Portrait of Shraddha Hegde
Portrait of Shraddha Hegde

Shraddha Hegde is the latest addition to the Seafood Economics and Marketing Research (SEAMaR) program at the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

The program is one of 5 core programs at the center and was created to help meet the need for economic and marketing work specifically for aquaculture, which lacks data compared to other agriculture sectors.

"In her graduate work, Shraddha has already been applying her skills to help fill this data gap," said van Senten. "Shraddha and her experience are an asset to our whole program."

Shraddha joined the Virginia Seafood AREC team in Hampton, Virginia, as a research associate in January after completing her Ph.D. in Aquaculture economics at Mississippi State University. Her dissertation work focused on the economic aspects of the U.S. catfish industry. During her study, Shraddha collaborated with van Senten and other aquaculture economists to develop and conduct surveys to measure the economic contribution of the U.S. catfish industry, the largest U.S. aquaculture sector.

She brings experience conducting extensive in-person surveys with farmers to her new role as a research associate working on a market research project. She is currently conducting cluster analysis based on consumer data for seafood that may be applied in guiding the recovery of the U.S. aquaculture markets from the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“I look forward to using my marketing background in this project and learning new things as I continue to work with different aquaculture species,” said Shraddha of her new role.

Shraddha has worked on diverse topics such as technology adoption, production function analysis, cost of regulations, economic impact assessments, and technical efficiency. Her interests are as diverse as her educational background; she is interested in natural resources and applied economics and wants to expand her experience to include projects that involve market research and both micro and macro-economic theories.

She completed her undergraduate degree in Agriculture Marketing and Cooperation and her master's degree in Agricultural Economics, both from India.