Associate Professor David Adamson


From Apples to Zoonosis.

David is an agricultural economist who specialises in decision-making under risk and uncertainty. David has extensive experience in modelling economic production systems (irrigation, livestock, cropping, etc) to explore policy and strategic research issues.

He has applied these skills to protect capital (economic, social, cultural, and environmental) from issues including, but not limited to, biosecurity, water resources and climate change.

David works with multidisciplinary teams around the world. He holds an honorary position at the University of Liverpool, UK dealing with one-health economics.

He has been published in leading journals, including Nature Sustainability, Global Environmental Change, Water Resource Research and Land Economics. His extensive consulting experience includes working for the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE), USDA, The Uruguayan Government, and The Murray-Darling Basin Authority in Australia.

University responsibilities

  • Associate Professor in International Agriculture
  • Teaching in the UK and China
  • PhD Research supervision

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Australasian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society

External activities

  • PhD External Examiner
  • Research evaluation reviewer for UKRI, ARC (Australia), CONICYT (Chile)
  • Endeavour fellow, Australia (2015)
  • ARC DECRA Fellow, Australia (2016-2020)
  • International Giner de los Ríos Program Fellowship, Universidad de Alcalá, Spain (2019).
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Biosecurity, One-Health
  • Trade, Risk and Uncertainty
  • Climate Change

Research Methods.



  1. Loch, A., Croft, M., Adamson, D. & Giancaspro, M. (2024) Assessing effective deterrence of theft in transboundary water systems, Nature Water, 2(4)

  2. Dionisio Pérez-Blanco, C., Loch, A., Mejino-López, J., Gil-García, L., Adamson, D., Saiz-Santiago, P., & Antonio Ortega, J. (2024). Abatement and transaction costs of water reallocation. Journal of Hydrology, 635, 131119.

  3. Dumbrell, N. P., Wheeler, S. A., Zuo, A., & Adamson, D. (2024). Comparing Australian public and farmer views on agricultural land use and management practices for sustainability. Ecological Economics, 219, 108149.

  4. Gilbert, W., Adamson, D., Donachie, D., Hamilton, K., & Rushton, J. (2023). A Cost–Benefit Analysis of Preparing National Veterinary Services for Transboundary Animal Disease Emergencies. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 2023, 1765243.

  5. Adamson, D. & Loch, A. 2023, Overcoming deterministic limits to robustness tests of decision-making given incomplete information: The state contingent analysis approach, Water Economics & Policy, Doi: 10.1142/S2382624X22400112

  6. Loch, A. & Adamson, D. 2023, Editorial – Sustainable water policy must deal with risk and uncertainty, Water Economics & Policy, Doi: 10.1142/S2382624X22020027

  7. Dumbrell, N.P., Wheeler, S., Zuo, A., Adamson, D. 2022. Public willingness to make trade-offs in the development of a hydrogen industry in Australia. Energy Policy, 165, 112987. Doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112987

  8. Svi,K, Adamson, D. Griffith, G. 2021, Profitability of Cashew Nut Processing in Cambodia, Australasian Agribusiness Perspectives, 24:282-310, ISSN: 2209-6612

  9. Pérez-Blanco, C.D., Loch, A., Ward, F., Perry, C., Adamson, D., 2021. Agricultural water saving through technologies: a zombie idea. Environmental Research Letters., Doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/ac2fe0.

  10. Adamson, D & Loch, A. 2021, 'Reducing the risk of water efficiency capital exposure to future scarcity shocks', Land Economics, 97(3), Doi: 10.3368/wple.97.3.100119-0143R

  11. Dumbrell, N.P., Adamson, D., Zuo, A., Wheeler, S.A., 2021. How do natural resource dependent firms gain and lose a social licence? Global Environmental Change 70, Doi: 102355, Doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102355

  12. Adamson, D. & Loch, A. 2021, Book Review: Dead in the water: A very angry book about our greatest environmental catastrophe. The death of the Murray-Darling Basin, by Richard Beasley, 2021, 296 pp, ISBN: 9781760878450, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 65(2) pp 291-317, Doi: 10.1111/1467-8489.12428?af=R

