Professor Oscar Cacho

Professor - UNE Business School

Oscar Cacho

Phone: +61 2 6773 3215



Oscar started his professional life as a marine biologist and later became an economist. His research interests centre on the application of economics and biology (bioeconomics) to tackle problems of sustainability in agriculture and natural resources. His recent work has been in two major areas: the role of carbon markets to address climate change and the economics of biosecurity to protect native ecosystems.

Oscar has been a member of a Technical Advisory Group on Control of Invasive Species in the Galapagos Islands and a visiting expert at the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome. He has applied his interdisciplinary expertise to address a variety of problems in nature conservation, fisheries, aquaculture, grazing systems, invasive species management, climate policy and sustainable agriculture both in Australia and internationally.


BSc (UAM, Mexico), MSc (Auburn, USA), PhD (Auburn, USA)

Teaching Areas

Bioeconomics; farm and resource management; agricultural risk analysis; natural resource economics; quantitative methods applied to economics; applied production and price analysis; applied computer programming; business decision making.

Research Interests

Agricultural and resource economics; environmental economics; biosecurity economics; climate economics and policy; land-use change and forestry; biodiversity conservation; economics of fisheries and aquaculture.

Recent research activities

To date (June 2015) Oscar has 97 publications (see Publications for details), with several more in the pipeline. He has an h index of 26 in Google Scholar and 18 in Scopus. Oscar has obtained over $2.4 Million in research funds as an academic at UNE. His research is interdisciplinary in nature and in recent times he has been involved in projects on reduced deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) in Indonesia; Climate-Smart Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa; and surveillance and control of invasive species in Australia and New Zealand, with funding from a variety of sources (see Research Grants for details).

Oscar has collaborated with international agencies (including FAO, ASB, CIFOR, ICRAF, ICLARM), universities (including ANU, The University of Melbourne, Monash University, McGill University), and state and Commonwealth government agencies (including the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, ABARES, Biosecurity Queensland, NSW DPI and VIC DPI).

Research Projects

Research Grants ((PDF, 71.03 KB))

Research Interests

Research Supervision Experience

PhD Students ((PDF, 70.72 KB))

Invitations to Seminars and Workshops

Invitations ((PDF, 44.71 KB))


Climate Change and Carbon

Henderson B., Cacho O., Thornton P., van Wijk M., Herrero M. 2018. Climate change impacts and options for mixed smallholder farmers in Burkina Faso. Agricultural Systems. 167: 195-205.

Henderson, B., Golub, A., Pambudi, D., Hertel, T., Godde, C., Herrero, M., Cacho, O. and Gerber, P. 2017. The power and pain of market-based carbon policies: a global application to greenhouse gases from ruminant livestock production. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.

Cacho, O.J., Lipper, L. and Moss, J. 2013. Transaction costs of carbon offset projects: a comparative study. Ecological Economics. 88: 232-243.

Cacho, O.J., Hean, R. and Karanja, F. 2008. Accounting for carbon sequestration and its implications for land-use change and forestry projects. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources. 3 (077): 1-17.

Alford, A.R. , Hegarty, R.S., Parnell, P.F., Cacho,  O.J., Herd, R.M. and Griffith, G.R. 2006. The impact of breeding to reduce residual feed intake on enteric methane emissions from the Australian beef industry. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture. 46: 813–820.

Cacho, O.J., Marshall, G.R. and Milne, M. 2005. Transaction and abatement costs of carbon-sink projects in developing countries, Environment and Development Economics 10(5): 597–614.

Wise, R.M. and Cacho, O.J. 2005. Tree-crop interactions and their environmental and economic implications in the presence of carbon-sequestration payments. Environmental Modelling and Software. 20 (9): 1139-1148.

Cacho, O.J., Wise, R. and MacDicken, K. 2004 Carbon monitoring costs and their effect on incentives to sequester carbon through forestry. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 9 (3): 273 – 293.

Cacho, O.J., Hean, R.L. and Wise, R. 2003. Carbon-accounting methods and reforestation incentives. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 47: 153-179.

Environmental Economics

Bateman, L., Yi, D, Cacho, O.J., Stringer, R. 2018. Payments for environmental services to
strengthen ecosystem connectivity in an agricultural landscape. Environment and Development Economics. 1-20.

Cacho, O.J., Milne, S., Gonzalez, R. and Tacconi, L. 2014. Benefits and costs of deforestation by smallholders: Implications for forest conservation and climate policy. Ecological Economics. 107: 321–332.

Mewton, R. and Cacho, O.J. 2011. Green Power voluntary purchases: Price elasticity and policy analysis. Energy Policy. 39: 377–385.

Spring, D.A., Cacho, O.J. MacNally, R. and Sabbadin, R. 2007. Pre-emptive conservation versus 'fire-fighting': a decision theoretic approach. Biological Conservation. 136: 531-540.

Cacho, O.J. 2001 An analysis of externalities in agroforestry systems in the presence of land degradation. Ecological Economics. 39: 131-143.

Greiner, R. and Cacho, O.J. 2001. On the efficient use of a catchment’s land and water resources: dryland salinization in Australia. Ecological Economics. 38: 441-458.

