John Rolfe is a resource economist who is Professor of Regional Economic Development at CQUniversity at Rockhampton, Australia. He has undergraduate degrees from the University of Queensland in commerce and economics, and received his PhD from the University of New South Wales in 1999. He was appointed as a Fellow of the Australian Social Sciences Academy in 2017.
John has a lot of practical experience in agriculture, as he ran his own beef cattle operation with his family in Central Queensland for 25 years, before relocating to Rockhampton and becoming a full-time academic in 2005. With up to 4,500 cattle in the enterprise, the on-going fluctuations in weather, markets and interest rates provided many challenges and lots of rich experiences.
John’s research interests are diverse, but his major focus is on environment issues, particularly those relating to minimising the impacts of agriculture on the Great Barrier Reef. He has also done a lot of work on agricultural productivity, recreation, regional development, environmental scorecards and economic impact assessment in regional areas. He specialises in non-market valuation and benefit transfer techniques.
John sits on a number of committees for government, many relating to the Great Barrier Reef. He was one of the leaders of the 2013 and 2017 Great Barrier Reef Science Consensus Statements. He is the Independent Chair of the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership Independent Science Panel, which is responsible for an annual monitoring and reporting program in the Harbour across environmental, social, cultural and economic dimensions.
John has had a long involvement with AARES. He was the Queensland branch councillor for many years, and has been part of the AJARE Editorial team since 2008, including being Editor-in-Chief from 2014 to 2016. He has chaired the LOC for two AARES conferences, the Cairns conference in 2009 and the Brisbane Conference in 2017.