Who We Are

Research Team:

  • Alessandro Bonanno: Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, studies consumers food demand, food manufacturers and retailers strategies, food systems, food policy, and how they relate to “health” outcomes (fruits and vegetables consumption, obesity, etc.).
  • Becca Jablonski: Assistant Professor and Food Systems Extension Economist, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, focuses on evaluating rural economic development initiatives and policies, with an emphasis on identifying strategies to improve agribusiness performance and enhance regional food systems.
  • Dawn Thilmany McFadden: Professor and Agribusiness Extension Economist, Colorado State University, specializes in analyzing markets, consumer behavior and economic development related to local, organic and other value-added food market segments. She has led national projects and organizations focused on expanding the community of practice doing research and outreach on new food marketing channel and supply chain alternatives.
  • Marco Costanigro: Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, is an expert in econometric methods who studies food policy, with emphasis on consumer behavior, food labeling, and the economics of information in food markets.
  • Melissa Pflugh Prescott: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, focuses on school nutrition and wellness program research, with an emphasis on food waste reduction, food systems education and wellness policies.
  • Allie Bauman: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, focuses on regional issues in food and agriculture, community economic development, modeling of spatial markets and the role of water and agriculture in an environment of scarcity.
  • Becky Cleary: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, studies local and regional food systems, with a focus on food policy relating to issues of food access and healthy diets.
  • Dr. Nicole Garneau: is a taste scientist and keynote speaker who brings flavor science to the table. Her formal training in genetics and microbiology led her to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science where she serves as the Curator of Human Health and directs the Genetics of Taste Lab (www.dmns.org/genetics). In addition to her day job, she is the founder of three companies related to her work studying taste and her interest in food and beverage science. In this capacity, Dr. Garneau serves as keynote speaker and consultant to breweries, wineries, distilleries, food companies, and restaurants, in addition to her scholarly work.
  • Sachintha Mendis: Research Assistant, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, studies food systems and food policy with an emphasis on consumer behavior, food demand, and consumer health outcomes.
  • Abby Long: Research Assistant, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, studies regional food systems with an emphasis on determining how food policy impacts mid-size farm viability and rural community well-being.
  • Camila Monroe: works with genetics of taste research at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She holds degrees in Communication and Chemistry, and is currently pursuing a Chemical and Biological Engineering degree at Colorado State University. Camila is a native of Brazil, but a Coloradan at heart.
  • Siwen Zhou: Research Assistant, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University, studies rural economic development with a focus on analyzing markets, consumer behavior and food policy with a focus on health outcomes.

Advisory Committee:

  • Brian Roe: Van Buren Professor, Dept. Of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, The Ohio State University
  • Wendy Peters Moschetti: Director of Food Systems, LiveWell Colorado; Colorado Core Partner, National Farm to School Network
  • Kim Niewolny: Associate Professor Community Education and Development, Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education, VirginiaTech
  • Katherine Ralston Senior Agricultural Economist, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service