Graduate Students

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Rodrigo Alatriste-Diaz

Ph.D. Candidate
Rodrigo has been researching Mexican hometown associations and the political participation and ecological considerations antecedent to migration.

Omar M. Ali

Ph.D. Student
Omar M. Ali is a second year PhD student. He received his M.D. from IFORD (Cameroon) and worked as a demographer/analyst at the Direction of Statistics and Demographic Studies of Djibouti.

Max Ajl

Ph.D. Candidate
Max's dissertation research focuses on the interaction between Tunisian state agriculture development policy, state subsidy policy, and the world commodity markets in the post-1980 period. 

Eleanor Andrews

Ph.D. Candidate
Dying in droves from colony collapse disorder, honey bees are a canary in the coal mine... or are they? My research draws together theories of learning, political ecology, and science studies to understand how beekeeping has become embroiled in debates over sustainable agriculture, science wars, and the definition of "sustainability."

Amit Anshumali

Ph.D. Candidate
Amit's dissertation research primarily focuses on the connections between men's access to rural off-farm employment and women's relative autonomy in central India. Substantively, his research spans the fields of rural sociology, development economics and anthropology of labor.
Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey

Ph.D. Candidate
Ian’s Master’s research focused on the struggles over agriculture in development discourse and practice, focusing on the emergence of food sovereignty as a substantive alternative to dominant development models and as political rallying point for diverse agrarian communities. Ian’s research also spans the food crisis, biofuels, the contemporary agrarian question, the ‘new’ Green Revolution in Africa, and urban food justice movements.

Paul Berry

Ph.D. Candidate
Paul is a demographer with substantive research and teaching interests in social theory, public policy, population & environment, and quantitative methods.  He specializes in applying a demographic lens to contemporary public policy, and challenges himself to interpret the results within the wider lens of political economy and social theory. 

Isha Bhatnagar

M.S./Ph.D. Student
Isha is interested in couple decision-making regarding fertility preferences and the changing value of daughters in India. Previously, she worked with the Population Council, New Delhi on projects related to reproductive, maternal and child health and behavior change communication in rural north India. 
 

Ashon Bradford

Ph.D. Candidate
Ashon's research examines the interconnections between power, political dynamics and subjective understandings of success and how these factors shape the economic and social outcomes of low-income rural African Americans in the southern US.

Youjin Brigitte Chung

Ph.D. Candidate
Youjin's research interests include political economy of development, critical agrarian studies, feminist political ecology, and African studies (with a focus on Tanzania).

Stephanie Enloe

Ph.D. Student
Stephanie's research will focus on the intersection of agricultural development and climate change resilience in Malawi. She is interested in interdisciplinary, participatory research that draws on concepts from environmental sociology, political ecology, feminist geography, systems thinking, and the food sovereignty movement.
 

Hilary Faxon

Ph.D. Student
Hilary's current research focuses on gender, land, and environmental justice movements in Myanmar/Burma within her broader study of political economy of development, feminist political ecology, agrarian change and state formation in South and Southeast Asia. Before coming to Cornell, she worked with local NGOs and activist networks in both Myanmar and Bhutan, and her master's project at Yale examined conservation advocacy and nascent democracy in Bhutan. 

Peter Fiduccia

Ph.D. Student
Peter is a geospatial statistician with research and practical experience in education policy, public affairs, spatial econometrics, financial analysis, and leadership & management. Peter specializes in using technology, cartographic techniques, and quantitative methodologies to study community development, specifically in the field of primary and secondary education. He seeks to use the growing supply of data in the public sphere to provide communities of all resource levels the ability to make more informed decisions.

Carrie Freshour

Ph.D. Candidate
Carrie is currently conducting her fieldwork in Northeast Georgia, where she is studying the gendered and racialized practices of social reproduction among Black and Latina poultry workers.
Fernando is a first year student whose current research interests are in knowledge formation and property rights drawing on literature from the political economy of development, political ecology, and critical cartography.

Timothy Gorman

Ph.D. Candidate
Tim is currently in Vietnam studying issues around the dynamics of land privatization in the Mekong Delta.

Delilah Griswold

M.S./Ph.D. Student
Delilah's research is contextually focused on climate-smart agriculture policy in Fiji, where contingencies of ethnically-ordered land access and environmental exigencies inflect agriculture policy and practice.

