Research Team

Dr. Sandro Steinbach


Principle Investigator

Research Areas: International Economics, Health and Environmental Economics

Education: Doctor Science ETH Zurich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich, Switzerland), 2018

Sandro is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Connecticut. Sandro earned his BS degrees from Humboldt University of Berlin and his MS degrees from Humboldt University of Berlin and the University of California, Davis. He completed his doctoral studies in Economics with the Center for Economic Research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. Sandro is interested in international economics with a focus on agricultural and food trade. He also conducts research at the intersection between health and environmental economics.

Click here for Google Scholar and here for his resume.

Soojung Ahn

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Doctoral Student

Research Area: International Development and Trade

Education: M.S. Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, 2019

Soojung is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Connecticut. She joined Dr. Steinbach’s research group in Summer 2020. She is currently working on a paper that investigates the impact of COVID-19 on agricultural and food trade in developed and developing Countries. Her dissertation will focus on the intersection between International Development and Agricultural Trade. 

Sijia (Sonia) Chen

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Doctoral Student

Research Area: Health and Environmental Economics

Education: M.S. Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2018 

Sijia joined the Steinbach Research Group in Fall 2018. She currently studies questions related to agricultural and food trade and import tariffs. She also worked as a graduate assistant with Professor Rigoberto Lopez on market consumption and Medicaid. This paper was presented at the AAEA annual meeting. For her dissertation research, Sijia is excited to study questions related to the environment and health. She will be on the job market in Fall 2023.

Dongin (Eric) Kim

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Doctoral student

Research Areas: International Economics, Policy Evaluation, and Applied Econometrics 

Education: M.Sc. Management Engineering, KAIST 2013


Dongin is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Connecticut, expecting to earn his degree in May 2022. He was previously a commodity market analyst and investment banker. His experience in this industry shaped his interests in applied econometrics. His current research area is in international economics, in particular, foreign direct investment and multinational enterprises. He is excited about developing his academic career in international economics and policy evaluation.

Dongin received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester and his M.S. in Management Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Technology (KAIST). 


Click here for his resume.

Adam Patterson

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Doctoral student

Research Areas: International Economics

Education: M.S. Quantitative Economics, University of Connecticut, 2020

Adam is a first year PhD student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Connecticut. Adam is currently in the process of completing a M.S. in Data Science from Central Connecticut State University. He completed his BA in Economics from the University of Connecticut in 2018. 


His current research revolves around COVID-19 and Chinese foreign trade, however, his applied thinking and broad interests encompass many potential research interests. Adam is currently set to present his collaborative pedagogical work, Using Fantasy Baseball Simulation to Teach Economic Concepts, at the 90th annual SEA conference in Fall 2020. 

Xiting Zhuang

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Doctoral student

Research interests: International economics; applied econometrics; policy evaluation 

Education: M.S. Quantitative Economics, Fuzhou University  


Xiting is a Ph.D. student in Agricultural & Resource Economics at UCONN.  His interests lie at the intersection of international trade, environmental policy, and economics of social problems. His previous research focused on the impact on carbon emissions of China’s current socioeconomic transitions. In Fall 2018, he joined Professor Steinbach’s research group, where he developed a special interest in understanding the environmental impacts of trade policies, with a specific focus on trade policies in China. Xiting plans to continue his work on assessing the implications of international trade policies on the global market, and he is looking forward to work on policy impacts of various economic, social, and political issues with large datasets.

Research Group Alumni


  • Dr. Xi He (2019-2020), Postdoctoral Research Associate, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University (current position)