economic expertise has supported the national wildlife corridor plan for Australia and the economics of improving water quality entering the Great Barrier Reef.

Dr Whitten's current research focus is on understanding institutions and policy needs to support landscape scale biodiversity and on land management and Great Barrier Reef water quality. He has coordinated several workshops and symposia: including an international workshop on 'Conservation Tenders in Developed and Developing Countries - Status Quo, Challenges and Prospects' with Tobias Wunscher in Germany, and 'Improving water quality into the GBR: From costs to public policy', 'New Horizons in Market Based Instruments’ and ‘Market-based Tools for Environmental Management’; and published widely in a variety of forums.

Other Interests

German (conversational level)
Life Member - Ginninderra Rats Basketball Club

Science and Professional Areas

  • Environmental and Resource Economics
  • Market Based Instruments including auctions and tenders, offsets and cap and trade markets
  • Incentives and Institutions
  • Non-market valuation

Fields of Research

  • Environment and Resource Economics (140205)
  • Ecological Economics (149902)

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD EconomicsUniversity of New South Wales2003
  • M. Phil.University of Cambridge1995
  • B.Ag.Ec.University of New England (AU)1993

Professional Experiences

  • Economist, Team Leader and Stream LeaderCSIRO2013 - 2014
  • Economist / Institutional AnalystCSIRO2002 - 2012
  • EconomistActewAGL1996 - 1998
  • Research OfficerAustralian Bureau of Statistics1993 - 1996

Achievements and Awards

  • OECD Cooperative Research Program FellowshipETH Zurich2012
  • CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems 'Leadership' AwardCSIRO2005
  • Visiting FellowUNSW at ADFA2003 - 2006
  • AARES 'Travelling North' FellowshipAARES2004
  • PERC Graduate FellowshipPERC, Bozeman Montana2000
  • Land and Water Australia Travel FellowshipLWA2000
  • University MedalUniversity of New England1993

Other Career Highlights

  • Selected for CSIRO Experienced Leader Program2014
  • Conservation Tenders in Developed and Developing Countries (Co-organiser - Jakobsberg Germany)2013
  • Improving Water Quality in the Great Barrier Reef: From costs to public policy (Organiser - Brisbane)2013
  • New Horizons in Market-Based Instruments (Organiser - Canberra)2005
  • Market-based tools for environmental management: 6th Annual AARES Symposium (Chair organising committee - Canberra)2003


  • Reef Rescue - Integrated assessment of BMP cost-effectiveness and barriers to landholder adoption and landholders2011 - 2013
  • Reef Trust Tender - Wet Tropics - Design and Implementation Support2014
  • Conservation value metric for the environmental stewardship multiple ecological communities project 2010 - 2011
  • Measuring investments – principles and protocols for best-practice MBI metrics in NRM 2008
  • Nest Egg outcome auction design and trial 2007 - 2008
  • Tradable Recharge Credits in Coleambally Irrigation area 2003 - 2005
  • How does an adaptation lens change the way we invest in landscapes for biodiversity?2013 - 2016
  • Economic risk assessment of resistance management strategies for BT cotton 2014 - 2016

Contact information


  • +61 2 6246 4359

Postal address:

GPO BOX 1700