People of PCHES: Alfredo Cisneros-Pineda

Alfredo is a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication at Purdue University. He is originally from Mexico, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics. As an undergrad, he wrote an essay on phosphorus fertilization that granted him the degree and a first taste of research in environmental and natural resource economics.

Alfredo’s career started as a research assistant at the Institute of Ecology and Climate Change in Mexico City. His main responsibility was to adapt microeconomic models to real environmental problems, figure out how to properly estimate them econometrically, and translate the results for decision makers. For example, he estimated tourists’ willingness to pay for whale watching and landowners’ opportunity cost of forest conservation. This experience pushed him to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Wyoming.

So far, his research has focused on measuring the ecological and economic impacts of policies and economic activities. Alfredo’s dissertation focuses on the unexpected consequences of introducing disturbances into interconnected ecosystems by combining ecological and economic concepts inside spatial and computable general equilibrium models. In 2017, he took two years off from pure research to work at the Ministry of Environment in Mexico. Being a public official gave him a broader perspective on environmental policy and its practical application. Nonetheless, the experience at the Ministry reinforced his desire to improve his academic profile and pursue a job as a scholar. After that, he worked with Dr. Jo Albers at the University of Wyoming studying species migrations, and he is currently working with Dr. Thomas Hertel studying the economic impacts of flooding in the US and the impact of global trade on biodiversity.

Alfredo loves to take long walks with his dog, Matilda, attend music festivals, put jigsaw puzzles together, and play strategic board games and video games.