Affiliated Faculty

Danielle Mendes Thame Denny

Danielle Mendes Thame Denny is a Lawyer (OAB/SP) Researcher at the Center for Carbon Research in Tropical Agriculture, University of São Paulo (USP) Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture (Esalq) Piracicaba, Brazil. With specializations in Tax Law at Pontificy University of São Paulo, Economic Diplomacy University of Campinas, Master in Contemporary Communication Casper Libero Faculty, and PhD in International Environmental Law at Catholic University of Santos. She has experience in carbon sequestration in tropical agriculture, with a focus on law, public policy, diplomacy, international relations and international environmental law. Her research aims to promote nature-based solutions, environmental governance, sustainable bioeconomy and precision agriculture. She worked at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, contributing to a report on sustainability and international trade in Brazil. Her goal is to contribute to global food security, biodiversity conservation, and an agri-food transition that sequesters greenhouse gases by producing food, feed, fiber and bioenergy.

Michael Lotspeich-Yadao

Michael Lotspeich-Yadao is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. As a rural sociologist, Michael has a particular interest in how the applied social sciences can advance evidence-based solutions delivered through the Cooperative Extension System. Michael’s research group, the Empirical Analyses of Rural Terrain and Health Lab (EARTH), is motivated by a broad interest in how federal microdata can be repurposed for social and health research that supports program and service delivery. These efforts recognize the role of complex social factors and entrenched systemic barriers that contribute to disparities in health outcomes among different social groups.

Alberto Franco

Dr. Alberto Franco is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Extremadura in Spain. He was a Postdoctoral Visiting Scholar at the Regional Economics Application Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois (USA) for more than 12 months between 2015 and 2019. Before that, he also was a Predoctoral Visiting Scholar for 6 months at the Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group (ENR) of the University of Wageningen (The Netherlands) between 2011 and 2014. His research is in the intersection of different fields like environmental economics, international trade or regional economics. In past years, he was working with economy-wide models such as Input-Output, Social Accounting Matrices and Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models. His work appears in a number of journals including: Ecological Economics, Journal of Cleaner Production, Land Use Policy or Water Resources Management.

André Luis Squarize Chagas

André Luis Squarize Chagas has a B. S., M. S. and Ph. D. in Economics (Univ. São Paulo, Brazil), and a Post-Doc in Economics (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).  He has been an Assistant Professor of the Department of Economics at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) since 2011 and Vice-coordinator of International Office of Faculty of Economics, Administration and Accounting, University of São Paulo. Vice-coordinator of Graduate of Economics Program (2014-2017).  He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Illinois (2018-1019) and Universidad Catolica Del Norte (2017). He has experience in coordinating large-scale studies (in addition to the knowledge obtained in the positions occupied): coordinated several large-team studies, such as the financial analysis of public contracts on Public Policy Analysis, Spatial Impacts of Public Policies, Economic Analysis of Public Contracts, Regional and Urban Economics, Transportation Economics, Sanitation, and Advertising.

Ann-Perry Witmer

Ann-Perry Witmer came to engineering in midlife when she enrolled in the University of Illinois’ College of Engineering after a successful career in newspapering. After graduating with honors and becoming the first civil engineering major  to win the prestigious Harvey Jordan Award from the College of Engineering, she became a practicing professional engineer in Wisconsin, designing water systems for communities throughout the Midwest. She also served as chair of the American Water Works Association’s state section and continues to play a leadership role in the international AWWA organization. Ann holds Professional Engineer licenses in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. While working in consulting, Ann helped to create organizations that work directly with communities in Central America and the Caribbean to provide engineering assistance for disadvantaged communities in need of safe, sustainable drinking water, which led her to her current role at the University of Illinois.  In addition to her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois, Ann also holds degrees in journalism and art history magna cum laude from Boston University. Her research focus is on investigating the relationship between technical design and non-engineering considerations such as politics, culture and economics.

