Researcher of the Week: Olga Bredikhina

Olga Bredikhina is a SEANET Research Fellow currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Economics at the University of Maine. Her interests in this field lie in behavioral economics, consumer decision-making, resource economics, and sustainability and econometric modeling, working under SEANET Theme Four, Human Dimensions.

Bredikhina is originally from Moscow, Russia, and moved to the United States in 2013, where she pursued her Bachelors of Arts in Economics with a minor in French Studies from the University of Maryland before graduating in 2016. While at the University of Maryland, Bredikhina played for their NCAA Division 1 Varsity Tennis team and maintains a strong passion for sports and tennis into her graduate studies.

In her graduate pursuit, Bredikhina was drawn to the University of Maine for the collaboration the university maintained with the Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture Network (SEANET), and the support by the National Science Foundation that provides funding for the research network. Bredikhina works on two SEANET projects, with the first including research on how product presentation strategy affects preferences for either wild or farm-raised seafood. The second project analyzes how proximity to aquaculture affects property prices along the coast of Maine.

Both projects aim to better communicate the perceptions of the public to policymakers and key stakeholders, in regards to Maine aquaculture’s relatively young industry.

“This may help to develop more effective ways to communicate information to the public,” Bredikhina explains. “I think [more effective communication] is very important for the industry and for being in agreement with the community.”

While both projects are still in the process of either development or analysis, Bredikhina sees a direct impact on the aquaculture industry and people of Maine.

“It is important to balance priorities and interests of different groups within the population,” Bredikhina says.

After graduate school, Bredikhina hopes to find a career in the consulting realm in either business strategy or economic consulting.