Jane Turpie is the deputy director of EPRU. She has a PhD in Behavioural Ecology (1994) and has worked and taught in the applied fields of Conservation Biology and Resource Economics for the past 16 years. Her interests and experience are broad, but tend to have in common her interest in getting to grips with the bigger picture, solving wide-scale and multidisciplinary, integrative problems.
Her resource economics research has concentrated on the valuation of natural resources, ecological-economic modelling, and incentives and policy analysis relating to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. She has carried out a number of contingent valuation, travel cost and resource use surveys. Her research has included economic aspects of protected areas in South Africa, nature-based tourism and tourism values of protected biodiversity, the economic value of coastal resources, the economic contribution of estuaries to South African fisheries, the economic value of fynbos ecosystems and implications of their invasion by alien vegetation, economic impacts of dams on subsistence communities, and the use, sustainability and economic values of wetland and woodland resources in communal lands throughout Southern and Eastern Africa.
She has co-developed ecological-economic models of a fynbos ecosystem, a savanna agro-ecosystem, and a major wetland system in Zambia, and used ecological-economic modelling to integrate multidisciplinary findings regarding conservation practices on commercial farmlands in South Africa. She has also co-developed a methodology for incorporating economic values of aquatic ecosystems in the decision-making process for determination of minimum flow requirements in South African catchment systems, and a model for economic assessment of the Working for Water Project.
Her current research interests include valuation and mapping of ecosystem services, the socio-economic impacts of marine protected areas, integrating economics into conservation planning, and climate change. She has published 42 scientific papers and 7 book chapters and has written more than 130 technical reports.