Economics and effectiveness of wetland restoration responses in urban environment

Making urban wetlands functional


This project aims to examine the effectiveness of wetland restoration responses from multiple perspectives – social, cultural, economic and environmental. In order to assess the effectiveness of restoration responses, it is important to understand the indirect and direct drivers of wetland degradation, and associated degradation processes.

An understanding of these drivers and processes will help to estimate the costs of wetland degradation, which can then be compared with the estimated benefits of the restoration, either based on market or non-market valuation methods.

Wetland restoration involves a range of restoration activities. To what extent are these activities economically feasible, environmentally desirable, and socially and culturally acceptable? Answering these questions is important for both wetland restoration policy and practice.

In this project, potential student will consider a range of urban wetlands at different levels of restoration in Western Australia, examine the drivers and processes involved through surveys, and develop and apply a multi-dimensional restoration effectiveness framework to evaluate restoration responses.


Project goals:

  • The main goal of this project is to assess the economics of wetland restoration and the effectiveness of restoration responses from multiple perspectives

As part of this project the successful PhD applicant will:

  • Select representative case studies of urban wetlands.
  • Document the restoration activities that have been accomplished in those wetlands
  • Develop a multi-dimensional framework to evaluate the effectiveness of such activities
  • Estimate costs and benefits (or values) of restoring degraded wetlands
  • Assess the effectiveness of restoration responses from multiple perspectives, either based on benchmark criteria or based on peoples’ preferences obtained through social surveys on different assessment aspects

Suggested readings


Research team leader: Dr Ram Pandit

I am an environmental and resource economist, with broad interests in economics of environmental management and conservation; I am in the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment at UWA. My research is focused on the economics of land degradation, threatened species conservation, protected area management, urban forestry/greenspace, and ecosystem services. I am interested in valuing biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban and rural environments.


Funding and Collaborations 


    • New collaborators are welcome, particularly those who are working on wetland restoration in WA. Please feel free to get in touch with me.



How to Apply 

Check criteria
  • To be accepted into the Doctor of Philosophy, an applicant must demonstrate they have sufficient background experience in independent supervised research to successfully complete, and provide evidence of English language proficiency
  • Requirements specific to this project - Familiarity with survey design and implementation would be a plus
Submit enquiry to research team leader 
  • Contact the research team leader by submitting an Expression of Interest form via the button below
  • After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, contact to proceed with your application


Domestic students

All domestic students may apply for Research Training Program and University Postgraduate Awards (UPA) scholarships

International students

A range of scholarships are available from international organisations and governments. The full list, organised by country, is available on the Future Students website.

In addition, all international students may apply for International Research Training Program scholarships.

Indigenous students
Indigenous students are encouraged to apply for Indigenous Postgraduate Research Supplementary Scholarships.
Forrest Foundation scholarships
All international and Australian students who wish to study towards the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at The University of Western Australia may apply for Forrest Scholarships.

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