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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Regional Economics Applications Laboratory


Graduate Student Research Assistants


REAL's Research Assistants come primarily from the Departments of Geography, Economics, Agricultural and Consumer Economics and Urban and Regional Planning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Research Assistants / Ph.D. Students


 
Alejandro Montoya Castaño

Ph.D. Student - Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics
Period in REAL: Aug 2017 - Present
E-mail: am26@illinois.edu

Alejandro holds a B.A in Economics from University of Antioquia (2010) and an M.Sc. in Economics from University of Rosario (2013). His research interests include labor economics with a focus on education and regional economics, particularly the evaluation of educational policies and their effects on future employment, and the role that skill mismatches have on different labor market outcomes. He is also interested in the topics of labor mobility, firm relocation, and regional inequalities.


 
Andre Fernandes Tomon Avelino

Ph.D. Candidate - Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics
Period in REAL: Jan 2010 – Jun 2010 (Undergraduate), Aug 2011 – Present (PhD)
E-mail: fernan17@illinois.edu
Website: http://publish.illinois.edu/andreavelino/   

Andre is a Regional Economist with an interdisciplinary focus on human-environmental topics. His research encompasses environmental issues, economics of natural disasters and analysis of structural change. He is specialized in input-output analysis, regional econometric input-output models, spatial econometrics, integrated economic-environmental-health systems and impact evaluations. More Info


 
Chang Cai

Ph.D. Student - Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics
Period in REAL: Jan 2016 - Present
E-mail: ccai5@illinois.edu

Chang Cai is currently a first-year Ph.D student in Agricultural and Consumer Economics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds a M.S. degree in Economics from the same university. Her research interests are applied econometrics, International trade and regional economy development. She is now working on evaluating the socioeconomic impacts of climate uncertainty.


 
Daniel Halim

Ph.D. Student - Department of Economics
Period in REAL: Apr 2015 - Present
E-mail: dzhalim2@illinois.edu

Daniel Halim is a PhD student in the Department of Economics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a BA in Economics (2013) from University of Toronto. Daniel joined REAL in Spring 2015. His research revolves around economics of education particularly in the context of rural development, with special interest focusing on Indonesia.


 
Federico Ceballos Sierra

Ph.D. Student - Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics
Period in REAL: Jan 2017 – present
E-mail: fc3@illinois.edu

My main research fields are Regional and Development Economics: studying how coffee can be used as a development tool. Specifically, I am interested in (1) studying the effect of climate change in coffee yields, and how that is reshaping Colombia's coffee producing region, and (2) the process of technology diffusion through informal channels of information and how this can be used to leverage the efficiency of extension services. I am a 1st year PhD student at the ACE Department.


 
Haozhi Pan

Ph.D., Urban and Regional Planning
Period in REAL: Aug 2017 - Present
E-mail: hpan8@illinois.edu

Pan is a postdoctoral researcher at REAL. He is interested in using high-performance computing technologies to improve spatiotemporal models and solve the mysteries in complex urban systems.


 
Jiyoung Chae

Ph.D. Student - Department of Economics
Period in REAL: Aug 2016 - Present
E-mail: jchae3@illinois.edu

N/A


 
Jhorland Ayala García

Ph.D. Student - Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics
Period in REAL: Aug 2017 – present
E-mail: ja8@illinois.edu

Jhorland is a PhD student in the Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics. His research interests include Regional Economics and Development. He has been working in the Regional Economics Studies Center of the Central Bank of Colombia since 2013.


 
Karelys Katina Guzman Finol

Ph.D. Student - Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics
Period in REAL: Aug 2016 – present
E-mail: kkg2@illinois.edu

Karelys started the PhD program in ACE in fall 2016. She holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Antioquia (Medellín, Colombia) and a master's in Economics from the University of the Rosario (Bogotá, Colombia). Since 2012, she has worked in the Regional Economics Studies Center of the Colombian Central Bank. Her research interests are: regional economics, health economics, development, and poverty.


 
Maria Gerveni

Ph.D. Student - Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics
Period in REAL: Aug 2017 - Present
E-mail: gerveni2@illinois.edu

Maria Gerveni is currently an MS student in the department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at UIUC. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Regional Development from Panteion University in Athens, Greece. Her main research interests lie in Regional Economics, Spatial Econometrics, Environmental Economics and Development.


 
Renato Schwambach Vieira

Ph.D. Candidate - Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics
Period in REAL: Aug 2013 - Present
E-mail: schwmbc2@illinois.edu

My main fields of interest are Urban Economics and Spatial Analysis. My current works include: the economic analysis of urban transportation policies such as fare subsidies and BRTs; the relationship between land use and commuting patterns; racial segregation and gentrification. I am especially interested in studying the topics above in the context of Latin American cities.


 
Sergio Andres Contreras Pinto

Ph.D. Student - Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Period in REAL: Aug 2014 - Present
E-mail: scontre2@illinois.edu

Sergio's research interests focus on Regional Economics, in particular, microenterprises performance evaluation and policy implementation. He also is interested in the role of e-business as a tool for regional growth and inequality reduction. Sergio Contreras holds an MBA from Loyola University Chicago and a B.S. in Management from the University Catholic of the North, Chile.


 
Yizhou Zhang

Ph.D. Student - Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics
Period in REAL: Jan 2013 - Present
E-mail: yzhng114@illinois.edu

My major research field is using Computational General Equilibrium (CGE) models to simulate and evaluate changes in regional economies. In addition, I am interested in labor economics especially the topic of human capital, as well as the application of spatial analytical techniques such as GIS on different regional science research


 
Zhangliang Chen

Ph.D. Student - Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics
Period in REAL: Jun 2015 - Present
E-mail: zchen105@illinois.edu

My research interest include climate change economics and spatial econometrics. I am recently working on assessing the economic impacts of climate change on U.S. agriculture.