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When it comes to commodities, most investors turn to the likes of Jim Rogers and George Soros, legendary gurus that have long held the spotlight in this asset class. And while their contributions to the commodities world have certainly helped shape the market we know today, there is one group of individuals that is often overlooked, though they have continually played a major role in the natural resources market: professors.

These professors have not only helped our understanding of the often complex commodities market, they have also been pioneers in the field, allowing investors of all walks to look at the space from a different perspective. For those wondering who exactly is behind the commodity-focused academia scene, we highlight several accomplished commodity-friendly professors (in no particular order):

[If you’re a commodity friendly professor, drop us a line and let us know a bit about your work; we’d be happy to add you to the list.]

Campell R. Harvey

Professor Campbell R. Harvey

In addition to being a finance professor at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, Campbell R. Harvey is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His blog Garden of Econ is a great resource for investors wanting a macro perspective.

  • University: Duke University
  • Specialties: Portfolio Management, Asset Allocation, Global Risk Management
  • Academic Work: The Golden Dilemma

Craig Pirrong

Professor Craig Pirrong

Craig Pirrong is a professor of finance and Energy Markets Director of the Global Energy Management Institute at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. Pirrong’s blog Streetwise Professor is packed with key insights every commodity trader should read.

Roger Dahlgran

Professor Roger Dahlgran

Roger Dahlgran is a professor at the University of Arizona and is an expert of econometric modeling of futures markets, particularly agricultural markets. He has also received awards and recognition for his development and use of futures trading simulation software.

Colin Carter

Professor Colin Carter

Colin Carter is a professor at the University of California, Davis and the Director of the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics. Carter has done extensive research on China’s grain market and international trade, and has a new book out “Futures and Options Markets ".

  • University: University of California, Davis
  • Specialties: Commodity Markets, Agricultural Trade, International Trade
  • Academic Work: Commodity Booms and Busts

Ke Tang

Professor Ke Tang

Ke Tang is a professor of finance in the Hanqing Advanced Institute of Economics and Finance and School of Finance at the Renmin University of China. His work in commodity markets and asset pricing models is well noted in both the academic and financial communities.

Wei Xiong

Professor Wei Xiong

Wei Xiong is a professor of economics at Princeton University and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His work on the Financialization of commodities with Professor Ke Tang is widely referenced in many recent policy discussions and public debates of commodity futures markets.

Scott H. Irwin

Professor Scott H. Irwin

Scott H. Irwin is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is recognized as a national and international leader in agricultural economics, and his works are frequently cited by other academic researchers, policy-makers, and the media.

David A. Bessler

Professor David Bessler

David A. Bessler is a professor of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University. Bessler is noted for his contributions in time series analysis of agricultural markets, out-of sample forecasting for model assessment and policy, and the use of algorithms on inductive causation.

L. Alan Winters

Professor L. Alan Winters

L. Alan Winters is a professor of economics at University of Sussex and former Program Director of the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London. He is one of the world’s leading specialists on empirical and policy analysis of international trade and development.

Alex Winter-Nelson

Professor Alex Winter-Nelson

Alex Winter-Nelson is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The professor has done extensive research on food and cash crop marketing in Africa, as well as the relationship between agricultural technology and nutrition.

Phillip Garcia

Professor Phillip Garcia

Philip Garcia is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Professor Garcia has more than 200 research publications focusing on agricultural economics, including 100 journal articles, 11 book chapters, and 90 published proceedings and abstracts.

Jian Yang

Professor Jian Yang

Jian Yang is a professor of finance at the University of Colorado’s Business School in Denver. Yang’s work has been cited by the World Bank, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, as well as many other notable names in the industry.

Terry Roe

Professor Terry Roe

Terry Roe is a professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. Professor Roe has consulted various organizations regarding agricultural economics, including the World Bank, USDA/ERS, USAIS and the European Commission.

Parantap Basu

Professor Parantap Basu

Parantap Basu is a professor of macroeconomics at Durham University’s Business School and is the Director of the Centre for Economic Growth and Policy. Professor Basu was also a member of the scientific committee for advising the European Commission during 2010 to 2011

Helyette Geman

Professor Helyette Geman

Helyette Geman is a professor of finance at Birkbeck, University of London where she serves as the Director of the Commodity Finance Centre in addition to being a research professor at John Hopkins University. Geman has published numerous books about commodities, and has been an advisor to major banks, energy and mining companies as well as commodity houses.

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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.

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