Dr Luciana Porfirio

Visiting Fellow

Luciana is currently an OCE postdoctoral fellow at the CSIRO Climate Science Centre, Oceans & Atmosphere and a visiting fellow at ANU. She is investigating the socio-economic impacts of climate change on agricultural production and the subsequent impact on global markets. She uses the CSIRO Global Integrated Assessment Model to project the economy to the future following different carbon emissions pathways. Her work provides a framework for understanding, for example, the influence of climate on agriculture and the economy and for informing judgments about the value of different options for dealing with climate change. Luciana's work is relevant in the context of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2006 Luciana moved to Australia where she worked as research assistant of Professor Brendan Mackey at the Australian National University.  The same year she obtained a PhD scholarship from the ANU to develop spatial models for the quantification of ecosystem services across the Australian Capital Region under the supervision of Professors Will Steffen, Mike Hutchinson and Brendan Mackey at the Fenner School of Environment & Society.

In 2011 Luciana became a postdoctoral fellow in the Landscapes and Policy hub, as part of the Australian National Environmental Research Program with University of Tasmania. Luciana was based at the Australian National University and was part of the Bioregional Futures team that applyed a range of tools and techniques to study characteristics of landscape ecosystems and the patterns of diversity under scenarios of natural and human induced change.

Research interests

  • PhD thesis: Spatial models for the quantification of ecosystem services across the Australian Capital Region  (2013)
  • Human impact on ecological process
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Spatial ecological models
  • Spatial statistics
  • Climate change
  • Interdisciplinary research

Current project

I am working with the CSIRO Integrated Assessment Model to identify a set of socio-economic mechanisms to help achieve future global food demand under the pressures of climate and economic change.

Past projects

National Environmental Research Program (NERP) - Landscapes and Policy Hub (LaP)

Aim: To develop tools, techniques and policy pathways to integrate biodiversity into regional planning.Techniques will be developed to analyse existing regional scale environmental, economic and social datasets and combine this with fine scale regional climate modelling to develop plausible trajectories for areas of high natural values and major threatening processes.

Case study regions

The Tasmanian Midlands: Biophysical research will occur over the whole of Tasmania while the integrated socio-ecological assessment will be carried out within a subset centred on the Northern Midlands bioregion. The Local Government Areas that encompass the three bioregions that include the greater midlands landscapes (Northern Slopes, Northern Midlands and South East) have a total area of 2.4M ha.

The Australian Alps: The Local Government Areas (plus the ACT) that include parts of the Australian Alps bioregion, total area 8.8M ha. Biophysical research will occur over the whole study area while social, economic and institutional research will be carried out within a subset to be determined.

For more information, please visit http://www.nerplandscapes.edu.au/

Major outcomes from ANU WildCountry Research and Policy Hub

  • Analysis and comparison of the state of the world’s tropical savannas, in context of the publication: Woinarski J, Mackey B, Nix H, Traill B (2007) The nature of Northern Australia: natural values, ecological processes and future prospects, ANU E Press, Canberra.
  • Analysis and comparison of the state of the Great Western Woodlands in WA, Australia, among other wooded vegetation in similar climatic regions of the world.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing technician at University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Spatial and temporal assessment of forage production in grasslands and pastures of the Pampa region (Argentina) using satellite imagery.
  • Wheat crop status analysis using remote sensing in southern Buenos Aires (Argentina).
  • Spatial and temporal patterns of the soybean expansion in northern Argentina and its relationship with environmental and economic factors
  • Development of a system for land use/land cover mapping in the Buenos Aires province (Argentina).
  • Vegetation structure and functioning in northeast (Argentina).
  • Landscape impacts of cropland expansion in the “Oscuro” ranch, Corrientes (Argentina).
  • Ecosystem functional analysis of the salt marshes of Doñana National Park (Spain).

For more publications, please see Google Scholar.

April 2014

Guest lecturer in Biodiversity and Landscape Ecology, ANU. Convener Dr. Ceridwen Fraser

Jul 2012, 2013, 2014

Tutor in Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation, ANU. Convener: Dr. James Pittock

Jul to Nov 2008

Tutor in third year class at ANU: Course of Environmental Biogeography. Professor Brendan Mackey.

Jul to Nov 2008

Graduate Teaching Program: a program of teaching support and development for PhD student tutors and demonstrators at the ANU. Supervisor: Trevor Vickers.


Lecturer: Department of Ecology, School of Agronomy Univ. of Buenos Aires. Seminar on “Landscape structure characterization in the rural – urban gradient in the City of Montevideo (Uruguay)”.


Lecturer: Department of Geography, School of Architecture, Univ. of Buenos Aires. Seminar on “Planning and design in a social conflict area in the Villa Pueyrredón Train Station, Buenos Aires (Argentina)”.


Teaching Assistant: Department of Landscape Design and Planning, School of Architecture, Univ. of Buenos Aires. Taught “Introduction to landscape planning” to undergraduates. Advisor: G. Nízzero.