Universities & Faculty

The ICRPS core faculty members are leaders in their fields and their academic diversity provides an exciting learning experience. ICRPS core faculty members are regularly joined by distinguished faculty members and policy makers from around the world.


Core Faculty Members

  • William Ashton: Director, Rural Development Institute, Brandon University
  • James Breen: University College Dublin
  • John Bryden: Research Professor, Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute
  • Lidia Carvajal: Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México
  • Philomena de Lima: Director, Centre for Remote and Rural Studies, University of Highlands and Islands
  • Fabio De Menna: Researcher, Department of Agricultural and Food Science, University of Bologna
  • John Devlin: Associate Professor, Rural Planning and Development, University of Guelph
  • Tony Fuller: Retired Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph
  • Bruno Jean: Professeur, Développement Régional, Social, et Territorial, Université du Québec à Rimouski Canada Research Chair in Rural Development
  • Tom Johnson: Director, Community Policy Analysis Centre, University of Missouri and Frank Miller Professor
  • Philip Loring: Assistant professor, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan; Affiliation with the Institute of Northern Engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  • William Meyers: Professor, Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri
  • Doug Ramsey: Associate Professor, Department of Rural Development, Brandon University
  • Karen Refsgaard: Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute
  • Francesca Regoli: Project officer on International project, Department of Management, University of Bologna
  • Judith Stallmann: Professor, Departments of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, University of Missouri
  • Brent Steel: Professor, Department of Political Science, Oregon State University
  • Lourdes Viladomiu: Associate Professor, Applied Economics, Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Bruce Weber: Professor, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University
  • Matteo Vittuari: Senior researcher and lecturer in agricultural and food policy and agricultural policy evaluation, Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Bologna.

Faculty Biographies

William Ashton

Director, Rural Development Institute, Brandon University  

William Ashton Bill Ashton contributes to local and regional development agencies, including Westman Community Futures board and the Manitoba Minister’s Immigration Council. In his recent doctoral research he gained insight about developing policy from influential policy makers across Canada in government, businesses, and environmental organizations. Over his career, he has directed the development and delivery of transforming leadership programs for professionals. His applied research on rural issues has contributed to self-directed information guides on such diverse topics as watershed management with the United Nations University, housing needs analysis, crime prevention, and community economic development. A hallmark of Bill Ashton’s practice is the consistent engagement with those facing the issue and those implementing the response. He has taught and completed a variety of research projects at Mount Allison University and the University of New Brunswick. His career in local, regional and provincial governments and his own entrepreneurial activities have taken him from Newfoundland to British Columbia and to the Yukon. To build knowledge, Bill has published peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, magazine stories, manuscripts, and reports on many important social, economic, and environmental issues facing rural and northern communities and regions in Canada.

Email: ashtonw@brandonu.ca


James Breen

University College Dublin

Information coming soon.


John Bryden

Research Professor, Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute  

John BrydenJohn M. Bryden read an honours degree in political economy at Glasgow University, and specialised in development economics, agricultural economics, and human geography. His PhD, Tourism and Development with special reference to the Commonwealth Caribbean, was undertaken at the University of East Anglia, where he was a lecturer in development economics from 1967 to 1972. It was published by Cambridge University Press in 1973. He is currently Research Professor with the Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute (NILF) in Norway, and President of the International Rural Network. He is Emeritus Professor of Human Geography at the University of Aberdeen where he formerly co-Directed the Arkleton Centre for Rural Development Research and held the Chair of Human Geography from 1995 to 2004. He was also Programme Director of The Arkleton Trust from 1980 to 2008.

John has been an advisor on rural policy to the OECD, the EU, the World Bank and the Scottish government, where he was External Advisor to the Scottish Office Land Reform Policy Group and one of the external advisors on the Inter-Departmental Group on Rural Strategy from 1997 to 1999 as well as Secretary of the Cross Party group on Rural Policy in the Scottish Parliament from 2005-2008. He has coordinated six EU-funded trans-national research projects on rural development issues. John has been a visiting scholar at the University of Guelph, Canada; the University of Missouri-Columbia; and at Cornell University. He has been a keynote speaker or panelist at the major EU rural policy conferences including Inverness (1991), Cork (1996), and Salzburg (2003), as well as many OECD territorial rural policy conferences, and other conferences in Europe, Canada, USA, South America, India, Japan and Australia.

John was a founder of the ICRPS programme and of the QUCAN transatlantic rural research partnership with Cornell, Penn State, Queens Belfast, UHI, Aberdeen, and Newcastle Universities. He has published widely in several languages.

Email: john.bryden@nilf.no


Lidia Carvajal

Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México

Information coming soon.


Philomena de Lima

Director, Centre for Remote and Rural Studies, University of Highlands and Islands  

Philomena de LimaDr Philomena de Lima is the Director of Centre for Remote and Rural Studies at the University of the Highlands Islands, Scotland. She has undertaken extensive research on migration/immigration issues, social exclusion, social justice and equality issues in rural contexts since the 1980’s, and has published widely on these topics. She has provided support to Carnegie UK Trust’s Rural Action Research Programme (RARP-UK and Ireland, 2006-2009) with regard to the ‘Building Inclusive Communities’ theme. She has previously taught a range of social science subjects for the Open University, University of Stirling, as well as writing and leading modules in the Social Sciences degree programme at the University of the Highlands and Islands. She currently supervises PhD students and teaches an Action Research module for a Masters programme at the University of the Highlands and Islands. She is also actively involved in policy related issues and her current portfolio includes appointments on the Carnegie UK Trust Commission of Inquiry into Civil Society, Scottish Agricultural College Rural Development Council and Scottish Funding Council Public Policy Action Group.

Philomena is a sociologist and her current areas of research interests include understanding the following in different national and cultural contexts: migration and mobilities; social exclusion; rural disadvantage/poverty; and social justice issues. She is interested in applying these interests in the following areas: demography and population strategies, including migration/immigration, labour market issues, quality of life and retention issues; climate change and social justice; third sector and role of civil society in rural communities; and place (rural) based development policies.

Email: Philomena.deLima@inverness.uhi.ac.uk


Fabio De Menna

Researcher, Department of Agricultural and Food Science, University of Bologna

Fabio De Menna is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Agro-food Science and Technology, University of Bologna. He holds a PhD in Diversity Management and Governance, an MS in Local and International Cooperation and Development, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Bologna. His main research interests include food waste and food-energy nexus, renewable energy and rural development policies, Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) of agro-food and bioenergy systems.

Email: fabio.demenna2@unibo.it


John Devlin

Associate Professor, Rural Planning and Development, University of Guelph  

John DevlinJohn Devlin is an Associate Professor in the Rural Planning Program. He teaches RPD*6080 Environment and Development: Biophysical Resources and Sustainable Development in Rural Environments and RPD 6310 Environmental Impact Assessment. He began his involvement in development work in 1979 with two years as a CUSO volunteer in Mozambique. He served as Assistant Director of the Centre for Development Projects at Dalhousie University from 1984 to 1986. From 1997 to 2000 he was Assistant Director of the Environmental Capacity Enhancement Project, a $4.5 million CIDA-funded project delivered by the Rural Planning and Development Program in 13 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. For three years (2003 to 2006) he was Assistant Professor in the International Development Studies Program of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he taught Development Theory; Asia: Transformation and Development; Environment and Development and Research Methods. In 2006 he was awarded the Saint Mary’s University Student Association Award for Excellence in Teaching.

His primary areas of academic interest include: the role of the state in development; environmental assessment and public participation; good governance; agricultural and environmental policy. He is currently conducting research on public participation in environmental impact assessment funded by SSHRC.

Email: jdevlin@uoguelph.ca


Tony Fuller

Retired Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph  

Tony FullerDr. Fuller retired from the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph, in 2007. In the last 10 years of a 35-year career at Guelph, Tony focused increasingly on policy issues such as government programs for community development, rural poverty, rural transportation and sustainable livelihoods. His earlier work and publications include a focus on pluriactivity, the Arena Society and rural outreach. He is currently undertaking workshops on asset mapping for rural community and policy development.

Professor Fuller is currently an Adjunct Professor at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, China.

E-mail: tfuller@uoguelph.ca


Bruno Jean

Professeur, Développement Régional, Social, et Territorial, Université du Québec à Rimouski Canada Research Chair in Rural Development  

Bruno JeanDr. Jean is a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) on Rural Development at l’Université du Québec à  Rimouski. He is the director of the new inter-university research group at the Centre de recherche sur le développment territorial. Dr. Jean teaches regional development at the Master’€™s and Ph.D. levels. Dr. Jean’€™s areas of specialization and research include the New Rural Economy, rurality, rural development of marginalized regions, family farming, rural policy, and rural governance.

Email: bruno_jean@uqar.qc.ca


Tom Johnson

Director, Community Policy Analysis Centre, University of Missouri and Frank Miller Professor  

Tom JohnsonJohnson’s research areas include rural economic development, fiscal and economic impact analysis, local government finance, and transportation economics.

Dr. Johnson has studied the role of education, health care, infrastructure, and industrial development policies, in rural development in Canada, United States and Europe. He has published two books and more than 100 articles and chapters.

Dr. Johnson has served on the Editorial Boards of the American and Southern Journals of Agricultural Economics, the Executive Council of the Southern Regional Science Association, the Advisory Board of America Runs on Local Roads, and numerous state and national committees and task forces. He is past-president of the Southern Regional Science Association. He has served as consultant to the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Governors’ Association, the Government Finance Officers’ Association, the Council of State Governments, the states of Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon State, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, and the governments of Canada, Ireland and the Czech Republic.

He is a member of the Academic Cabinet of the European Union Center at the University of Missouri and directs the EU Graduate Certificate Program.

Email: JohnsonTG@missouri.edu


Philip Loring

Assistant professor, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan; Affiliation with the Institute of Northern Engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Philip holds a PhD in Indigenous Studies and an MA in Anthropology, both from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is a human ecologist with training in anthropology and sociology, ecology, and information technology. Philip’s primary research focus and interests are in food security, sustainability, and social justice. Current research projects focus on community food production, food security, water security, and stewardship practices as they relate to social and ecological resiliance. He and his students have ongoing research in coastal and remote communities in Alaska and in Western and Arctic Canada.

His philosophy about sustainability is that win-win scenarios, where both people and ecosystems thrive together, are essential to the future of humanity.

Twitter: @conservechange

Dr. Loring’s Website

Email: phil.loring@usask.ca


William Meyers

Professor, Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri  

William MeyersWilliam H. Meyers is Co-Director, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute and Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Missouri at Columbia. He holds a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Minnesota, an MS from University of the Philippines, and a BA from Goshen College. He was Professor of Economics at Iowa State University 1979-2003 and Director, Agriculture and Economic Development Division of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations from July 1999 to July 2002, while on leave from ISU. He was Visiting Consultant at the World Bank January to June 1999, Interim Director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development 1996 to 1998, and Co-Director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at Iowa State University from 1984 to 1998.

He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Kiel, and has directed USAID funded projects in Ukraine, Hungary, Indonesia, Zambia, Jamaica, and Honduras. He has also worked extensively on agricultural and rural policy studies in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia after they regained independence. He has authored numerous publications on trade and agricultural policy, rural development, and transition economics, including co-author of Refocusing Agricultural and Rural Development Policies in Ukraine: Action Plan for the Road Ahead by IBI and USAID (2005) and co-editor or Lithuania’s Accession to the European Union: Successes and Challenges for a Rural Economy in Transition by Iowa State University Press (1999).

Email: meyersw@missouri.edu


Doug Ramsey

Associate Professor, Department of Rural Development, Brandon University  

Doug RamseyDr. Ramsey is interested in better understanding the condition of communities and how they respond to change. Recent work includes:

  • agricultural restructuring and diversification
  • rural tourism
  • rural community condition

Email: ramsey@brandonu.ca


Karen Refsgaard

Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute  

Karen RefsgaardKaren Refsgaard is senior researcher and an ecological economist with major interest in institutions and policies and their effects on human behaviour. Major thematic foci are on rural, ecological and agricultural issues and the inter-relationships between these. Over the past 15 years, she has undertaken research on such themes as organic farming, water pollution, energy use, waste and wastewater handling, pesticide evaluation, rural development, poverty and quality of life. She is an occasional lecturer at the University of Life Sciences. She has published in books and journals like Ecological Economics, Food Economics, Land Use Policy, System Analysis, Environmental Management. Her M.Sc. in agricultural economics is from the Royal Veterinarian- and Agricultural University Denmark and her Ph.D. in ecological economics from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Refsgaard is board member and treasurer for the European Society of Ecological Economics.

Email: karen.refsgaard@nilf.no


Francesca Regoli

Project officer on International project, Department of Management, University of Bologna

Francesca Regoli has a PhD in International Cooperation and Sustainable Development Policies at the University of Bologna. She has more than 10-years experience in international projects with a specialization in project management and in rural development policies related fields, with a particular focus on South Eastern Europe: agricultural and rural areas transformation; rural tourism, and enhancement of local resources. She is currently working at the Department of Management – University of Bologna as a project manager on EU projects (project proposal elaboration, management, and coordination).

E-mail: francesca.regoli@unibo.it


Judith Stallmann

Professor, Departments of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, University of Missouri  

Judith StallmanStallmann’s research areas include state and local public finance, rural economic development and fiscal and economic impact analysis. She is currently working on the impacts of state and local tax and expenditure limitations on state economic growth. Applied research topics include: the impact of retirees on the economy of rural areas, economic and fiscal impact analysis for small areas, educational incentives for youth, rural labor and family incomes, and part-time farming. Dr. Stallmann has published in: The Marquette Law Review, The Review of Regional Studies, The Economic Development Quarterly, The Gerontologist, The Journal of the Community Development Society, Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Choices, Youth and Society, Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Women in Natural Resources, Society and Natural Resources.

Dr. Stallmann has served on the editorial boards of Review of Regional Studies, Journal of the Community Development Society, Review of Agricultural Economics and Choices.  She is past president of the Southern Regional Science Association and the Community Economics Network and has served on the Executive Councils of the North American Regional Science Association, the Southern Regional Science Association and the Committee on Women in Agricultural Economics.  She has served as a consultant to the Government of Honduras, the United States Agency for International Development, and the International Labour Organisation. She is a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras.

Email: StallmannJ@missouri.edu


Brent Steel

Professor, Department of Political Science, Oregon State University  

Brent SteelBrent Steel is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Master of Public Policy Program at Oregon State University (OSU). He is on the editorial board of Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy and teaches courses in environmental politics and policy, research methods, and sustainable development. Dr. Steel has worked on sustainable development and environmental policy issues in Africa, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, North America and Russia. He has published numerous journal articles, book chapters and books concerning environmental policy in areas such as forestry, endangered species, coastal and marine issues, environmental pollution, and sustainable rural development. He is currently writing State and Local Government: Prospects for Sustainability (Oxford University Press), which will be published in 2010.

Email: bsteel@oregonstate.edu


Lourdes Viladomiu

Associate Professor, Applied Economics, Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona  

Lourdes ViladomiuDr. Lourdes Viladomiu, Associate Professor in Applied Economics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, with a wide experience in research work on agricultural and rural economics. She has taken part in several evaluations: Rural Development Programmes, LEADER Programme, LFA scheme, European market policy in different sectors. She has participated in several European research projects on pluriactivity, agrienvironmental policies, on-farm diversification, multifunctionality, entrepreneurship, women in rural areas, landscape, farm advisory services, etc. She works as an expert in rural development in several countries in Latin America and Africa.

Email: lourdes.viladomiu@uab.es


Bruce Weber

Professor, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Oregon State University  

Bruce WeberBruce Weber is professor of agricultural and resource economics at Oregon State University, where he has worked since 1974 developing an integrated outreach, research and teaching program on poverty and hunger, state and local government finance and regional/rural economics. He is Director of the Rural Studies Program at Oregon State University, a multi-disciplinary initiative to focus the research, teaching and outreach efforts of the university on the opportunities and challenges facing rural people and places.

In the mid-1990s he joined and then chaired the RUPRI Rural Welfare Reform Panel. In 2002, he became co-director of the RUPRI Rural Poverty Research Center. Rural Dimensions of Welfare Reform, which he co-edited with Greg J. Duncan and Leslie A. Whitener in 2002, remains the most comprehensive examination of how the most significant contemporary change in the social safety net affected rural people and places. His analyses of Oregon’s tax system and national welfare policy have informed policy deliberations in the Oregon legislature and Governor’s office and in Congress, and have appeared in leading agricultural economics journals. He is a Senior Fellow of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan and is on the Advisory Committee of the West Coast Poverty Center at the University of Washington.

Email: bruce.weber@oregonstate.edu


Matteo Vittuari

Senior researcher and lecturer in agricultural and food policy and agricultural policy evaluation, Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences at the University of Bologna.

Matteo Vittuari has a PhD in International Cooperation and Sustainable Development Policies and carried out post-doctoral research at the Center for International Development at Harvard University and in several universities and research centers in Europe and USA. His research interests include food policy, with particular attention in food waste and losses, economic and social aspects of agro-food and bioenergy systems, and rural development policy. He worked as an international consultant for the evaluation of EU and FAO funded projects in Europe and Central Asia.
He is currently coordinating the Policy WP within the EU’s FP7 FUSIONS (Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising Waste Prevention Strategies) and the Behavioural Economics WP within the EU’s H2020 REFRESH (Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain). He is leading the Publication Team within the RPLC (Rural Policy Learning Commons) funded from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Email: matteo.vittuari@unibo.it