Opportunity to research the food industry and consumer behavior attracts student to Purdue’s Agricultural Economics Ph.D. program

Eugene Kwaku Mawutor Nuworsu is from Ghana, a country widely known for its cocoa production. After completing his bachelor’s degree in agriculture with a specialization in agribusiness from the University of Ghana, he went on to pursue his master’s degree at North Dakota State University.

Eugene developed a passion for research on issues relating to household consumer food behavior and the food industry leading him to pursue a Ph.D. He applied to a few universities but ultimately accepted an offer from Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics.

At Purdue, Eugene has worked with Dr. Nathanael Thompson as a research assistant and was a co-author on two publications. The first paper, published in the journal of Meat Science, looked at the resilience of the US meat supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic; while the second paper, published in Choices Magazine, looked at the opportunities and challenges of carbon farming for US row-crop producers.

He also worked as a teaching assistant for Dr. Nathan DeLay's Applied Quantitative Methods class in the MS/MBA program and considers it a great learning opportunity.

“Having served as the course's TA for three consecutive fall semesters,” said Eugene. “I was able to engage with people from different industries and backgrounds, and I also learned more about the similarities and differences between working in industry and academia.”

Eugene is currently working on his dissertation, focusing on a variety of issues concerning household decision-making and food insecurity under the supervision of Drs. Jayson Lusk and Bhagyashree Katare. He hopes to enter the job market in the fall of 2023.

“I am currently studying the economic consequences of rising pet expenditures and commercial pet food demand on households, as well as how state and federal policies affect household food insecurity,” said Eugene.

“My goal is to apply the knowledge I've acquired during my time in graduate school to conduct research on policy-relevant issues on consumer behavior and food markets, whether in industry or academia.”