Agricultural Economics

Tighe K., Piggott N., Cacho O., Mounter S., Villano R.2019. Testing for pre-committed quantities of Australian meat demand. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 63:247-264.

Behrendt, K., Cacho, O., Scott, J.M and Jones, R. 2016. Using Seasonal Stochastic Dynamic Programming to identify optimal management decisions that achieve maximum economic sustainable yields from grasslands under climate risk. Agricultural Systems. 145: 13-23.

Power, B., Cacho, O.J. 2014. Identifying risk-efficient strategies using stochastic frontier analysis and simulation: an application to irrigated cropping in Australia. Agricultural Systems. 125: 23-32.

Scott, F., Cacho, O. and Scott, J.M. 2013. Economic risk analysis of different livestock management systems. Animal Production Science. 53:788-795.

Farquharson, R., Cacho, O.J., Mullen, J. and Schwenke, G.D. 2008. An economic approach to soil fertility management for wheat production in north-eastern Australia. Agricultural Economics. 38:181-192.

Jones R., Cacho, O.J. and Sinden, J. 2006. The importance of seasonal variability and tactical responses to risk on estimating the economic benefits of integrated weed management. Agricultural Economics, 35:245-256.

Cacho, O.J and Simmons, P. 1999. A genetic algorithm approach to farm investment. Australian Journal of Agricultural  and Resource Economics, 43(3):305-322.

Cacho, O.J., Kinnucan, H. and Hatch, U. 1991. Optimal control of fish growth. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 73:174-183.

Invasive Species and Biosecurity

Hester, S.M. and Cacho, O.J. 2017. The contribution of passive surveillance to invasive species management. Biological Invasions. 19:737–748.

Spring, D. and Cacho, O.J. 2015. Estimating eradication probabilities and trade-offs for decision analysis in invasive species eradication programs. Biological Invasions.17: 191-204.

Panetta, F. D. and Cacho, O.J. 2014. Designing weed containment strategies: An approach based on feasibilities of eradication and containment. Diversity and Distributions. 20: 555-566.

Hester, S.M., Cacho, O.J., Panetta, F.D. and Hauser, C.E. 2013. Economic aspects of weed risk management. Diversity and Distributions. 19 (5-6): 580-589.

Hester, S.M and Cacho, O.J. 2012. Optimisation of search strategies in managing biological invasions: a simulation approach. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment. 18(1): 181-199.

Panetta, F. D. and Cacho, O.J. 2012. Beyond fecundity control: which weeds are most containable? Journal of Applied Ecology.  49: 311-321.

Cacho, O.J. and Hester S.M. 2011. Deriving efficient frontiers for effort allocation in the management of invasive species. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 55: 72-89.

Cacho, O.J., Hester, S., Spring, D. and Mac Nally, R. 2010. Allocating surveillance effort in the management of invasive species: a spatially-explicit model. Environmental Modelling and Software. 25: 444-454.

Leung, B., Cacho, O. and Spring, D. 2010. Searching for non-indigenous species: rapidly delimiting the invasion boundary. Diversity and Distributions. 16 (3): 451-460.

Cacho, O.J., Wise, R.M., Hester, S.A. and Sinden, J.A. 2008. Bioeconomic modeling for control of weeds in natural environments. Ecological Economics. 65: 559-568.

Cacho, O.J., Hester, S. and Spring, D. 2007. Applying search theory to determine the feasibility of eradicating an invasive population in natural environments. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics. 51: 425–443.

Cacho, O.J. 2006. Bioeconomics of invasive species in aquatic ecosystems. Aquaculture Economics and Management. 10(2):107-124.

Cacho, O.J., Spring, D., Pheloung, P. and Hester, S. 2006. Evaluating the feasibility of eradicating an invasion. Biological Invasions. 8 (4): 903-917.

Odom, D.I.S., Cacho, O.J., Sinden, J.A. and Griffith, G.R. 2003. Policies for the management of weeds in natural ecosystems: the case of scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius, L.) in an Australian national park. Ecological Economics. 44: 119-135.

Full Publication List

Clinical Skills and Experience

Consultancy Interests

Oscar’s consultancy activities are aligned with his research interests. They have focused on practical approaches to interdisciplinary problems.

Consultancy ((PDF, 53.38 KB))

Related Links


Weed Eradication Feasibility Analysis by Oscar Cacho and Paul Pheloung

This program is written in Visual Basic for Applications and runs within MS Excel. The model combines population dynamics and search theory to calculate the probability that a weed invasion will be eradicated based on the amount of time invested in searching for it (search effort).

This is work in progress. It is envisaged that the software will continue to evolve as it is tested by experts and feedback is received. The original concept for this software was developed by Paul Pheloung (from the Australian Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry) in connection with a project on the Galapagos Islands. The software evolved through the incorporation of search theory and matrix population models.

See Manual (PDF, 982.89 KB)

Click here to download software (ZIP, 5844.71 KB)


The links to these software packages are provided for the dissemination of scientific information. However, they could include technical or other inaccuracies. The author and his affiliated institution disclaim all liability for any loss, damages or costs incurred by any person or organisation as a result of relying on these software packages.

Further Information

Complete CV ((PDF, 338.37 KB))