Current Students

Ian Luby

Co-advisor: Steve Polasky

I am a natural resource economist answering questions at the nexus of policy, science, and economics. Within that space my research has two main areas of emphasis:

1) I use economic and scientific models to analyze and improve conservation policy and planning. I have projects that examine policy at every scale from planning a global strategy for forest conservation to improving targeting of local easements.

2) I use econometric techniques to identify the impacts of natural resource policies on local communities in countries around the world. So far I have projects focused on the effects of uranium mining, land grabs, deforestation and state violence.

Key to all my research has been collaborations with brilliant economists and scientists from around the world. I am always interested in collaborating on new projects so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Cael Warren


Cael’s research generally centers on environmental issues or services and supports for historically underrepresented or marginalized populations. His past work includes studies of recycling and waste management services for Ramsey County and the City of Saint Paul, an analysis of the home improvement needs of low-income older adults to enable them to remain in their homes, a study of the educational needs of Hmong farmers in Minnesota, and ongoing data management and reporting for the Northside Achievement Zone in North Minneapolis.

Graduated Students

Bixuan Sun

Co-advisor: Jeff Apland

Current role:
Post-Doctoral Researcher
Center for Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs

My research examines policies assisting with the transition to cleaner, more efficient energy systems using both economic theories and empirical methods. I am currently working to investigate what factors drive innovation in energy technologies and the role of spillovers in government investment. I am particularly interested in applying machine learning methods to policy evaluation to draw unique insights into heterogeneous policy effectiveness and how to improve program performance.

Kyuseon (Kristy) Lee

Co-advisor: Phil Pardey

My research is primarily focused on the nature of research collaboration, with particular attention to the researcher attributes among research teams in the life sciences, including health, agricultural, and biological sciences. My research interests also extend into the fields of industrial organization and applied microeconomics. Prior to earning my PhD at the University of Minnesota, I interned at the McKinsey Global Institute, earned a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University, and worked as an assistant economist at Korea Development Bank. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, I spent several years in other Asian countries including Japan and the Philippines and am fluent in Japanese.

Rabia Addison


Data scientist working on impact evaluation at ECMC Group.

(Comparatively) old people

Steve Miller

You can learn about my research on… the research page.