Helena Clayton

Research Fellow, Economics

Dr Helena Clayton joined Sustainable Farms in February 2021 as part of the economics research team.

Helena grew up in rural NSW and the Canberra region. Her family was involved in farming and a range of other agricultural businesses and she developed a keen interest in the financial management of the family business. This, combined with her connection to rural landscapes, motivated Helena to pursue a research career in agricultural economics.

Helena is passionate about working as part of multidisciplinary teams and in close collaboration with farmers and extension experts. She is committed to bringing together insights derived from ecology, farm production and social sciences to better understand the economics of practice change, in order to achieve multiple benefits at the farm and landscape scales.

Helena’s research at Sustainable Farms will be supported with supervision by David Pannell from the University of Western Australia. The research will focus on evaluating links between land management practices that improve the condition of natural assets, and farm financial performance. The aim is to understand the economic and policy dimensions of practice change in different contexts: when there are “win-win” opportunities for both conservation and farming benefits yet practice change isn’t occurring at a landscape scale, and when net benefits for farming are uncertain but there is significant social value in supporting land management practice change.