Dugald Tinch

UTAS Home Dr Dugald Tinch

Dugald Tinch

Lecturer in Resource Economics
Tasmanian School of Business and Economics

Room 222, Centenary Building, Sandy Bay Campus

+61 3 6226 1877 (phone)

How do you put a price on the environment?

Making a real change for the future.

“I’d like to see climate change and the environment fully considered and accounted for in all decisions, whether it’s a government project, or someone concreting over their garden to create a barren space,” says Dr Dugald Tinch, an environmental economist at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics.

With a long-time interest in the interaction between humans and nature, Dr Tinch focuses his research on 'ecosystem services' – the values people derive from the natural environment.

“The problem with the traditional economic approach is that groups that don’t appear in the market don’t have a price, and therefore they’re not adequately provided for,” he explains.

“For example, pollution doesn’t have a proper price associated with it, so if someone is polluting, they don’t have to pay for that, so they tend to over-pollute.”

Dr Tinch’s vision is to develop a research methodology, or ‘toolbox’, to identify these values, so they can be applied to every decision at an individual, community, policy, and government level when it affects the environment.

“For politicians to understand the value of the environment from a policy perspective, it’s not enough to just say, ‘This is really important’. You need to say, ‘I can show you its worth,’” says Dr Tinch.

“Whether it’s the cost of pollution through the damage it’s doing elsewhere in the economy, such as making people sick, or the fact that the pollution is preventing us from developing land for something else, if you start identifying these values, then you can start to get the policy people to pay attention to what’s going on.”

The best way to do this, says Dr Tinch, is to put it in dollar terms. “We’re not saying they’re precise – but we’re saying, let’s consider this in a framework that makes sense to the widest range of people.”

Dr Tinch says that with climate change, the challenge is to identify and place a value on the potentially devastating effects of global warming on various ecosystems and economic capacity, to ensure that policy-makers pay attention.

“It’s a contentious thing to be doing. In the UK, it’s much more accepted in government circles that this is actually relevant. Cost-benefit analysis and environment valuation is much more accepted as standard,” he says.

“I’m really passionate about trying to get this to the point where it’s more accepted in Australia, so we can start considering what the economic impact would be across everything that will be impacted, both market and non-market.”

Dr Tinch’s work often also involves directly identifying what the public wants through public preference surveys.

“That’s the key in driving value – the public getting the value they want from an environment,” he says.

His work runs the full gamut of where people and the environment interact, from agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture, to marine ecology and tourism.

“I’m a multi-disciplinary researcher, I always have been, and I like working with people from various backgrounds and bringing together our different knowledge,” says Dr Tinch. “I’m working with as many people and institutions as I can.”

This year, Dr Tinch will be working with the Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils; the Forestry Practices Authority; and the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).

He frequently works with ecologists, using economic frameworks to inform his work and make it as policy-relevant as possible, which will help inform decisions made by government and industry.

“It’s about being able to sit down and not just speak in jargon, and having a single mind about what you want to do,” he says.

“You need to be open to other ideas, and see how your theories and practices can tie into theirs, so you can make sense of complicated problems.”

Research that makes a difference

Dr Dugald Tinch is a lecturer in Resource Economics at the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics. His recent research has been focussed in the field of ecosystem services, having worked for a number of government departments and NGOs in this field.  He has an expertise on environmental valuation and marine systems. He has recently secured funding relating to Antarctica and Tasmanian tourism.  He is a multidisciplinary researcher who is published in both the economics, policy and ecology literature.


Dugald completed his BA(Hons) in Geography and Economics from the University of Stirling in 1997, his MSc in Environmental Economics and Management from the University of York in 2000 and his PhD in Economic from the University of Stirling in 2009. Before joining UTas in 2014, Dugald was previously employed as part of the Marine Alliance of Science and Technology Scotland (Masts) and the Universities of Stirling and Glasgow.

Career summary


DegreeTitle of ThesisUniversityCountryAwarded
PhDUpland Landscapes: Who Wants What, Why do They Want it and Can They Have it AllUniversity of StirlingUnited kingdom2009
MScThe Value of the Decision to Protect: An Analysis With Case Studies From Lingerbay and JabilukaUniversity of YorkUnited Kingdom2000
BA(Hons)An Analysis of Air Pollution in GlasgowUniversity of StrathclydeUnited Kingdom1997

Languages (other than English)

Survival / pub Russian, smattering of Gaelic and French


Committee associations

Coordinator Economics and Finance Seminar Series and internal workshops in Economics. Member of Centre for Marine Socio-ecology


Resource Economics, Environmental Economics, Energy Economics, Ecological Economics, Micro-Economics, Cost-benefit analysis, Macroeconomics, International Trade, Economics of Journalism

Teaching responsibility

Research Appointments

  • Marine Alliance of Science and Technology – focus on research on the economics of marine and coastal environments.  (5 year fully funded research fellow position)
  • University of Stirling – focus on the economics of upland ecosystems.

