Ian Nuberg

Dr Ian Nuberg

Senior Lecturer

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


I identify myself as a 'generalist' in that I work across a range of disciplines within agriculture and natural resource management. However my focus is primarily agroforestry and then agricultural extension, particularly in the context of developing countries. My work uses both biophysical and social science methods. I have also published in the areas of tree water use, horticultural plant pathology, bioenergy, tree genetics and climate change.

Here is a brief pictorial description of our research in Nepal and Papua New Guinea undertaken for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

NEPAL

Agroforest and Community near Dungkharka village
Agroforests and Community Forest, Dhungkarka village, Kavre District

 

 

The focus of our current research in Nepal is to improve food security and livelihoods through agroforestry and community forest. In Mid-hills of Nepal farmers' livelihoods depend on tree resources both on private farm land (agroforestry) and community forests. 

Here is our EnLiFT project website

 Here is a story "Growing Hope: Australian overseas aid empowering farmers in Nepal" on ABC TVs program Landline. Our project was visited along with two other ACIAR projects in Nepal.  

Here is a related article on  EnLiFT: How Australia is helping Nepalese people rebuild after devastating 2015 earthquake

Under utilised land
Under utilised land near Namlo village, Lamjung District

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are also concerned with finding practical and profitable alternatives for land that is being under-utilised.  Land is being abandonned because of labour shortages arising from young rural males opting for employment in India or the Gulf countries

 

Namla livestock
Stall-fed livestock and composted manure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Livestock are an important component of the mid-hills farming system, both for subsistence consumption and income generation. The major source of livestock nutrition comes from tree fodder from agroforestry trees or community forests.  Note the tree in the distance, how it has been heavily lopped for the fodder.

Fodder and farm yard manure
On left tree fodder brought into the farm, on right farm yard manure taken out to the fields (photo Conor Ashleigh)

 

 

 

 

 

The major source of crop nutrition in the mid-hills is farm yard manure from the cattle, buffalo and goats fed on the tree fodders.  So the agroforest and community forest trees are indirectly a major contributor to human nutrition and household income.

Silviculture trial
Silvicultural trial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 In the community forests we are engaged with demonstation trials of different silvicultural options to better match forest management to community needs. Some options are, for example, to open up plantations and plant fodder trees and high-value crops such as cardamon 

 

 

Af business training
Agroforestry business training workshop, Kathmandu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our work also involves training in business skills so that farmers and community forest user groups can make the most out of the new commercial opportunities opening up to them.

 

 

 

 

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

The work in Papua New Guinea similarly aimed at improving rural livelihoods by better understanding the fuelwood market, finding the best trees to grow for fuelwood, and facilitating charcoal producer-vendor groups.

FUELWOOD SURVEY
Israel Bewang on the fuelwood survey

 

We undertook a comprehensive survey of domestic and commerical fuelwood use and sales in Port Moresby, Mt Hagen and Lae, and the Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands, Morobe and Chimbu provinces.  We interview 3,964 domestic users, 157 fuelwood sellers, 66 commercial / industrial users, and monitored the daily use of 36 households.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fuelwood survey chart
Fuelwood flows and dimensions

We learnt a lot about the fuelwood economy in PNG that will inform public energy policy.  You can read about it here

fuelwood trial
Harvesting short-rotation coppicing fuelwood at Pugamp, near Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province

Ten fuelwood species were evaluated in short-rotation coppicing (SRC) systems in replicated field sites around Mt Hagen and Port Moresby. They were grown at 2 spacings and evaluated against locally used, but non-coppicing species (e.g. Casuarina oligodon in highlands). Some candidates were also grown in farmer-managed woodlots and alley-farming systems. The evaluation included: growth measurements after 2 years; coppice vigor; burning characteristics as firewood and as charcoal; and consumer and market acceptance.   You can read about it here.

fuelwood poster
Poster of results from household survey

The initial market acceptance of this 2-year old firewood was not strong because it looks so different from what people normally buy.  Fortunately some of the better growing species were well accepted as firewood after people stated trying it.  Nevertheless, we realised farmers would be better off value-adding this wood by converting it into charcoal. So we facilitated the establishment of charcoal producer-vendor groups.  This involved first understanding what group business structures would work best for rural people in PNG. It turnd out that a very different business structure emerged in the coastal city of Lae, than in the highlands city of Mt Hagen.  This reflects the very different cultural settings in the two regions.  
You can read about it here

charcoal vendor
Charcoal producer-vendor in Lae market. He also makes and sells the charcoal stoves

 

 

 

charcoal wantok group structure

 

