Welcome! I am a PhD student in the Sustainable Development program at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

 

I conduct applied micro and interdisciplinary research with a focus on the environment. I am particularly interested in plastic and air pollution as well as land use and ownership. I also think about the roles of information, industry, and corruption/cronyism in environmental knowledge and policies. I use remote sensing data in a lot of my projects.

 

Before starting my PhD, I worked as a research assistant at Yale School of Management and as an equity research associate on the US Restaurants team at AB Bernstein. I graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Computer Science. I grew up in Budapest, Hungary. In my free time I enjoy hiking, camping, vegan food, and my favorite boardgame.

 

E-mail me at: ap3907@columbia.edu; find my CV here (June 2022).

 

Contribute to the Atlas of Plastic Waste here.

Research

Selected Work in Progress

"The Origin and Fate of Marine Plastic Pollution" (with Amir Jina, Kimberly Oremus, Nandini Ramesh)

"Pollution, Plastics, and the Global Trade in Garbage" (with Matt Gordon)
As part of this project, we are collecting crowd-sourced information on open-air waste sites. If you know of any, please submit here.







Human actions can alter the local and regional climate, particularly via land use. We assess the impact of the Great Plains Shelterbelt, a large-scale forestation program in the 1930s which planted 220 million trees across six US Midwestern states. The program led to a regional increase in precipitation and decrease in temperature, with impacts persisting for several decades. The change in climate extends to adjacent unforested land up to 200km away–enabling us to directly study climate adaptation. In places now facing more favorable growing conditions, crop yields increase by 53% and farmers switch to more water-intensive production. This paper highlights the endogeneity risk in using spatial variation in climate trends in estimating climate damages, as well as the potential for tree planting to mitigate climate change impacts.





"The Environmental Externalities of Expanding Cryptocurrency Mining in the United States" (with Douglas Almond and Shuang Zhang)

"Land Privatization and Cronyism: Evidence from the Hungarian Land Auctions of 2015-2016"


Publications







Methane is 28 to 86 times more potent as a driver of global warming than CO2. Global methane concentrations have increased at an accelerating rate since 2004, yet the role of fossil fuels and revitalized natural gas extraction and distribution in accelerating methane concentrations is poorly recognized. Here we examine the policy positioning of university-based energy centres towards natural gas, given their growing influence on climate discourse. We conducted sentiment analysis using a lexicon- and rule-based sentiment scoring tool on 1,168,194 sentences in 1,706 reports from 26 universities, some of which receive their primary funding from the natural gas industry. We found that fossil-funded centres are more favourable in their reports towards natural gas than towards renewable energy, and tweets are more favourable when they mention funders by name. Centres less dependent on fossil funding show a reversed pattern with more neutral sentiment towards gas, and favour solar and hydro power.

Media Coverage: Gizmodo, Heidi.news (in French)



Code

TWFE Data and Code

To work through (some of) the new two-way fixed effects/dynamic diff-in-diff methods, my grad school colleague Vincent Bagilet and I have put together set of simulations, example datasets, and code (as part of Jeffrey Shrader's lab). The code and data can be found on my Github page here. Please let me know if you find it helpful! Contributions are also welcome!

CV

Please see a pdf of my CV here (June 2022).

 

Education

PhD in Sustainable Development, Columbia University (2019 - present)
BA in Engineering Sciences, with minor in Computer Science, Harvard University (2012 - 2016)

 

Research Experience

Research Assistant for Douglas Almond (Spring 2021 - present)
Research Assistant for Professors Fiona Scott Morton, Jason Abaluck, Kevin Williams, and Michael Sinkinson (2018 - 2019)
Research Intern, Central Bank of Armenia (Summer 2015)

 

Teaching Experience

Instructor, Analytics in Environmental Science Policy: Math Review (master's level) (Summer 2020 & 2021)
Teaching Fellow, Microeconomics & Public Policy II (master’s level), Professor Selcuk Eren (Spring 2021)
Teaching Fellow, Economic Development (master’s level), Professor Nandita Krishnaswamy (Fall 2020)

 

Seminar and Conference Presentations

2022:
The Workshop in Environmental Economics and Data Science (TWEEDS)
Northeast Workshop on Energy Policy and Environmental Economics
Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) Summer Conference
Sustainable Development Colloquium at Columbia

 

Awards and Fellowships

PhD Research Grant, CEPR: Structural Transformation and Economic Growth Initiative (2022)
Donation to support Pollution, Plastics, and the Global Trade in Garbage, Minderoo Foundation (2022)
Student Research Grant, Columbia University CEEP (2021)
Dean’s Fellowship for Doctoral Students, Columbia University (2019 - 2024)

 

Selected Work and Service Activities

Alliance Bernstein, Equity Research Associate, U.S. Restaurants Team (2016 - 2018)
Co-organizer, SusDeveR Alumni-Student Conference (2022)
Mentor to NYC High School Student, iMentor (2020 - present)
Communication Officer, Sustainable Development Doctoral Society (2020 - 2021)
Co-organizer, Interdisciplinary Ph.D Workshop on Sustainable Development (2021, 2022)