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Dr. Frances Cossar

Frances Cossar has a background in applied development and agricultural economics. She joins the RUGS team after completing a PhD which looked at the adoption of mechanized technology in cereal farming systems of northern Ghana.

Previously, she spent several years working in policy research at the World Bank and the International Food Policy Institute on private sector development and agricultural policy at a national and global scale. She has co-authored work on cross-country comparison of value chains for simple manufactured goods in China, Vietnam, and Ethiopia; and on supply models for agricultural machinery in Ghana. Her research interests are to bring economic perspectives and techniques to the social, economic, and ecological trade-offs in agriculture and food systems.

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Matteo Sposato

After graduating in economics, Matteo decided to bring together his studies and his passion for the environment with a master's in Ecological Economics, which allowed him to shape the interdisciplinary approach needed for the investigation of socio-environmental matters.


Even before joining the RUGS project, Matteo's interests used to point at issues related to land use and land use change. In particular some of the topics he explored, both within an academic and a civil society setting, include: the phenomenon of land grabbing, the provision of ecosystem services by urban parks, controversies arising from protected areas in developing countries, deforestation dynamics in the Brazilian Amazon.

Aiden Berri

Aiden has a background in ecology and environmental science. He is joining the RUGS team after recently finishing his undergraduate degree and is currently working on assessing the environmental impact of pet food.