Postdocs & Ostrom Fellows

Our postdocs and students are vital to the continued growth of the Ostrom Workshop and represent the future of the Ostrom’s legacy.

Current Postdoctoral Research Fellows

Analena Bruce



Analena Bruce is a postdoctoral research associate focusing on Agri-food Systems, Environmental Sociology, Social Movements, Inequality, Qualitative Comparative Methods, and Sociology of Science.

Julia Valliant


Julia Valliant is a public health researcher focusing on learning from farmers and ranchers about how agricultural incentives can support them in building farm-level biodiversity and raising more nourishing food. Present projects address how farms and ranches continue, or transition, from one generation to the next; the food movement as a farmer-led health movement; grazing management for surface water point protection; and performance payments to reward grazers and farmers for ecological outcomes in agriculture.

Kurt Waldman


Kurt Waldman is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Ostrom Workshop. Kurt's research examines judgment and decision making related to food, agriculture, and the environment. At the Ostrom Workshop, he is part of an interdisciplinary team investigating the relationship between food security and climate change in arid regions of Africa (with Tom Evans and Shahzeen Attari). Current and future publications consider the perceptions and heuristics that shape farmers' decisions in the face of climate-related uncertainty, combining both social and environmental data. These projects aim to inform and improve agricultural policy for small farmers in developing countries. Kurt earned an MS in Applied Economics from Cornell University and a PhD in Food and Agricultural Policy from Michigan State University. Kurt is a visiting scholar at the Kahneman-Treisman Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy at Princeton University for the 2017–18 academic year.

Current Ostrom Fellows

Yun Ju Kang


Yun Ju Kang is an S.J.D. (The Doctor of Juridical Science) candidate in the Maurer School of Law. Anchored in international human rights law, her dissertation is about human rights focused transitional justice design for the future reunified Korea. Her research interest also includes developing human rights policies for refugees and marginalized population across contexts. Before joining the Maurer School of Law, she was a law lecturer at the College of Law, Hong-Ik University in South Korea, teaching International law and Modern Society and Law. She has also worked as a human rights lawyer for refugees in Korea.

Emma McDonell


Emma McDonell is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology and IU Food Institute working on a dissertation examining the territorialization of agricultural products and its relationship to identity politics at multiple scales through the quinoa boom-bust. She recently completed twelve months of ethnographic fieldwork among quinoa farmers and actors involved in quinoa markets in the highlands of Peru and Bolivia, and is currently working on data analysis and dissertation writing. Emma’s interests include place-based products and their regulatory structures, indigenous politics, intellectual property, agricultural development, and global food markets. She holds BAs in environmental studies and anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

Lucy Miller


Lucy Miller is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology. Her research interests center on human-environmental interactions, examining how global trends of rapid urbanization and rural livelihood change impact smallholder’s engagement with forest management and rural work. Through her research with Amazonian communities, she highlights the role of the youth in community-based forest conservation and the importance of considering young people’s livelihood desires and expectations in regional development and conservation efforts. Her dissertation project takes an intergenerational approach to understanding the effects of rural-urban mobility and migration on natural resource governance, livelihood strategies and rural identity in an environmentally protected area in the Brazilian Amazon.

Johabed Olvera


Johabed Olvera is a third-year student in the PhD in Public Affairs program at IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, concentrating in public policy analysis and public management. Her research interests lie within collaborative governance and social policy in developing countries. In particular, she is interested in studying the mechanisms through which collaborative governance improves social policy implementation in contexts lacking institutional and organizational capacity. Johabed holds a BA in international affairs from Universidad de las Américas-Puebla, and a Masters in Public Administration and Policy from Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE).

Julio Alberto Ramos Pastrana


Julio Alberto Ramos Pastrana is a fourth-year PhD student in the Department of Economics, where he was a Fulbright-García Robles scholar (2014–2017). His research interests include property rights, public choice, and urban economics. In particular, he is interested in studying the emergence of property rights, as well as how subtle changes in institutions affect economic outcomes. Julio holds a BA in economics and a specialty certificate course in economic theory from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and an MA in economics from El Colegio de México.