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Charles Perrings
Ph.D., London, 1976

SHESC Themes: Societies and Their Natural Environments; Global Dynamics and Regional Interactions

Field specializations: ecological economics, environmental economics, human environment interaction, resource economics

Regional focus: International


About Research
My research interests in environmental, resource and ecological economics include the modelling of dynamical ecological-economic systems, the management of environmental public goods under uncertainty, and the environmental implications of economic development. My applied research focuses on the economics of biodiversity change, freshwater and marine resources.

Biodiversity: Research in this area covers the identification of the causes of biodiversity change in different ecological and economic systems including both the environmental drivers, such as climate change or sea level rise, and social factors. The latter comprises the market failures associated with the public good nature of biodiversity conservation, and the lack of well-defined rights to biological resources. Systems that are being studied in this way include agroecosystems (arable and livestock), lakes and semi-arid rangelands. A second strand is the valuation of the consequences of biodiversity change in terms of the stock of genetic information, the impact on the flow of economically valuable goods and services, and the capacity of the system to withstand stresses and shocks (its resilience). A third is the development of decision-models to deal with problems, like biodiversity, that are characterised by sensitivity to initial conditions, path dependence, abrupt if not discontinuous change at threshold values of selected biological resources, fundamental uncertainty and irreversibility. A fourth is the development of strategies, policies and instruments to address the problem of biodiversity loss at multiple spatial and temporal scales. This deals with the general issue of governance and the creation of markets, as well as the role of particular instruments.

Water: Research includes the development of models of land-water interactions. For example, research on Lake Victoria fisheries investigates the effect of changes in land use on the flow of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) into the lake via wetlands at the lake margins. The underlying chemistry, hydrology and ecology are captured in two linked models: a watershed model and a lake ecosystem model. The lake model captures the influence of nutrient loadings on phytoplankton biomass (measured as chlorophyll A concentrations). This is input into an Ecopath simulation model which generates biomass estimates for the commercial fishes The biomass estimates are then used in fishery-policy analysis through a multispecies Gordon-Schaefer fisheries model.

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About Teaching
At ASU I will be developing a program for the proposed School of Sustainability Science. Recent taught courses include environmental economics, ecological-economic modelling, natural resource economics, economics of environmental policy and economics of development and growth.

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Select Publications
Simonit S. and C. Perrings (2005)
Indirect economic indicators in bioeconomic fishery models: agricultural price indicators and fish stocks in Lake Victoria. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 62(3): 483-492. (Download pdf)

Simonit S. F. Cattaneo and C. Perrings (2005)
Modelling the hydrological externalities of agriculture in wetlands: the case of rice in Esteros del Iberà, Argentina. Ecological Modeling 186(1): 123-141. (Download pdf)

Perrings C., K. Dehnen-Schmutz, J. Touza and M. Williamson (2005)
How to manage biological invasions under globalization, Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20(5): 212-215.

Perrings C. (2005)
Mitigation and adaptation strategies for the control of biological invasions, Ecological Economics 52 (3): 315-325. (Download pdf)

Perrings C. and B.H. Walker (2004)
Conservation in the optimal use of rangelands. Ecological Economics 49: 119-128.

Dehnen-Schmutz K., C. Perrings and M. Williamson (2004)
Controlling Rhododendron ponticum in the British Isles: an economic analysis, Journal of Environmental Management 70: 323-332.

Perrings C.(2003)
The economics of abrupt climate change, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A 361: 2043-2059.

di Falco S. and C. Perrings (2003)
Crop genetic diversity, productivity and stability of agroecosystems: a theoretical and empirical investigation, Scottish Journal of Political Economy 50(2): 207-216.

Horan R.D., C. Perrings, F. Lupi and E. Bulte (2002)
Biological pollution prevention strategies under ignorance: the case of invasive species, American Journal of Agricultural Economics 84(5).

Perrings, C. (2002)
Biological invasions in aquatic systems: the economic problem. Bulletin of Marine Science 70(2): 541-552.

Brock W.A., K.-G. Mäler and C. Perrings (2002)
Ancient DNA from a Pre-Columbian Amerindian population. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 92:463-471.

Perrings, C., M. Williamson, E. B. Barbier, D. Delfino, S. Dalmazzone, J. Shogren, P. Simmons, and A. Watkinson (2002)
Biological invasion risks and the public good: an economic perspective. Conservation Ecology 6(1): 1. (See online version)

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Related Links
Diversitas: an international program of biodiversity science
International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE)
Global Invasive Species Program (GISP)

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Contact: Charles Perrings