Augusto Mussi Alvim

Dr. Mussi Alvim has a PhD in Economics (2003) from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). He completed his postdoctorate at Massey University in New Zealand (2007) with the CAPES scholarship. He was a visiting Professor at Newcastle University in England (2012); consultant to the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, IICA (2009); and a Visiting Scholar at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (funding by CAPES, 2019-20). Currently, he is Full Professor at the Business School of the Pontifical Catholic University, Coordinator of the Post-Graduate Program in Economics at PUCRS . He has experience in agriculture economics and environment and works mainly in the following subjects: agribusiness, environmental policies and international trade. More details can be found on his webpage here:

Carolee Rigsbee

Dr. Carolee Rigsbee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management, Marketing, and Operations at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Carolee specializes in strategic management and draws on extensive industry leadership experience (nuclear, aerospace & defense, food manufacturing, and other industries) in her research, teaching, and service. Carolee’s research focuses on novel organization designs that hold the potential to strengthen stakeholder voice and reduce obstacles to economic, social, and environmental goal achievement (e.g., benefit corporations, using blockchain as an enabling technology in value chain management and governance). Carolee is on the Executive Committee for the DPI Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability and the organizing committee for the international conference on Sustainability, Ethics, and Entrepreneurship. Carolee is a member of the Strategic Management Society, the Academy of Management, the Council for Supply Chain Management Professionals, the World Futurist Society, and a Senior Member of the ASQ. Website:

Christa D. Court

Dr. Christa D. Court is an Assistant Professor in the Food & Resource Economics Department at the University of Florida (UF), Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). She also serves as Director of the UF/IFAS Economic Impact Analysis Program, which conducts regional economic analyses for funded research projects, industry organizations, and government agencies, analyzing a wide range of activities and industries. She holds affiliate faculty status with Florida Sea Grant, the UF School of Natural Resources and Environment, the UF Water Institute, the Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University, and the University of the Westfjords in Ísafjörður, Iceland. Her research interests include disaster impact assessment, regional economic modeling, economic impact analysis, and connections in human and natural systems. Dr. Court is leading numerous funded research projects involving regional economic modeling and has a growing list of related publications. She holds undergraduate degrees in Economics and Spanish from Middle Tennessee State University and Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from West Virginia University.

Don Wuebbles

Donald J. Wuebbles is the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Illinois. Dr. Wuebbles is an expert in atmospheric physics and chemistry, with over 500 scientific publications related to the Earth’s climate, air quality, and the stratospheric ozone layer. However, his work goes well beyond that through providing analyses and development of metrics used in national and international policy and in developing analyses for understanding climate impacts on society and ecosystems, plus potential resilience and societal responses. His metrics for Ozone Depletion Potentials and Global Warming Potentials are commonly used in national and international policy. He has been a leader in many international and national scientific assessments, including being a Coordinating Lead Author on several international climate assessments led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that resulted in IPCC being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. He co-led the first volume of the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment published in November 2017 that assesses the science of climate change and its effects on the United States. Dr. Wuebbles has two degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois (1970, 1972) and a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of California, Davis (1983).

Doyoung Park

After earning a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2019, Doyoung Park joined the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville as an assistant professor in the department of Economics. His research spans environmental/resource economics and international trade with a specific focus on the effect of country- and firm-level supply chains to regional environmental accounts. More information can be found at

Francina Dominguez

Francina Dominguez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She has a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UIUC. As a hydroclimatologist, Francina’s work is focused on the interactions between the land and the atmosphere, and more specifically, on changes in hydrology and climate due to human modification of the land surface and greenhouse gas emissions. The two primary lines of research in her group look at land-atmosphere interaction from two perspectives: 1) the effect of climate variability and change, primarily extreme events, on surface hydrology and 2) the effect of changes in surface hydrology on climate. 

Nicole Riemer

Nicole Riemer is Professor and Associate Head of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her group develops computer simulations that describe how aerosol particles are created, transported, and transformed in the atmosphere. They use these simulations, together with observational and satellite data, to understand how aerosol particles impact human health, weather, and climate. This understanding guides us in developing effective pollution mitigation strategies and responses to global climate change.

Ryan Sriver

Ryan L. Sriver is an associate professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Ilinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining UIUC in 2012, he worked as a research associate in Penn State’s Department of Geosciences and as a NOAA Climate and Global Change postdoctoral fellow in Penn State’s Department of Meteorology. Ryan graduated from Purdue University with a PhD in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Ryan’s research seeks to develop a deeper understanding about the physical processes influencing variability within Earth’s climate system and to quantify relevant uncertainties surrounding future climate projections. His work combines observational products, statistical methods and tools, and numerical models spanning a wide range of complexities and scales to understand how extreme weather and climate events are changing with global warming, what are the physical drivers, and what are the implications for natural and human systems.  

