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Thilak Mallawaarachchi

Honorary Associate Professor, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, The University of Queensland

Worked as a senior economist at ABARES, concurrently with UQ, conducting policy analysis on climate adaptation, water policy reform, land use change, food and agricultural policy in general.

I earned a Bachelor in Agricultural sciences from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in 1979. Also completed a Master in Agricultural Development Economics at ANU (1983-1985) and a PhD in Resource Economics at the James Cook University (1997-2000), under the supervision of Prof John Quiggin.

My focus in research has been to use economic modelling and farm case studies to understand the sources of market failures in natural resource use, impediments to improving agricultural productivity, farming systems and how to improve rural economies through good public policy. Through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research I have worked with developing country researchers in examining ways to improve agricultural productivity in smallholder farming systems. Knowledge is transferable only when the context is better understood.


  • –present
    Principal Research Fellow in Natural resource economics, water and food policy, University of Queensland


  • 2001 
    James Cook University, Ph D
  • 1986 
    Australian National University, MADE
  • 1979 
    University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, Bsc Agriculture

Professional Memberships

  • Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society
  • European Association of Environmental and Resource Economics
  • International Association of Agricultural Economists
  • Sri Lanka Agricultural Economics Association


AARES PhD award, 2001, President-Elect AARES