Dr Marguerite Renouf

Senior Research Fellow

Advanced Water Management Centre
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 334 61228


Marguerite Renouf BSc(Hons)/BA, PhD (Env Man) UQ is a Research Fellow at the School of Chemical Engineering's Water-Energy-Carbon Research Group (www.chemeng.uq.edu.au/water-energy-carbon).

She has worked in environmental research at UQ for 20 years, with a particular interest in the environmental evaluation of production systems and urban systems using environmental life cycle assessment (LCA), urban metabolism evaluation and eco-efficiency analysis. She is interested how we can produce and consume with less drain on the environment.

Since completing a PhD in 2011, she has driven a stream of research that evaluates the environmental performance of agri-based product supply chains and products (bio-fuels, bio-materials, food, beverages) using LCA. She has collaborated with industries and researchers in Australia and overseas to develop LCA tools for industry to support the identification of more environmentally-friendly production practices and processes.

Prior to this, her research was concerned with eco-efficiency in manufacturing industries (food processing, metal industries, retail and tourism sectors) and was a long-term contributor to UQ’s Working Group for Cleaner Production (now operating as the Eco-Efficienc Group), and its Director for three years (2009-2012).

Currently, Marguerite is a lead researcher with the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, develop methods and metrics for quantifiying the water water-sensitive performance of Australian cities, using urban metabolism approaches. In this work she collaborates cloesely with urban planners, water manager and architects.

Research Interests

  • Environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) methods for agri-food and bio-production
    Refining methodologies for characterising and quantifying the environmental impacts of agriculture in 'life cycle assessment' (LCA). This is needed to ensure an accurate representation of the environmental impacts agriculture, for use in studies of food and bio-products. The environmental impacts of most interest are water quality impacts (eutrophication, eco-toxicity), water resource depletion as well as global warming potential.
  • Environmental sustainability of food systems
    Quantifying the environmental performance of food products and food systems using the 'life cycle assessment' (LCA) method. This is used to understand priority areas for improving the environmental sustainability of agriculture, food processing and distribution and retail.
  • Water metabolism of cities
    Developing and applying evaluation methods that quantify how efficiently water is used and managed in urban areas (cities, precincts, catchments). This is used to help urban planners and water managers make strategic and innovative decisions about how water systems are desgined, particularly in fast-growing cities.

Research Impacts

Marguerite's PhD research used life cycle assessment (LCA) to test the environmental benefits of using sugarcane as feedstock for bio-energy, bio-fuels and bio-materials. This work has helped understand the consequences of agriculture's changing role as a provider of energy and materials in addition to food and fibre. For example, the Queensland Government policy on bio-fuels drew on Dr Renouf’s research and data about sugarcane ethanol.

An extension of this was industry-funded research to develop the CaneLCA eco-efficiency tool for susugarcane producers (available at eshop.uniquest.com.au). It has been used by researchers and agricultural extension personnel to inform about more sustainable sugarcane growing practices. For example, a sugar-industry project used the tool to validate the environmental benefits of improved sugarcane growing practices to protect water quality in the Great Barrier Reef. A tool of viticulture (VitLCA) has also been developed in collaboration with an agricultural University in France, which is being used to teach vineyard apprentices about sustainable viticulture practices.

Marguerite has influenced LCA developments in Australia. She has been an active member of the Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS), including a Board Member (2013-2017), Chair of the Australian Life Cycle Inventory (AusLCI) Database Agriculture Working Group (2008-2014) and the ALCAS Impact Assessment Committee (2013-ongoing), and on the conference organising committee (2013, 2015).

Her past contributions to UQ’s Working Group for Cleaner Production (1997 - 2012) helped support the Queensland Government's promotion of sustainable practices to Queensland manufacturing sectors (food processing, foundries, metal finishing, marine construction and general manufacturing). This included high-quality eco-efficiency information resources about (www.ecoefficiency.com.au), which continue to be a primary source of technical guidance for implementing eco-efficiency in these industries.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science/Arts, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


View all Grants


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Renouf, Marguerite A. (2016). Greenhouse gas abatement from sugarcane bioenergy, biofuels, and biomaterials. In Ian M. O'Hara and Sagadevan G. Mundree (Ed.), Sugarcane-based biofuels and bioproducts (pp. 333-362) Hoboken NJ, United States: Wiley Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781118719862.ch13

  • Kershaw, Will and Renouf, Marguerite (2013). Sustainable production. In Gianna Moscardo, Geoffrey Lamberton, Geoffrey Wells, Wayne Fallon, Phillip Lawn, Anna Rowe, Jacquelyn Humphrey, Retha Wiesner, Brad Pettitt, Don Clifton, Marguerite Renouf and Will Kershaw (Ed.), Sustainability in Australian business : principles and practice (pp. 315-342) Milton, QLD, Australia: John Wiley and Sons Australia.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Note for students: Dr Marguerite Renouf is not currently available to take on new students.

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor