PhD Candidate



I was born in Memphis, Tennessee but spent most of my high school and college years in Florida. I went to college with the plan to study International Business, but through the liberal arts program, discovered economics. My first introduction to economics was through a book by the geographer Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. In short, the book attempts to answer the ultimate question in economics (i.e. Why are some nations wealthy while others are not?) by tracing the evolution and influence of human development and geography on culture and society.  From that point forward, I was hooked. I was lucky enough to get a unique economic education at Rollins College in Florida (where I am currently teaching now!). We studied economic history, classical thought, and the differing economic perspectives and their approaches. We spent most of our time analyzing and criticizing classical economic thought in the hopes of pushing the study forward. I also studied the economics of the environment and development at NYU and anthropology at South Carolina. Along those lines, my current research focuses on approaching issues in economic development and the environment from new and varying perspectives.  In particular, my dissertation is exploring the determinants of International Environmental Agreement Ratification through social network analysis.  Outside of economics I enjoy playing music with friends, biking, swimming and yoga.


“Determinants of Multilateral Environmental Agreement Signature: The Importance of Historical Relations and Social Structures”, Dissertation, (in progress).

“Planetary Economics: Energy, Climate Change, and Three Domains of Sustainable Development. Edited by Michael Grubb, Jean-Charles Hourcade, and Karsten Neuhoff. Routledge, New York, 2013. 548pp. $70.00. ISBN: 970-0-415-51882-6. Eastern Economic Journal ,43(3), 554-556. (2017).

“Sustainable Development in the Context of Globalization: A Gendered Perspective on Growth, Macro policy, and Employment”, Braunstein, E. and Houston, M. in Gender Equality and Sustainable Development Pathways, Leach, M. (ed.). Routledge. (2015).

“Determinants of child labor in the modern United States: Evidence from agricultural workers and their children and concerns for ongoing public policy”, Fan, M., Houston, M., and Pena, A. Economics Bulletin 34(1), 287-306. (2014).