Research Invitations

  • Tromso University – plus 5 partner institutions in Norway to provide expert advice on choice experimentation.
  • EU – Marnet – collaboration of 8 EU research institutes identifying socio-economic values of marine environments.
  • Natural England, UK Environment agency and others in relation to environmental valuation.

View more on Dr Dugald Tinch in WARP


Resource Economics, Environmental Economics, Energy Economics, Ecological Economics, Cost-benefit analysis, the Economics of Happiness, Behavioural Economics, Psychological Well-being, discrete choice experiments, random utility models.

Research Themes

Whilst Dugald's research overlaps will all of the research themes of the University it most closely aligns with those of Marine, Antarctic and Maritime and Environment, Resources and Sustainability. Dugald's previous research has covered a range of topics from investigation of sustainability at a country level through identification and valuation of Ecosystem Services for the UK for a range of habitat types (as part of the UK National Ecosystem Assessment – a follow on from the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment). He is currently involved in projects relating to the value of the Antarctic to Australia, costal management in Norway and, as part of the Sense-T project, the valuation of environmental quality to tourists to Tasmania.


Marine Alliance of Science and Technology Scotland – all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes within Scotland.

A range of Norwegian Universities and Research Institutes – project looking at the value of marine and coastal environments and investigating the use of deliberative monetary assessment.

Marnet – pan European project, UK, Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain / Basque Country investigating the economic value of the Atlantic Periphary

Centre for Marine Socio- Economics – UTas

Sense-T – UTas


Current projects

Centre for Marine Socioecology


The value of the Antarctic and Southern Oceans to Australia

Fields of Research

  • Environment and Resource Economics (140205)
  • Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience (150606)
  • Tourism Management (150603)
  • Aquaculture (070401)
  • Environment Policy (160507)
  • Ecosystem Function (050102)
  • Economic Development and Growth (140202)
  • Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment (070402)
  • Natural Resource Management (050209)
  • Fisheries Management (070403)
  • Sociology and Social Studies of Science and Technology (160808)
  • Ecological Economics (149902)
  • Tourism Policy (160513)

Research Objectives

  • Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity (960810)
  • Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments (960506)
  • Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. climate related) (969902)
  • Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Environments (960510)
  • Climate and Climate Change (960399)
  • Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils (961402)
  • Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments (960504)
  • Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation (960699)
  • Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments (960507)
  • Economic Incentives for Environmental Protection (960601)
  • Coastal and Marine Management Policy (960701)
  • Economic Growth (910103)
  • Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Land and Water Management (960901)
  • Tourism Infrastructure Development (900303)
  • Tourism (900399)
  • Water Services and Utilities (900404)
  • Aquaculture Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) (830102)
  • Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments (960502)
  • Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism (900302)
  • Economic Issues in Tourism (900301)
  • Preference, Behaviour and Welfare (910209)
  • Rural Land Policy (960705)
  • Management and Productivity (910499)
  • Environmentally Sustainable Animal Production (839899)
  • Communication (950299)
  • Ecological Economics (919902)
  • Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards (960799)
  • Sustainability Indicators (960609)


Total publications


Journal Article

(13 outputs)
2018Aanesen M, Falk-Andersson J, Vondolia GK, Borch T, Navrud S, et al., 'Valuing coastal recreation and the visual intrusion from commercial activities in Arctic Norway', Ocean and Coastal Management, 153, (1) pp. 157-167. ISSN 0964-5691 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.12.017 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3


2015Oliver DM, Hanley ND, Neirkerk van M, Kay D, Heathwaite AL, et al., 'Molecular tools for bathing water assessment in Europe: Balancing social science research with a rapidly developing environmental science evidence-base', Ambio, 45, (1) pp. 52-62. ISSN 0044-7447 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s13280-015-0698-9 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5


2014Dallimer M, Tinch DR, Hanley N, Irvine KN, Rouquette JR, et al., 'Quantifying Preferences for the Natural World Using Monetary and Nonmonetary Assessments of Value', Conservation Biology, 28, (2) pp. 404-413. ISSN 0888-8892 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12215 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 22Web of Science - 18


2014Foley NS, Corless R, Escapa M, Fahy F, Fernandez-Macho J, et al., 'Developing a Comparative Marine Socio-Economic Framework for the European Atlantic Area', Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics, 1 Article 3. ISSN 2373-8456 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.15351/2373-8456.1007 [eCite] [Details]


2014LaRiviere J, Czajkowski M, Hanley N, Aanesen M, Falk-Petersen J, et al., 'The value of familiarity: Effects of knowledge and objective signals on willingness to pay for a public good', Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 68, (2) pp. 376-389. ISSN 0095-0696 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2014.07.004 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 42Web of Science - 41


2014Tinch DR, Colombo S, Hanley N, 'The impacts of elicitation context on stated preferences for agricultural landscapes', Journal of Agricultural Economics, 66, (1) pp. 87-107. ISSN 0021-857X (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/1477-9552.12080 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4


2013Hynes S, Tinch DR, Hanley N, 'Valuing improvements to coastal waters using choice experiments: An application to revisions of the EU Bathing Waters Directive', Marine Policy, 40 pp. 137-144. ISSN 0308-597X (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2012.12.035 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 32Web of Science - 34


2009Dallimer M, Tinch DR, Acs S, Hanley N, Southall H, et al., '100 years of change: examining agricultural trends, habitat change and stakeholder perceptions through the 20th century', Journal of Applied Ecology, 46 pp. 334-343. ISSN 0021-8901 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01619.x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 38Web of Science - 35


2009Hanley N, Tinch DR, Angelopoulos K, Davies A, Barbier E, et al., 'What drives long-run biodiversity change? New insights from combining economics, palaeoecology and environmental history', Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 57, (1) pp. 5-20. ISSN 0095-0696 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2008.03.005 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 14Web of Science - 11


2008Hanley N, Davies A, Angelopoulos A, Hamilton A, Ross A, et al., 'Economic determinants of biodiversity change over a 400 year period in the Scottish Uplands', Journal of Applied Ecology, 45, (6) pp. 1557-1565. ISSN 0021-8901 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01570.x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 31Web of Science - 29


2006Hanley N, Colombo S, Tinch DR, Black A, Aftab A, 'Estimating the benefits of water quality improvements under the Water Framework Directive: are benefits transferable?', European Review of Agricultural Economics, 33, (3) pp. 391-413. ISSN 0165-1587 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/eurrag/jbl019 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 72Web of Science - 73


2006Pezzey J, Hanley N, Turner K, Tinch DR, 'Comparing augmented sustainability measures for Scotland: Is there a mismatch?', Ecological Economics, 57, (1) pp. 60-74. ISSN 0921-8009 (2006) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2005.03.006 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 25Web of Science - 23


2006Tinch R, Tinch DR, 'The Economics of Climate Change', Developments in Economics, 22 ISSN 0951-1407 (2006) [Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Chapter in Book

(4 outputs)
2017Eccleston RG, Hardy A, Tinch DR, 'Case study: Tasmania driving innovation in the visitor economy', Improving service sector productivity: the economic imperative, CEDA, CEDA (ed), Australia, pp. 112-116. ISBN 0858013134 (2017) [Other Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Eccleston RG; Hardy A

2011Tinch DR, Colombo S, Hanley N, 'Decision versus Experiences Utility: An Investigation Using the Choice Experiment Method', The International Handbook On Non-Market Environmental Valuation, Edward Elgar Publishing, Jeff Bennett (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 1-10. ISBN 978 1 84844 425 6 (2011) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]


2009Tinch DR, Hanley N, Dallimer M, Posen P, Acs S, et al., 'Historical Perspectives on the Development of Multifunctional Landscapes: A Case study from the UK Uplands', Multifunctional Rural Land Management: Economics and Policies, Routledge, F Brouwer and M van der Heide (ed), United Kingdom ISBN 978-1-84407-577-5 (2009) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

2004Hanley N, Tinch DR, 'Cost Benefit and Climate Change', The Economics of Climate Change, Routledge, A D, Owen and N, Hanley (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 167-174. (2004) [Research Book Chapter]

[eCite] [Details]

Grants & Funding

Dugald's most recent research grant - The Economic Impact of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Sector on the Tasmanian Economy (2015), University of Tasmania: Grant-Cross-Disciplinary Incentive, $7000 - is a scoping study with the aim of establishing a justifiable methodology to properly evaluate the contribution of this sector to the economy of Tasmania.

His Sense-T Sensing Tourist Travel Project will use real-time sensor-generated data to answer key questions about where different cohorts of tourists travel and how they make spontaneous travel decisions. These unprecedented insights into tourists' travel behaviour and decision-making will create value for the tourism industry and the Tasmanian community, and will help to ensure the tourism sector continues to grow.

