Catherine Larochelle has been named assistant professor of agricultural and applied economics in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

She is one of eight faculty members recently hired in the college. New positions were identified to bring talent to its focus areas, including food and health, infectious disease, biodesign and processing, and agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.

Larochelle’s research program focuses on impact evaluation of agricultural research on poverty, food security and nutrition, factors driving and constraining technological adoption, agricultural productivity, and policies affecting economic development and poverty reduction in developing countries.

As a 2011 doctoral graduate in agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Tech, her work, “Three Essays on Productivity and Risk, Marketing Decision, and Changes in Well-being over Time,” received the 2012 outstanding dissertation award from the graduate school in the social sciences category. The work examined the relationship between natural resource use and poverty reduction in rural areas in Bolivia and Zimbabwe.

Larochelle received her bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Laval University in France, her master's in resource economics and policy from the University of Maine, and a Ph.D. in agricultural and applied economics from Virginia Tech.

Her work has been funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other nongovernmental agencies.

Written by Amy Loeffler

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