  13. Loch, A., Auricht, C., Adamson, D., Mateo, L., 2021 Markets, mis-direction and motives: A factual analysis of hoarding and speculation in southern Murray–Darling Basin water markets. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 65(2), pp. 291-317. Doi: 10.1111/1467-8489.12419

  14. Perry, B., Rich, K.M., Rojas, H., Romero, J., Adamson, D., Bervejillo, J.E., Fernandez, F., Pereira, A., Pérez, L., Reich, F., Sarno, R., Vitale, E., Stanham, F., Rushton, J. 2020, Integrating the technical, risk management and economic implications of animal disease control to advise policy change: the example of foot-and-mouth disease control in Uruguay. EcoHealth. Doi: 10.1007/s10393-020-01489-6

  15. Adamson, D., Gilbert, W., Hamilton, K, Donachie, D. and Rushton, J. 2020, ‘Preparing for animal health emergencies – consideration for economic evaluation’, OIE Revue Scientifique et Technique, Vol. 39 (2), pp 625-635, Doi: 10.20506/rst.39.2.3112.

  16. Loch, A., Pérez-Blanco, C.D., Carmody, E., Felbab-Brown, V., Adamson, D., Seidl, C., 2020. Grand theft water and the calculus of compliance. Nature Sustainability, Doi: 10.1038/s41893-020-0589-3

  17. Dumbrell, N.P., Adamson, D., Wheeler, S.A., 2020. Is social licence a response to government and market failures? Evidence from the literature. Resources Policy 69, 101827, Doi: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2020.101827

  18. Loch, A, Adamson, D & Dumbrell, NP 2020, 'The Fifth Stage in Water Management: Policy Lessons for Water Governance', Water Resources Research, vol. 56, no. 5, p. e2019WR026714, Doi: 10.1029/2019WR026714

  19. Mallawaarachchi T., Auricht C., Loch A., Adamson D. & Quiggin J. 2020, – Water allocation in Australia’s Murray–Darling Basin: Managing change under heightened uncertainty. Economic Analysis and Policy, vol. 66, 2020/01/13/, pp. 345-369. Doi: 10.1016/j.eap.2020.01.001.

  20. Adamson, D, Gilbert, W, Rothman-Ostrow, P & Rushton, J 2020, 'The pros and cons of animal health and harmonisation', in C Wollf & A Hamilton (eds), Ensuring safe trade in animals and animal products, Scientific and Technical Review of the Office International des Epizooties (Paris), vol. 39 (1), pp. 173-181. Doi: 10.20506/rst.39.1.3070

  21. Loch A., Adamson D. & Auricht C., 2020, (g)etting to the point: The problem with water risk and uncertainty. Water Resources and Economics, 32, 100154. Doi: 10.1016/j.wre.2019.100154.

  22. Rosanowski, S.M., Carpenter, T.E., Adamson, D., Rogers, C.W., Pearce, P., Burns, M., Cogger, N., 2019. An economic analysis of a contingency model utilising vaccination for the control of equine influenza in a non-endemic country. PLOS ONE 14, e0210885. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210885

  23. Horne, A., O’Donnell, Loch, A, Adamson, D., Hart, B., and Freebairn, J., 2018 Environmental water efficiency: maximising benefits and minimising costs of environmental water use and management, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 5(4), e1285, Doi: 10.1002/wat2.1285

  24. Jackson, E.L., Adamson, D., 2018. The live sheep export supply chain: when operational and societal complexities collide. International Journal of Business and Systems Research 12 (2), pp. 181-196. Doi: 10.1504/IJBSR.2018.090697

  25. Gomez-Gomez, C, Pérez-Blanco C. Adamson, D. Loch, A., 2018, ‘Why do Economic Incentives Fail? The role of Water trading and Pricing at a River Basin Scale?’ Water Economics & Policy, 4(1), pp 1750004, Doi: 10.1142/S2382624X17500047

  26. Adamson, D. & Loch, A. 2018. ‘Achieving environmental flows where buyback is constrained’. The Australian Journal of Agricultural & Resource Economics, 62(1), pp 83-102, Doi: 10.1111/1467-8489.12231/epdf

  27. Adamson, D., Loch, A, & Schwabe, K. 2017, ‘Adaptation responses to increasing drought frequency’, The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 61 (3), pp. 385-403, Doi: 10.1111/1467-8489.12214