Shadi Atallah

Shadi Atallah is an associate professor of environmental and natural resource economics in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at UIUC. His research program generates recommendations to growers, landowners, and resource managers to manage their crops and natural resources in a way that balances economic and ecological objectives and constraints. In his primary research, he studies the management of economically damaging and beneficial organisms in agriculture, forestry, and agroforestry systems. He specifically studies the bioeconomics of managing pests, diseases, invasive species, weeds, and pollinators over time within and across properties. In his secondary research, he studies the economics of food system localization. Shadi received his PhD in Applied Economics from Cornell University, MSc in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California Davis, and MSc in Plant Science from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.  

Yilan Xu

Dr. Yilan Xu is an Associate Professor at the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her fields of interest include Consumer Economics and Finance, Urban and Regional Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics. Dr. Xu has applied a network perspective to analyze human behavior and risk perception. She was awarded two Social Security Administration research grants, the Beckman Fellowship, the American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI) Consumer Economics Paper Award, and two Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal (FCSRJ) Best Paper Awards. She has chaired a major multi-state research group (NC 2172 “Behavioral Economics and Financial Decision Making across the Lifespan,” partially funded by the USDA); and she is an elected member of the Board of Directors of the ACCI. Dr. Xu received her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and her B.A. in Economics with honors from Zhejiang University.

Rafael Garduno-Rivera

Rafael Garduno-Rivera is a Professor at the School of Economic and Business Sciences and Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory in Mexico (REAL-Mexico), both at the Universidad Panamericana Campus Aguascalientes. He was a Research Professor in the Economics division of the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE) Region- Centro; teaching assistant (TA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and lecturer at the University of Maryland-College Park at the MFO branch in North-Sinai, Egypt. He has a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from the University of Illinois, a Master degree in Local Economic Development at the London School of Economics (LSE) and a Master in Finance from the Graduate School of Business Administration and Management (EGADE) of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM). He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the ITESM. He has published specialized articles, book chapters, and documents of scientific dissemination within his academic career in national and international journals. He is a member of the National Research System (SNI) level II in Mexico. His areas of research interest include the distribution of income and wealth, inequality and poverty, regional economics, trade openness and economic growth.

Seong D. Yun

Dr. Seong Yun is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University. He is an applied economist predominantly working on sustainable production systems in agriculture, fisheries, and water. The majority of his research is focused on sustainability analysis, resource management, climate change and extreme weather events, resilience, natural capital valuation, and ecosystem services valuation. Before joining Mississippi State University, he worked at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as a postdoctoral research associate after his Ph.D. degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University. More detailed information about his publications, presentations, and active funded researches are available on his website.

Michael Delgado

Michael Delgado is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University. His research focuses on the development of spatial and semi/nonparametric econometric methods and application of those methods to agricultural-environmental and regional developmental issues. His most recent research has focused on spatial causal models, specifically spatial difference-in-difference techniques and structural spatial/network models. Recent work has focused on solar panel adoption, hybrid vehicle adoption and driving behaviors, corporate voluntary pollution prevention programs and initiatives, land use impacts of ethanol production, urban transportation systems, and the importance of institutions on investments and economic growth. He holds a Ph.D. in economics (2012) from Binghamton University.

Maria Edisa Soppelsa

Maria Edisa Soppelsa is an economist consultant at the World Bank, in the Urban Global Unit. Her main interests are urban and environmental economics. Her work has combined statistical tools and spatial analysis to help answering policy-relevant questions.  She has analyzed the effects of public policies on density and urban expansion, as well as the impact of pollution on city competitiveness. She has also focused on urban and rural land use, in particular how public policies can affect private decision of land conservation. She serves in the Climate Change, Energy, and Air Quality Committee at Montgomery County, Maryland, advising the County Executive and Council. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Website:

Andrew Hultgren

Andy is an environmental and IO economist studying the economics of environmental regulation. His research interests include firm behavior under regulatory uncertainty and quantifying the economic impacts of climate change. His research is focused on causally identified empirical work which informs the design of better environmental policy. Andy is an assistant professor at the department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinios Urbana-Champaign, a faculty affiliate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and a member of the Climate Impact Lab.​ Andy received his PhD at UC Berkeley ARE, where he was a fellow in the Global Policy Lab and an NSF Data Sciences for the 21st Century fellow. Andy also holds a Master’s in Public Policy from UC Berkeley, and a BSE in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University. Website: