Profiles

Saideepa Kumar

UTAS Home Dr Saideepa Kumar

Saideepa Kumar

Lecturer in Agricultural Systems

Room 306 , Life Sciences building

+61 3 6226 6238 (phone)

Saideepa.Kumar@utas.edu.au

Saideepa (Deepa) is a Lecturer in Agricultural systems at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA). Deepa draws on her diverse experience in water management and governance, systems modelling, social research and Information Technology to adopt an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research.

Biography

Prior to joining the University of Tasmania, Deepa worked at Charles Sturt University in Albury, NSW, where she taught surface water and groundwater hydrology and management at the School of Environmental Sciences. For her PhD study, she adopted a systems approach to explore the challenges of integrating ecological knowledge and social criteria for managing environmental water in the Murray-Darling Basin. Funded by the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour award in 2011, Deepa worked at the International Water Management Institute in India, applying models for evaluating conjunctive management of groundwater and surface water in irrigated areas.

Before making a career change into water management and agricultural systems, Deepa worked as a project manager, consultant, systems analyst and programmer on projects involving the implementation of corporate enterprise-wide financial systems for large organisations in Australia and USA. Deepa also trained as a cost and works accountant.

Career summary

Qualifications

PhD, Choosing boundaries for interventions: A study of environmental water management in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, Charles Sturt University, Australia, 2016

Master of Environment, University of Melbourne, Australia, 2011

Bachelor of Commerce, University of Madras, India, 1996

Languages (other than English)

Tamil, Telugu, Hindi

Administrative expertise

Project Management

Teaching

Agricultural systems, Farm Business Management, Water Management, River and Groundwater Hydrology

Teaching expertise

Systems thinking and practice, Farm Business planning and management, Groundwater hydrology and management, River hydrology and geomorphology, Environmental data analysis, Remote sensing for the environment, Development of online teaching material and assessments

View more on Ms Saideepa Kumar in WARP

Expertise

  • Water management and water governance – river and groundwater systems
  • Integrating disciplinary knowledge for natural resource management
  • Modelling for water resource management
  • Qualitative social research
  • Critical Systems Thinking

Research Themes

Aligned closely with the University’s research theme of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, Deepa’s research interests are in water management and water governance in regulated and semi-regulated river catchments. She is currently exploring how the availability of water and data reshapes social interactions in Tasmanian river catchments, and if data networks create opportunities for collaborative governance. Deepa is also involved as a researcher on the Aspirations for Food and Agriculture (TasAgFuture) project, through which TIA seeks to better understand the drivers of change for Tasmanian food producers and processors, and changing needs for research, development and extension.

Collaboration

DELETE research collaboration...

Awards

DELETE REsearch awards...

Current projects

DELETE research current projects

Fields of Research

  • Sustainable agricultural development (300210)
  • Sociology and social studies of science and technology (441007)
  • Agricultural land management (300202)
  • Agricultural hydrology (300201)
  • Natural resource management (410406)
  • Oenology and viticulture (300805)
  • Groundwater hydrology (370703)
  • Applied sociology, program evaluation and social impact assessment (441001)
  • Logistics (350903)
  • Agriculture, land and farm management (300299)
  • Rural sociology (441003)
  • Environmental management (410404)
  • Food sciences (300699)
  • Horticultural crop protection (incl. pests, diseases and weeds) (300804)
  • Information systems (460999)
  • Secondary education (390306)
  • Pollution and contamination (410599)
  • Urban geography (440612)
  • Post harvest horticultural technologies (incl. transportation and storage) (300806)
  • Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation (410102)
  • Agricultural economics (380101)
  • Surface water hydrology (370704)

Research Objectives

  • Other environmental management (189999)
  • Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management (180399)
  • Expanding knowledge in the agricultural, food and veterinary sciences (280101)
  • Other plant production and plant primary products (269999)
  • Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems (180501)
  • Horticultural crops (260599)
  • Expanding knowledge in human society (280123)
  • Waste management services (110501)
  • Ground water quantification, allocation and impact of depletion (180305)
  • Environmental policy, legislation and standards (190299)
  • Wine grapes (260608)
  • Social impacts of climate change and variability (190103)
  • Multimodal transport (279902)
  • Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem) (190101)
  • Environmentally sustainable animal production (100199)
  • Professional development and adult education (160104)
  • Environmentally sustainable plant production (260199)
  • Management, resources and leadership (160204)
  • Other education and training (169999)
  • Mobile technologies and communications (220103)
  • Management of water consumption by plant production (260104)
  • Animal adaptation to climate change (109901)
  • Surface water quantification, allocation and impact of depletion (180308)
  • Other Indigenous (219999)

Publications

Total publications

5

Journal Article

(3 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2021Nikkels MJ, Leith P, Kumar S, Mendham N, Dewulf A, 'The social learning potential of participatory water valuation workshops: A case study in Tasmania, Australia', Environmental Policy and Governance pp. 1-18. ISSN 1756-932X (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1002/eet.1939 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Nikkels MJ; Leith P; Mendham N

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2019Nikkels MJ, Kumar S, Meinke H, 'Adaptive irrigation infrastructure - linking insights from human-water interactions and adaptive pathways', Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 40 pp. 37-42. ISSN 1877-3435 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2019.09.001 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 6Web of Science - 6

Co-authors: Nikkels MJ; Meinke H

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2017Sinclair K, Rawluk A, Kumar S, Curtis A, 'Ways forward for resilience thinking: lessons from the field for those exploring social-ecological systems in agriculture and natural resource management', Ecology and Society, 22, (4) Article 21. ISSN 1708-3087 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.5751/ES-09705-220421 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 13Web of Science - 12

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Contract Report, Consultant's Report

(2 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2019Leith P, Garcia Imhof C, Kumar S, Adhikari R, Baker C, et al., 'TasAgFuture: Final Research Report and Discussion Paper', University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia (2019) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Leith P; Garcia Imhof C; Adhikari R; Baker C; Cumbo B; Evans K

2019Turner G, Vanderbyl T, Kumar S, 'Final Report of the Independent Panel's Review of the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) Water Accounting Framework', Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Australia (2019) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

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Grants & Funding

ERS Small grant 2017: Explore opportunities for collaborative governance in semi-regulated catchments of Tasmania

Funding Summary

Number of grants

13

Total funding

$9,337,316

Projects

Drought Resilience Tasmania - Actionable Knowledge and Solutions for Sustainable Prosperity (2021 - 2024)$8,000,000
Description
Water is a major asset for Tasmania linked to livelihoods, energy production, irrigated and rainfed agriculture, environmental management and conservation. Competing demands forwater intensify during droughts and as hot and dry years increase in number. Wise and fair water management requires a multi-stakeholder partnership to innovate for droughtresilience, optimal water management and self-reliance. Our Hub will enable drought preparedness in Tasmania through collective and co-designed actions that sustain Tasmaniashigh-value, clean, green international brand. We will engage with local knowledge and land stewardship through a deliberate and negotiated process and uphold the rights ofTasmanian Aboriginal people to benefit from innovations they enable. The Hub, for the first time, brings together the major players - farmers, land and water managers, researchers,and indigenous knowledge owners - who, together can reduce the risks associated with drought in Tasmania.
Funding
Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment ($8,000,000)
Scheme
Future Drought Fund
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Evans KJ; Mohammed CL; Kumar S; Field B; Harris R; Jones ME; Anders RJ; Higgins VJ; Bryant M
Period
2021 - 2024
Knowledge governance for social sustainability of irrigation schemes Phase 2 (2021)$4,375
Funding
University of Tasmania ($4,375)
Scheme
null
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Kumar S
Year
2021
Developing a participatory research program to enable knowledge generation, adoption, and successful outcomes of regenerative farming. (2021)$25,000
Description
The short project aims to build on the work undertaken during 2020 to foster and extend long-term trials in regenerative agriculture (RA), developed as collaborations with farmer groups. The program seeks to embed research and learning in Tasmanian on-farm practice through farmer commitment, ownership and promotion. Some of the most innovative farmers in Tasmania are exploring RA options guided by a desire to achieve both farm-level and wider landscape and community-level outcomes. Collaborating with these innovators presents an opportunity for RD&E organisations like TIA to play a useful role in shaping how RA evolves in this state and nationally.
Funding
University of Tasmania ($25,000)
Scheme
null
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Kumar S
Year
2021
JM Roberts Seed Funding for Sustainable Agriculture (2020 - 2021)$40,000
Funding
JM Roberts Charitable Trust ($40,000)
Scheme
Donation - Institutional
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Rose M; Leith PB; Kumar S
Period
2020 - 2021
Enhancing horticultural supply chain traceability and digital promotion of Australian horticultural products in oversea markets (2020 - 2023)$455,000
Description
The project aims to develop an operational cloud-based system with one management application and one end-user application to enhance the traceability of Australian horticultural supply chains and the digital promotion of Australian horticultural products in oversea markets. The system will allow backward and forward tracing of horticultural products along the entire supply chain providing streamlined information extraction for compliance, enhanced food safety, and proof of provenance and assurance for product authenticity for end consumers. With extensive input from all participants from the selected horticultural supply chains and related stakeholders, the digital architectural design of the system will scalability and applicability of the system to include a large number of growers and be adapted to other horticultural products with minimal modification. The end-user will include a function for the digital promotion of Australian horticultural products in oversea markets.
Funding
Department of Agriculture ($455,000)
Scheme
Traceability Grant
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Fei J; Close DC; Cahoon SC; Bonney L; Kumar S
Period
2020 - 2023
Extension Accelerator Program (2020 - 2021)$144,000
Description
The Extension Accelerator program is an action research project that seeks to develop and evaluate extension capabilities in young agricultural professionals in Tasmania.
Funding
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water & Environment ($144,000)
Scheme
Extension Accelerator Program
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Mohammed CL; Kumar S; Richardson E; Hall AF
Period
2020 - 2021
Knowledge governance for social sustainability of irrigation schemes (2020)$3,500
Funding
University of Tasmania ($3,500)
Scheme
null
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Kumar S
Year
2020
Membership of independent panel to assess the health of the Murray Darling Basin Authority's Sustainable Diversion Limits accounting frameworks (2019)$16,545
Description
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) is establishing an independent panel of researchers/consultants to review the health of their compliance framework for Sustainable Diversion Limits. Sustainable Diversion Limits (SDLs) are set by the Basin Plan (2012) to limit the water that can be taken on average by towns, communities, farmers and industries from the Basins surface and groundwater resources, while keeping the rivers and the environment healthy. SDLs will formally commence on 1 July 2019. The MDBA has developed a compliance and reporting framework to account for and manage water use that exceeds SDLs.Between January and June 2019, the independent panel would need to develop criteria for assessment, review the SDL compliance and reporting framework and recommend improvements to be made. Saideepa has been approached by the MDBA to be one of three members in the independent panel.
Funding
Murray-Darling Basin Commission ($16,545)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Kumar S
Year
2019
Principles and institutional requirements for enabling collaborative governance of irrigation schemes in Tasmania (2019)$5,000
Funding
University of Tasmania ($5,000)
Scheme
null
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Kumar S
Year
2019
Identifying opportunities to improve fruit quality in Driscolls Tasmanian supply chains (2018 - 2019)$13,608
Description
Driscolls, the worlds largest distributor of fresh berries, and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), a joint venture between the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and the Tasmanian Government, have been in conversation since 2017 to explore opportunities to collaborate in areas of mutual interest. Following meetings held in the US and in Hobart, supply chain visibility was identified as an area to initiate a collaborative engagement.Driscolls is seeking to improve visibility of key environmental conditions and post-harvest practices that affect fruit quality in their Tasmanian berry supply chains. Fruit picked on Tasmanian farms are transported to retail outlets in mainland Australia through temperature-controlled supply chains. The quality of fruit is highly sensitive to post-harvest practices and changes in environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, humidity and vibration) during transport. At present, Driscolls has developed best management post-harvest practices but lacks visibility of their adoption, or of deviations in optimal environmental conditions, along the supply chain. Mapping environmental data in these supply chains can show Driscolls which specific practices translate into changes in fruit quality.TIA and UTAS have previous research experience in developing supply chain traceability systems, bringing together capabilities in sensing, telemetry, value chain and supply chain analysis, horticulture, food safety and food quality. TIA is keen to develop this research capability further by working in close collaboration with Driscolls to better understand how technological advances in sensing and communications can be leveraged to deliver enhanced value in supply chains.This project is designed as a short trial to develop proof of key principles and build trust between TIA and Driscolls, as a first step towards a productive partnership into the future. Aims of this project:Map Driscolls Tasmanian berry supply chains, including temperature, humidity and potentially vibration (i.e. collect sensor-based data) and identify critical control pointsAudit postharvest handling practices, including harvesting, packing, delivery to cooler, cooling etc. to identify improvement opportunities.
Funding
Driscolls USA ($13,608)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Kumar S; Tamplin ML; Corkrey SR; Kerslake FL
Period
2018 - 2019
Towards Differential Management to Supply More Fruit at Desired Price Point (2018)$24,690
Description
Differential management uses information about production site variability to optimise crop inputs, manage input costs, and increase the likelihood of the crop being suitable for its intended end-use. Such differential management can be valuably informed through experimentation, both on-farm and at scale using the underlying variability of the production system as an experimental tool. This project will investigate the knowledge, skills, attitude, motivation and support wine-grape producers need to readily observe and understand spatial variation in response to the different types of management they want to test. It will explore how such understanding helps them assess the value of differential management, and how that management should be targeted. Grower co-operators will be guided to identify the key factors limiting or driving their desired targets (e.g. fruit composition, yield), set their own site-specific research question and to implement a spatially distributed experiment with a simple and practical trial layout (e.g. strips). This participatory action research will explore the complexity of decision-making across a diverse set of case studies (trials), thresholds of evidence underpinning attitudinal change, and additional tools and expertise a grower might need to make the transition to rigorous and information-rich on-farm trials. Co-operators will use new, user-friendly CSIRO software designed specifically to help them self-generate the evidence they need to justify new management practices. The PhD candidate will also investigate a selected viticultural issue in greater depth at selected sites, and in a way that strengthens the learnings from the grower-led trials. New knowledge and learnings from the trials will be shared through sector-based communications and forums where grower co-operators are willing to share their experiences directly.
Funding
Wine Australia ($24,690)
Scheme
Scholarship
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Evans KJ; Kumar S
Year
2018
A Tasmanian Response to UN System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (2018)$4,983
Funding
University of Tasmania ($4,983)
Scheme
null
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Byrne JA; Tilden J; Harwood A; Kumar S; Yeom SJ
Year
2018
Aspirations, Attitudes & Capacity - Tasmanian Agrifood System (2017 - 2019)$600,615
Description
This is an internal TIA project under the DPIPWE-TIA JVA (C0013208). It has been created on RMDB in order to have the project feature on the WARP for Dr Peat Leith.
Funding
University of Tasmania (TIAR) ($600,615)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Leith PB; Warman R; Garcia Imhof C; Adhikari RP; Evans KJ; Kumar S
Period
2017 - 2019

Research Supervision

Current

1

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDTowards Differential Management in Vine Crops to Supply More Fruit at Desired Price Point2018