  28. Tisdell, C.A. & Adamson, D. 2017, ‘The Importance of fixed costs in animal health systems’, OIE Scientific and Technical Review, 36 (1), pp 49-56, Doi: 10.20506/rst.36.1.2608

  29. Adamson, D. 2016, ‘Pandora’s Box and the Level Playing Field: Food Safety and Regulations’, Farm Policy Journal, 13 (3), pp23-32. (weblink)

  30. Loch, A & Adamson, D. 2015, 'Drought and the rebound effect: a Murray–Darling Basin example', Natural Hazards, 79 (3), pp 1429-1449, Doi: 10.1007/s11069-015-1705-y

  31. Loch, A., Adamson, D. & Mallawaarachchi, T. 2014, 'Role of hydrology and economics in water management policy under increasing uncertainty', Journal of Hydrology, 518 (Part A), pp.5-16. Doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.10.049

  32. Adamson, D. & Loch, A. 2014, 'Possible negative sustainability impacts from ‘gold-plating’ infrastructure', Agricultural Water Management, 145 (Nov), pp 134-44. Doi: 10.1016/j.agwat.2013.09.022

  33. Zalucki, M. P., Shabbir, A., Silva, R., Adamson, D., Shu-Sheng, L. & Furlong, M. J. 2012, ‘Estimating the Economic Cost of One of the World's Major Insect Pests, Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae): Just How Long is a Piece of String?’ Journal of Economic Entomology, 105, pp. 1115-1129. Doi: 10.1603/EC12107

  34. Schrobback, P., Adamson, D. & Quiggin, J. 2011, 'Turning Water into Carbon: Carbon Sequestration and Water Flow in the Murray–Darling Basin', Environmental and Resource Economics, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 23-45.  Doi: 10.1007/s10640-010-9422-1

  35. Quiggin, J., Adamson, D., Chambers, S. & Schrobback, P. 2010, ‘Climate change, mitigation and adaptation: the case of the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia’, Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, vol. 58, no. 4, pp. 531-54. Doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7976.2010.01200.x

  36. Zalucki, M.P., Adamson, D. & Furlong, M.J. 2009, 'The future of IPM: whither or wither?', The Australian Journal of Entomology, vol. 48, pp. 85-96, Doi: 10.1111/j.1440-6055.2009.00690.x

  37. Adamson, D., Mallawaarachchi, T. & Quiggin, J. 2009, 'Declining inflows and more frequent droughts in the Murray–Darling Basin: climate change, impacts and adaptation', The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 53, pp. 345–366, Doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8489.2009.00451.x

  38. Adamson, D. Mallawaarachchi, T. & Quiggin, J. 2007, ‘Water use and salinity in the Murray-Darling Basin: a state-contingent model’, The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 51(3), pp.263-282, Doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8489.2007.00380.x

  39. Norton, G. A., Adamson, D., Aitken, L. G., Bilston, L. J., Foster, J., Frank, B. & Harper, J. K. 1999, ‘Facilitating IPM: The Role of Participatory Workshops’, International Journal of Pest Management, 45 (2), pp. 85–90, Doi: 10.1080/096708799227860


  1. Quiggin J., Adamson, D., & Quiggin, D. (eds.), 2014, Carbon Pricing: Early Experience and Future Prospects, Edward-Elgar, Cheltenham, Glos, GBR.

Book Chapters

  1. Bhaduri, A., Dionisio Pérez-Blanco, C., Rey, D., Iftekhar, S., Kaushik, A., Escriva-Bou, A., Calatrava, J., Adamson, D., Palomo-Hierro, S., Jones, K., Asbjornsen, H., Altamirano, M.A., Lopez-Gunn, E., Polyakov, M., Motlagh, M., Bekchanov, M., 2021. Economics of Water Security, in: Bogardi, J.J., Gupta, J., Nandalal, K.D.W., Salamé, L., van Nooijen, R.R.P., Kumar, N., Tingsanchali, T., Bhaduri, A., Kolechkina, A.G. (Eds.), Handbook of Water Resources Management: Discourses, Concepts and Examples. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 273-327.

