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Christopher Costello

Christopher Costello is a professor of Environmental and Resource Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is research director of the Environmental Markets Lab and a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also on the board of Environmental Defense Fund and Global Fishing Watch and serves on the Council of Economic Advisors for California’s Governor. Costello received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000 and conducts research on natural resource economics and policy concerning property rights, with a focus on decision making under uncertainty, environmental markets, asset values, and natural resource scarcity. His work combines theoretical microeconomics with modeling and empirical analysis, often to inform policy on fisheries management, biological diversity, natural resources, and marine policy. 

Costello partners with others to translate his research into on-the-ground action in several countries including Peru, Chile, Mexico, Cuba, Indonesia, China, and Cambodia. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and is the 2016 winner of the Peter Benchley Award in Ocean Solutions. Costello visited PERC as a Lone Mountain Fellow (2008, 2010, and 2016) and as a Julian Simon Fellow (2021). He is widely revered as a leader in environmental markets, fisheries management, and marine policy, and his expertise will deepen PERC’s work in market-based solutions to natural resource challenges.