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    1994 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
    1989 - 1990 Contract researcher on Macadamias Wollongbar Agricultural Research Centre
    1986 - 1986 Agricultural volunteer Society for Education, Village Action and Improvement (SEVAI), Tamil Nadu, India
    1981 - 1985 Technical Officer (plant pathology) NSW Department of Agriculture
    1980 - 1981 Co-manager of dairy farm "Bunji-lohan"
    1978 - 1979 Full time Tutor in Botany University of New South Wales
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    University of Sydney Australia BScAgric (Hons)
    University of Sydney Australia MScAgric
    University of Melbourne Australia PhD
  • Research Interests

Funding over past 10 years

Source

Project

funds

period

ACIAR Enhancing livelihoods from improved forest management in Nepal $2.7 million 2018-2023

ACIAR

Enhancing livelihoods and food security from agroforestry and community forestry in Nepal

$2.5 million

2013-2018

ACIAR

Facilitating the establishment of charcoal producer groups in Papua New Guinea

$109,000

2012-2013

ACIAR

Promoting diverse fuelwood production systems in Papua New Guinea

$923,000

2008-2011

CRC-Salinity

Salinity Management training Project

$234,000

2005-2007

CRC-Salinity

National Extension Leader

$272,500

2005-2007

 

Within the Agriculture program I lead the Level 3 core courses

  • Agricultural Resource Management (3rd year, Semester 2)
  • Professional Skills in Agricultural Science (3rd year, Semester 2)

and contribute as lecturer and tutor in the Level 1 core courses

  • Agricultural Systems 1A  (1st yr, Semester 1)
  • Agricultural Systems 1B (1st yr, Semester 2

I also coordinate the Agriculture Internship Program within the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, and contribute to 'Integrated Catchment Management' delivered from the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 Co-Supervisor Small Holder Farmers' Attitudes About Increasing Household Income From Districts Agricultural Priority Products Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Manithaythip Thephavanh
    2017 Principal Supervisor Examining the Efficiency and Voracity of Big Data in Precision Horticultural Production Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Christopher Sam De Ieso
    2017 Principal Supervisor Farmer's Motivation and Biophysical Impact of Active Agroforestry Using Cordia Africana and Albizia Coriaria on Coffee-Bean Intercrops in Mt. Elgon Region Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Joel Buyinza
    2014 Principal Supervisor Hydrological Impact of Community Forrest in the Mid -Hills Catchment of Kavre District, Nepal Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Manoj Badu
    2014 Principal Supervisor Socio-Economic Dimensions in Scaling up of Innovations among Smallholder Farmers in Malawi Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Penjani Stanley Kamanga
    2014 Principal Supervisor Silviculture in Community Foresty, Practise, Trend and Policy Issues Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Lila Puri
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2014 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Evaluating the importance of fodder trees to soil nutrition of farming systems in the mid-hills region of Nepal Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Hiroshi Endo
    2014 - 2018 Principal Supervisor The Utilisation of Conservation Agriculture in Eastern and Southern Africa: What, Why and How Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Brendan Brown
    2013 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Adaptation to Climate Change: The Attitude and Behaviour of Rice Farmers in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Hoa Le Dang
    2010 - 2013 Co-Supervisor Soil - Plant Interactions and Establishment of Woody Perennials on Hostile Soils Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Md Gausul Azam
    2007 - 2012 Co-Supervisor An Interdisciplinary Study of Maternal Productivity in Beef Cattle Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Stephen Lee
    2006 - 2011 Principal Supervisor Impact Evaluation of Agricultural Research in Papua, Indonesia Using the Sustainable Livelihood Framework Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Sukendra Mahalaya
    2006 - 2012 Principal Supervisor Agronomy of Irrigated Tea in Low Elevation Growing Areas of Sri Lanka Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Shyamantha Bandara
    2005 - 2010 Principal Supervisor A Critical History of Change in Agricultural Extension and Considerations for Future Policies and Programs Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Katherine Boon
    2004 - 2006 Principal Supervisor Potential to Intergrate High-value Native Tree Species into the Upland Farming Systems of Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam Master of Agricultural Science Master Full Time Mr Binh Da Tran
    2004 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Acacia saligna as a Sustainable Agroforestry Crop for Southern Australia: A Genetic Assessment Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Melissa Ann Millar
    2003 - 2004 Principal Supervisor INVESTIGATION OF THE USE OF OATS IN ANNUAL MEDIC PASTURES Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Grant Neville Roberts
    2002 - 2002 Co-Supervisor A PROTOTYPE COMBINE FOR GRAIN HARVESTING BASED ON INTERNAL PNEUMATIC TRANSFER Master of Applied Science Master Full Time Mr Ian Gilbert Ridgway
    2002 - 2007 Principal Supervisor Managing Overabundant and Mobile Wildlife: Social and Institutional Dimensions of Kangaroo Harvest in South Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Dana Thomsen
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83130527
  • Email: ian.nuberg@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: Waite
  • Building: Waite, floor GN
  • Room: GN 10a
  • Org Unit: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

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