  2. Adamson D, Auricht C, Loch A 2021, The Golden Gift of Groundwater in Australia’s MDB, In The Role of Sound Groundwater Resources Management and Governance, to Achieve Water Security. Editors: UNESCO, UNESCRO i_WSSM . 3: 133-149. UNESCO

  3. Loch, A., Perez-Blanco, C.D., Rey, D., O’Donnell, E., Adamson, D., 2018. ‘Regulatory and Economic Instruments: A Useful Partnership to Achieve Collective Objectives? in: Holley, C., Sinclair, D. (Eds.), Reforming Water Law and Governance: From Stagnation to Innovation in Australia. Springer Singapore, Singapore, pp. 123-139.

  4. Pérez-Blanco, C., Adamson, D. & Loch, A. 2018. ‘Economic Resilience’, Chapter 10 in Sven Fuchs and Thomas Thaler (eds), Vulnerability and Resilience to Natural Hazards, Cambridge University Press, UK, pp. 214-236.

  5. Tisdell, C. A., Adamson, D. & Auld, B. 2017. ‘The Economics of Alternative Pest Management Strategies: Basic Assessment and Environmental Uncertainties’, Chapter 3 in Coll. M. and E. Wajnberg (eds), Pest Management within the Environment: Challenges for Agronomists, Ecologists, Economists. John Wiley & Sons, pp. 55-76.

  6. Adamson, D., Zalucki, M.P. & Furlong, M.J. 2014, 'Pesticides and IPM: Practice, Practicality and Policy in Australia', Ch 16 in R Pershin & D Pimentel (eds), Integrated Pest Management- Experiences with Implementation, Springer, vol. 4, pp 387-411.

  7. Loch, A., Wheeler, S.A. & Adamson, D. 2014, 'People versus place in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin: Balancing economic, social ecosystem and community outcomes', Ch 12 in H Milber & V Squires (eds), River Basin Management in the twenty-first century: People and Place, CRC Press, pp. 275-303.

  8. Mallawaarachchi, T., Adamson, D., Chambers, S., Schrobback, P. & Quiggin, J. 2012, 'Variability and uncertainty: implications for water policy impact analysis', Ch 5 in J. Quiggin, T. Mallawaarachchi & S. Chambers (eds), Water Policy Reform: Lessons in One Sustainability From the Murray Darling Basin, Edward Elgar Cheltenham, Glos, GBR pp. 82-100.

  9. Mallawaarachchi, T., McClintock, A. & Adamson, D. 2012, 'Investment as an adaptation response to water scarcity', Ch 6 in J. Quiggin, T. Mallawaarachchi & S. Chambers (eds), Water Policy Reform: Lessons in Sustainability From the Murray Darling Basin, Edward Elgar Cheltenham, Glos, GBR pp. 101-28.

  10. Adamson, D. 2010, 'Quarantine and Food Safety Issues in a TPPA', Ch 8 in J. Kelsey (ed.), No Ordinary Deal: Unmasking Free Trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal, Bridget Williams Books Ltd., Wellington, pp. 124-35.

  11. Adamson, D. 1997, ‘Benefit cost analysis for biological control programs’, In: M. Julien, & G. White (eds.) Biological Control of Weeds: theory and practical application, Canberra: ACIAR Monograph Series.

Peer Reviewed Conference Papers

  1. Adamson, D. 2012, ‘The Basin Plan, the Buy-Back and Climate Change: Determining an Optimal Water Entitlements Portfolio’, Water and Climate: Policy Implementation Challenges, Practical Responses to Climate Change National Conference, National Convention Centre, Canberra, 1-3 May.

  2. Adamson, D., Schrobback, P. & Quiggin, J. 2008, ‘Options for managing salinity in the Murray-Darling Basin under reduced rainfall’, 2nd International Salinity Forum: Salinity, water and society—global issues, Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia.

  3. Zalucki, M. P., Rochester, W. A., Norton, G. A., Maelzer, D., Fitt, G. P. & Adamson, D. 1988, ‘IPM and Heliothis: what we have to do to make it work’. In: Zalucki, M. P., Drew, R. A. I. & White, G. G., eds. Proceedings of the 6th Australasian Applied Entomology Conference, 1998 Brisbane. University of Queensland Press, pp. 107-114.

  4. Adamson, D. 1995, ‘Pest control and sustainable agriculture; an oxymoron?’, The Inaugural Ecological Economics Conference, Coffs Harbour NSW.