Mushahid Hussain

Ph.D. Student
Mushahid's current research explores the confluence of labor precariousness, informal markets and the politics of subsistence in emergent industrial regions in contemporary Bangladesh. This confluence provides a point of departure for tracing historically the processes of state formation, global economic reintegration and socio-ecological shifts characterizing critical aspects of a political economy of development in South Asia. 

Shrey Kapoor

Ph.D. Student
Shrey's research is centered on processes of collective action among small and marginal farmers in India, both in terms of cooperative formation and the politics of protest. 

Kendra Kintzi

M.S./Ph.D. Student
Kendra’s research examines the evolving politics of data science and knowledge formation in transnational infrastructure engineering practices. Drawing on political ecology, histories of science, and theories of development, her work focuses on smart electricity grids and the production of urban space in Jordan.  
 
 

Sneha Kumar

Ph.D. Candidate
Sneha’s research interests include fertility in late and post transitional societies, population aging, intergenerational caregiving and family well-being, and population policy in Southeast and South Asia.

Justine Lindemann

Ph.D. Candidate
Justine's research examines the ways in which spatially underprivileged and marginalized urban citizens make claims to rights through their participation in urban food production and food system work that rebuilds, remakes, and re-imagines city spaces.

Daniel Lumonya

Ph.D. Candidate
Daniel’s research revolves around rural farming systems and agrarian transitions, globalization, and state civil society relations. His dissertation, “When Labor Becomes a Problem: Distress and Agrarian Transitions in Buyengo, Eastern Uganda”, uses two years worth of ethnographic research in rural Eastern Uganda to examine transformation of communal labor practices and norms of reciprocity and how these transformations in turn reshape Buyengo’s farming system.

Rebakah Daro Minarchek

Ph.D. Candidate
Rebakah is currently in Indonesia conducting dissertation research on land tenure change for customary law communities, especially those living on "state land" and in conservation zones. Her research explores gender, traditional and national laws regarding forest use, agricultural/forest interactions, and perceptions of rights. Her methods include a mix of ethnography, surveys, participatory mapping, and participatory photography.

Ryan Nehring

Ph.D. Candidate
Ryan’s professional and academic research interest center on the politics of food systems and agricultural research primarily in Latin America, with a focus on Brazil. His primary fields of interest are: Science and Technology Studies (STS), the Sociology of Development and Critical Agrarian Studies. 

Karla Peña

M.S./Ph.D. Student
Karla Peña's research is in Ecuador where she studies indigenous-peasant movements and their struggle for land and territorial rights. Broadly, she is interested in food sovereignty, agrarian change and state-society relations in Latin America. 

Theresa Pendergrast

Ph.D. Student
Tess' MS project focused on socio-economic, political, and institutional changes resulting from water-intensive agricultural development in rural New Zealand. Her research broadly has explored community relations and local democracy dynamics within environmental crises. Tess' dissertation work considers race, class, and power issues related to water governance and environmental/public health in urban spaces in the Eastern United States. 

Katie Rainwater

Ph.D. Candidate
Katie is interested in transnational labor migration, Thailand, Bangladesh and the construction industry.

Ewan Robinson

M.S./Ph.D. Student
Ewan’s research focuses on how relationships between development organizations, government agencies, and private sector institutions shape the implementation of agricultural development programs and policies in East Africa. 

Aubryn Sidle

PhD Student
Aubryn is interested in the impact of soft skills programs on girls' educational and health outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa and how these programs are being shaped by the new SDG regime.  Aubryn has served as the Executive Director of Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa (AGE Africa) where she designed and implemented high-impact programs serving adolescent girls in Malawi.  

Bobby J. Smith II

Ph.D. Candidate
Bobby's work focuses on the food justice movement in the United States. More specifically, his current research seeks to understand the ways in which food justice activism rises in response to race and class-based inequalities embedded in the social, economic, cultural, and political contexts of both the local food and corporate industrial agriculture movements. 

Janet Smith

MS/PhD Student
Janet’s research focuses on the political and economic implications of Arab development assistance to West Africa. More specifically, her masters research documents the emergence of Islamic NGOs in Burkina Faso. For her dissertation, Janet plans to explore Arab aid as an alternative development actor and the opportunities opened for both recipient and donor through ‘South-South collaboration’.

George Spisak

MS/PhD Student
George A. Spisak's research examines the multiple, and competing, intersections of D/development, sovereignty, and non-state configurations of power. Of particular interest is the material and abstract deployment of violence outside of the limits of traditional statehood. His projects are based in the Horn of Africa, particularly Somalia.