Katie is a development economist interested in food systems and agricultural value chains; in particular, how these networks influence human health, nutrition and poverty. Her work has analysed the welfare risks and opportunities for linking smallholder farmers to market opportunities and the evolution of food value chains on urban and rural food security. Katie applies concepts from organisational behaviour and behavioural economics to better understand how households, individuals, government agencies or agribusinesses make complex decisions, allocate resources and/or maximize welfare under economic stress. In the past, she’s collaborated with non-governmental agencies like Oxfam, UN-FAO and the World Bank and been on the research staff of the CGIAR, Cornell University and Colorado State University. She’s also worked extensively on the evaluation and metrics development front with national and local government agencies in the United States trying to manage complex sustainability issues around energy use, water, affordable housing and transit. Katie holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in International Development and Applied Economics and Management from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Cornell University, respectively.
Two themes run strong for Katie in her work: economic inequality and climate change. Like so many others, she sees that these twin threats have a solutions to be found in agriculture and food systems. Katie cares deeply about keeping a strong, applied research connection to these topics and her current research efforts include the impacts of COVID-19 and agricultural investment and labour dynamics, and the harmonization of sustainability metrics across Australian agriculture sectors.
Katie loves to read, write, ask questions, host dinner parties and play in the outdoors. She has a great partner and a wonderful, possibly-too-smart, German Shorthair Pointer pup. Katie is originally from California and heads to the Australian coast to say hello to the Pacific ocean whenever possible. She loves to sail, swim, mountain bike and trail run with her two-legged and four-legged family members
Contact Katie: Katie.Ricketts@csiro.au