MEET THE TEAM
Mike von Massow
Mike is interested in how people think about food and his research interests reflect the broad nature of this topic. After completing his PhD in Management Science, Mike returned to the University of Guelph, where he had previously pursued both an MSc and BSc in the department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics. His research is by nature interdisciplinary and he is frequently collaborating with faculty from various departments at the University of Guelph. Mike's research interests include animal welfare and antibiotic use, food waste, retail and restaurant food demand, supply chain management, value chain structure and performance, pricing as well as sports economics.
Mike is always keen to share his research with a broader audience. He has written for the Globe and Mail, among other publications, and is often quoted on radio and in the media. As a frequent blogger with a strong presence on broadcast, print and social media, Mike contributes to efforts to mobilize research in a manner that helps to inform public policy and private strategy. His recent appointment as Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) Chair in Food Systems Leadership will help him pursue these efforts further. By providing academic leadership and leveraging communication and outreach opportunities, Mike and the OAC are keeping the University of Guelph at the forefront of food sector analysis in Canada.
Alfons Weersink grew up on a farm in St. Marys, Ontario, where he developed an interest in the economics and structure of agriculture. His academic career began at the University of Guelph, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. During the period between his master’s and Ph.D., he worked in the farm lending industry, and returned to the University of Guelph as a faculty member after completing his Ph.D. at Cornell University. In addition to being a faculty member, Alfons is also an assistant coach for the Gryphons women’s varsity soccer team. Alfons co-authors the annual Food Focus Trends Report with Mike and contributes to our conversations on food in various ways.
Molly's academic career began at the University of Guelph, where she received both a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences as well as a Master of Science in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences. Recognizing that food and eating patterns are complex, Molly evaluates these topics through a social, cultural and environmental lens. Molly's research interests range to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of food and she has worked on projects pertaining to food waste, food literacy, sustainability and workplace health and wellness. Believing in the importance of knowledge translation and transfer, Molly is passionate about public outreach and education. Molly stays busy by regularly updating website content and producing the Food Focus Podcast.
Andrew Baynham received his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Sciences as well as his Masters of Science in Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Guelph. Andrew now works for the department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics as a Research Assistant where he studies how consumers make decisions about the food they eat. Andrew coordinates experiments in the Longo’s Food Lab using eye-tracking glasses to better understand how people interact with information while they shop. He is interested in what influences the decision making of different consumers when purchasing food.
Starting out in an accounting degree, Mark eventually made the jump to economics because of his interest in food security and inequality. This has led to studying a variety of topics from the relationship between fresh produce prices and health outcomes, to consumer differentiation in the local/organic markets, and now to household food waste. Mark currently works in the department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics as a research assistant for Mike von Massow. In this role, he incorporates his skill set of number crunching and consumer choice theory to piece together a bigger picture of the world of food.
Mitchell’s passion for understanding how consumers make decisions, and analyzing the retail level of the food industry has naturally led him to the Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at the University of Guelph. He will receive his B.Comm. in Food and Agricultural Business in June 2019 and will be entering the department’s thesis-based Master’s program in September. Mitchell is currently working as part of the Food Focus team and will be contributing content on topics such as consumer perceptions, purchasing patterns, and pricing strategies within the broad spectrum of the food industry.
Nicholas Bannon is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Food and Agricultural Business at the University of Guelph. Upon entering University, he was awarded a President’s Scholarship which is allowing him to partake in a President’s Research Assistantship under the supervision of Professor Alfons Weersink. During his Research Assistantship, Nicholas is looking at how the agricultural industry in Canada has changed over time. Additionally, Nicholas is a member of the Gryphons varsity cross country running and track and field teams.
Sean grew up on a farm near Walton, Ontario, where he developed an early interest in agriculture. Upon entering his first year at the University of Guelph, he received a Chancellor’s Scholarship and began his undergraduate studies as an engineering student, but soon realized his interests were in agricultural economics. He is now pursuing a degree in Environmental Economics and Policy and works as a Research Assistant in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics where he coordinates the biennial Ontario Precision Agriculture Services Dealership Survey. Sean remains actively involved in his family’s cash crop operation and is interested in how contemporary trends within Ontario’s agriculture industry effect the average farmer.
Brendan McDougall completed his Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Guelph in June 2018 before starting his Masters of Science in Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics. Brendan is interested in trade economics and is currently writing his thesis on the impact of Canadian Free Trade Agreements on agri-food trade. Brendan helps on his uncle’s dairy farm north of London, Ontario where he has developed a keen interest in agronomy, animals and farming. Brendan takes pride in bringing his practical experience in agriculture financing, agronomy and grain marketing to his research interests.