Christopher is the Research Director of emLab, Co-Director of emLab’s Ocean & Fisheries Program, and a Professor of Resource Economics at the Bren School. His research focuses on natural resource economics, incomplete property rights, and decision making under uncertainty, with a particular emphasis on the value and effect of information on management decisions. In his work, he combines theoretical micro-economics with modeling and empirical analysis to inform policy on fisheries management, biological diversity, introduced species, industrial regulation, and marine policy. He has worked closely with national governments, international organizations, NGOs, and other partners from around the world to translate his research into on-the-ground action in a diverse spectrum of developed and developing countries. He currently serves as an advisor to California’s Governor Newsom on the Council of Economic Advisors and as a trustee of Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy (California). Chris holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. His many hobbies outside of work include cycling, gardening, woodworking, blacksmithing, beekeeping, and spending time with his family.
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Kevin is interested in the field of development and agricultural economics. His research focuses on policy analysis of conservation and natural resource management problems, with a particular focus on the reform of China's fisheries management institutions to balance economic and ecological goals. Kevin employs both natural resource modeling and econometric methods in his research. He completed his Ph.D. in Agriculture and Resource Economics in 2023 at UC Davis, where he also earned his M.S. in 2017.
Kent is an economics Ph.D. student who researches issues related to information, learning, and resource management. He is currently working on projects that look at the distributional effects of improved information for making regulatory decisions, the timing of environmental policy changes, and the role of information in coordination and cooperation. Previously, he worked at the Environmental Defense Fund where he collaborated with fishermen and fishery managers to encourage the adoption of well-designed rights-based management systems. Kent enjoys biking on the roads and trails around Santa Barbara.
Nathaniel is a 3rd year PhD student in the Costello Lab. His research hopes to leverage and expand financial tools into beneficial ocean conservation outcomes. At emLab, Nathaniel is building new innovative risk management strategies to protect fishing communities from more frequent climate shocks in the future. The most promising new tool is Index insurance, where fishers receive insurance payouts when severe weather events damage fishing productivity. When not in the office, Nathaniel competes in beach volleyball tournaments throughout Southern California.
Nestor (Mauricio) Collado
Nestor Collado has worked to improve decision-making during the last decade by closing the gap between economic market solutions and policymaking. His publications and work as advisor of the Minister of Environment of Peru showed that transforming environmental concerns into development opportunities is possible. However, he also found that solid public institutions are not enough without long-term planning, innovative financial tools, and synergistic and participatory interventions. Above all, his experience with multidisciplinary teams in Universidad del Pacifico taught him the value of scientific evidence as an ally for better decision-making.
During his Master's studies at Bren School, his project "Quota Baskets: Exploring Alternative Groupings for Fisheries Management" reinvigorated his passion for linking economic, social, and environmental issues to accelerate action. He firmly believes the environmental policies require steppingstones that can bridge short-term and long-term goals.
Risa is a Ph.D. student of economics and environmental science at the Bren School, where her own research lies in the intersection of behavioral and environmental economics. She is currently working to understand the distributional impact in disadvantaged communities from different emissions-reduction policies. Before coming to Bren, Risa worked with Project Drawdown analyzing the adoption of small-scale agricultural anaerobic digesters, and at the Cornell Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management studying the impact of choice architecture on nutrition. She received a B.S. in Applied and Resource Economics from the University of Connecticut. When she finds time to step into the sunlight, Risa enjoys rock climbing, pick-up ultimate frisbee, lindy hop, and rollerblading.
Shu-Chen is a Ph.D. student in economics. At emLab, he is part of the team working on a dynamic bioeconomic model of disease transmission across countries. The main objective is to find a structural estimation of the shadow cost of the disease in each country. His previous work includes investigating the demographic dynamics of temporary migration after disaster events in the Gulf Coast of the United States. Shu-Chen got his B.A. in Economics from National Taiwan University and his M.S. in Applied Economics from UCLA. During his spare time, he enjoys traveling, reading literature, and listening to music with his two cockatiels.
The emLab Team
The Environmental Markets Lab (emLab) is a `think-and-do’ tank for market-based approaches to environmental challenges. We are a team of faculty, researchers, project managers, postdocs, and students based at the University of California Santa Barbara who bring interdisciplinary expertise to devise novel solutions to pressing environmental problems. Read more about our team.
(former post-docs and PhD students)
Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
James Cook University
University of Miami
University of Colorado
University of California Davis
University of Colorado Boulder
US Environmental Protection Agency
Florida State University
Cal State San Luis Obispo
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Hawaii Manoa
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
University of California Davis
Juan Carlos Villaseñor-Derbez
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
University of British Columbia
Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
The Nature Conservancy