I received my PhD from University College Dublin in 2008 in Economics and Environmental Policy. Since then I have worked as an economist for an agricultural/rural development agency in Galway, Ireland (Teagasc), a Lecturer and then subsequently Senior Lecturer in Economics within the Environment Department at the University of York. I took up my current position as an Associate Professor in the Economics Division here at the University of Leeds in May 2018. My work lies at the intersection between economics and psychology, while also drawing on insights from other disciplines such as sociology and human geography.
My current research is principally in the area of applied microeconomics (most often using panel data methods) with a particular focus on the ‘economics of happiness’. I am currently PI on a project funded by the Nuffield foundation looking at the relationship between immigration and subjective well-being in the UK. Some of the other ‘well-being’ related topics that I have worked on include the role of status effects (relative position) for happiness, the determinants of well-being (e.g. health, social capital, air quality) and adaptation to life-events.
I also have a keen interest in agricultural economics. My previous research in this area has shown the importance of considering non-monetary drivers such as non-pecuniary benefits, productivist attitudes and risk aversion when seeking to understand farmers’ behaviour. Related to this work, I am currently a Co-I on an interdisciplinary project, I Know Food, funded by the Global Food Security Programme addressing the topic of food system resilience. Within this project, I am looking at, among other things, the application of key principles from the behavioural economics sphere in influencing farmers’ behaviour.
Finally, I have worked on a number of issues in the environmental and resource economics domain. This includes the effect of weather on interpersonal violence, non-market valuation and the determinants of pro-environmental behaviour. While I principally use quantitative methods, I also dabble with qualitative research methods on various projects mostly led by talented postgraduate students.
I currently supervise a number of PhD and postdoctoral researchers working on areas related to the work described above. I am interested in hearing from enthusiastic potential PhD students (or anyone else for that matter) interested in working in any of these areas. The funkier the idea the better!