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Ona Ruales, Lucia

Assistant Professor

Ag Sciences 114

Ph.D. Agricultural Economics, University of Kentucky, 2007

M.S. Economics, Gatton School of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, 2003

M.A. Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky, 2000

B.S. Economics, Catholic University of Ecuador, 1994


I am an agricultural economist. I joined the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources at ABAC in the Fall Semester of 2016. I teach Applied Economics and Introduction to Agricultural Marketing.

Previously I worked as a research associate for CEDIK (the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky) at the University of Kentucky (College of Agriculture). In this role, I performed academic research on topics related to community and economic development, particularly issues related to rural health in Kentucky and Appalachia. I wrote manuscripts for peer reviewed publications, prepared proposals for research projects and applied for grants for the university.

Before joining CEDIK I lived for more than six years in Ecuador where I worked as a professor at the only graduate university for public employees. In that position, I taught demographic analysis to students in the public administration program and worked as an academic coordinator of the program ‘Specialization in Public Administration’. Previous to that, I worked as an adviser to the Ecuadorian Secretary of Agriculture. I was involved in different projects as a coordinator and a leader, most of them sought to help small farmers. Additionally, I represented the Secretary and worked with institutions of the government and international organizations such as the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ). I also had the opportunity to work as a professor of microeconomics at two distinguished universities in Ecuador.

I began my doctorate career as a post doctorate scholar at the University of Kentucky performing research focused on rural economic development and rural health issues.

Among my research interests are rural and international development, health economics, and different population issues including aging and poverty issues.