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Consumer demand, the value chain, and communication strategies for promoting soil stewardship (2019 - 2020)$458,786
The project will initially investigate what consumers know about soil stewardship and the demand which currently and may potentially exist for its use in agricultural value chains. Specific research unpacking consumers notion of environmentally friendly production may open up opportunities for better informing and subsequently promoting the information flow to consumers about soil management practices. The project will then develop and trial a range of different communication materials to educate and promote soil stewardship to consumers. The project will also engage with value chain stakeholders to better understand their potential demand for information about consumer willingness to pay, perceived obstacles for its usage, and specific informational requirements for rewarding farmers for quality practices. The results from this initial body of research will then be directly employed in subsequent quantitative projects assessing consumers willingness to pay for products which promote soil stewardship.
CRC for High Performance Soils Ltd ($458,786)
Administered By
CRC for High Performance Soils Ltd
Research Team
Morrison M; Saliba A; Nayeem T; Small F; Godfrey S; Oczkowski E; Hatton MacDonald DA; Tinch DR; Grimmer EL
2019 - 2020
Socio-economic effectiveness testing of existing environmental provisions of the Forest Practices Code (2018 - 2020)$150,000
The Forest Practices Code has environmental provisions that extend across flora, fauna and soil and water. The socio-economic effectiveness of many of the provisions within the code has rarely been tested. The aim of this project is to conduct rigorous socio-economic effectiveness testing of existing environmental provisions of the code.
Forest Practices Authority ($150,000)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Hunt MA; Tinch DR
2018 - 2020
Activating Markets to Create Incentives for Improved Soil Management: Literature Scoping Study (2018)$47,350
An extended literature on the economics of soil management
CRC for High Performance Soils Ltd ($47,350)
Administered By
CRC for High Performance Soils Ltd
Research Team
Morrison M; Saliba A; Pawsey N; Nayeem T; Small F; Wong A; Dwivedi A; Godfrey S; Oczkowski E; Cockfield G; Shrestha U; Hatton MacDonald DA; Grimmer MR; Levitt CJ; Tisdell JG; Tinch DR; Agbola F; Wills B; Cook S
1.02 - Hedonic Pricing of On-farm Soil Management - Phase 1 (2018)$60,000
Hedonic pricing involves relating the price of a good, in this case property prices, to its features using regression analysis. This provides insight into the value of the features. Our goal is to understand how soil management practices influence property prices, so farmers can better understand the pay-off from investments in improving soil management.
CRC for High Performance Soils Ltd ($60,000)
Administered By
CRC for High Performance Soils Ltd
Research Team
Morrison M; Oczkowski E; Hatton MacDonald DA; Tinch DR; Agbola F
Tourist Tracking Technology Phase 2 Development (2017 - 2018)$210,000
Over the summer of 2015-2016 the innovative and ambitious UTAS Tourist Tracking project successfully tracked the movement of 472 tourists within Tasmania for 4-14 days. The goals of the Phase 2 research program are:1.To prove that techniques developed during our pilot study can be adapted to a completely app-based platform (iOS and Android) suitable for use on visitors personal phones. This will be critical for scaling the method and reducing unit cost;2.To develop and prove incentives to recruit a diverse and significant cohort of visitors to the state on a sustainable basis; and3.To develop a dynamic and user friendly industry/government interface to ensure that end user participants have timely access to key data.
Department of State Growth (Tas) ($190,000); Federal Hotels ($20,000)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Hardy A; Aryal J; Eccleston RG; Booth KI; Tinch DR; Wong TL; Robards BJ
2017 - 2018
Sense-T Stage 2: Sensing Tourist Travel ('Tourist tracking project') (2015 - 2016)$499,534
This project will use real-time sensor-generated data to address two significant industry-driven research questions, which are designed to provide unprecedented insights into tourists travel behaviour and decision making. Understanding where different cohorts of tourists travel and how they make spontaneous travel decisions will create value for the industry and the Tasmanian community by:Informing more nuanced and effective marketing strategies;Informing tourism related infrastructure and investment decisions, facilitating industry and employment growth;Informing strategies designed to increase the duration of (and spending during) visits; andEnhancing the tourist experience by providing more timely and relevant travel information.
University of Tasmania ($499,534)
Grant - Institutional
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Hardy A; Eccleston RG; Robards BJ; Wong TL; Aryal J; Tinch DR; Booth KI; Hyslop SE
2015 - 2016
The Economic Impact of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Sector on the Tasmanian Economy (2015)$7,000
The project is a scoping study with the aim of establishing a justifiable methodology to properly evaluate the contribution of this sector to the economy of Tasmania.
University of Tasmania ($7,000)
Grant-Cross-Disciplinary Incentive
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Tinch DR; Dungey MH; Haward MG; Press AJ

Research Supervision




PhDUsing Integrated Indicators in a Multi-Objective Linear Programming for Ecosystem Based Fisheries Management2016
PhDMapping Marine Ecosystem Services to the Total Economic Value Framework2016
PhDThe Use of Incentives, Information and Context in the Formulation of Economic Values for the Environment2017
PhDRelative Values of the Coastal and Marine Environment: Ecosystem service valuation in multi-use governance contexts2017
PhDThe Business Case for Restoration on Farms2018
PhDEconomic Valuation of Semi-Arid Range Land Ecosystems in Kenya: Case of Kajiado County Rangelands2019