Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
PhD Student | GSO Social Chair
Area of Expertise:
Consumer Behavior and Food Marketing, Food Policy, New Food Technologies and Emerging Food Issues, Research Methods
B.Sc. Humboldt University, Berlin
M.Sc. International Rural Development
M.Sc. Agricultural Economics
Major Professor: Vincenzina Caputo
Areas of Specialization: Consumer Behavior and Food Marketing
Born in Aachen, Germany, Valerie received her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences from Humboldt University, Berlin, before completing a double degree master's in Agricultural Economics and International Rural Development. The Erasmus Mundus program led her to multiple European Countries as well as the University of Arkansas. She is currently a third year PhD student of Agricultural Economics in the Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics Department at Michigan State University, working under Professor Vincenzina Caputo.
Valerie’s research is focused on eliciting consumer preferences and demand for novel food products and new food technologies, while also developing methodological innovations to improve consumer survey designs and demand analysis. So far, Valerie has published two papers as lead author. One in Food Policy, which is the leading journal in the field of agricultural economics, and the other one in the Journal of Agricultural Economics, a well-respected journal in the field of agricultural economics. Her publication in the Journal of Agricultural Economics allowed her to win her department’s Graduate Research Symposium Award for the best paper and presentation in 2021.
In addition, Valerie has also co-authored a national report sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute Foundation, which explored how consumer’s preferences and demand for gene-edited food products compared to respectively labeled organic, non-GMO, conventional and bioengineered alternatives. The project report garnered national recognition, with more than 15 media articles being written about the research.
In 2020 and 2021, Valerie was awarded the Humane Studies Fellowship to back her ongoing research. This award is highly competitive and was implemented to support promising young academics. Her academic work is supplemented by her practical experience gained from working on a variety of farms and interning for GIZ, a German development agency.