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Personal profile


I am a Professor of Development Economics, and a member of the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. I was also the Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Business and Law between January 2012 and March 2022, overseeing our REF submissions in both 2014 and 2021. I am currently the Interim Associate Pro Vice Chancellor (Research, Innovation and External Relations) of the University.  

I have worked for the Food and Agriculture Organisation for the United Nations (FAO) on mainstreaming fisheries into national development strategies, poverty reduction programmes and the rehabilitation of the fisheries sector in Central Asia. My research work in fisheries spans the globe, including Latin America, Central Asia, Africa and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

 My 2009 paper on enteric fermentation (‘cow burps’), which highlighted the extent of methane production of cattle, received widespread media coverage.

 I have written three books on the political economy of Central American agriculture, and I have supported doctoral students on topics including the Resource Curse and Kuwaiti development, artisanal fisheries development in Sierra Leone, and trade and economic integration in Central America.

In 2018, I was the first person to estimate the total economic value of the world’s inland fisheries (between US$108 and 122 billion annually).


In the 1990s, I was a visiting Professor in Agricultural Economics at the Posgrado en Economía y Planificación del Desarrollo (POSCAE) at the National State University of Honduras.

I was appointed as a Reader at the University of Portsmouth in 2005 and chaired the Faculty Research Degree Committee from 2006 to 2011. During this period we saw a 40% increase in postgraduate research degree students admissions, and sky high student satisfaction (as indicated in the 2011 Postgraduate Student Experience Survey [PRES]).

In 2011 I was appointed to a Professorship in Development |Economics, and in 2012 I took on the position as Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Business and Law and led the highly successful Business and Management submission to REF2014. 100% of research impact in this unit ranked as either outstanding or having very considerable impact. This experience prompted me to write a paper highlighting the ‘halo’ and ‘velcro’ effects found in the UK REF2014 environment submissions.

In REF2021 I wrote the Environment Statement for our Business and Management submission, and helped colleagues pilot our Business and Management and Law submissions. My experiences here have prompted me to start writing a paper on game-playing in research assessment exercises.

In 2022 I was appointed as the Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Interim) for Research, Innovation and External Relations.

Research Interests

I am interested in research that has a meaningful and positive impact on people’s lives. My research is primarily in the arena of fisheries, in particular the policy-making processes and reduction of poverty in the small-scale artisanal sector.

My current research interests include:

  • The valuation of inland fisheries
  • Fisheries value chains
  • Maternity leave provision in the UK University sector
  • Research assessment exercises (especially the evaluation of outcomes)
  • Microfinance impacts in the developing world (I am currently working with Lend With Care and colleagues at Portsmouth to improve microfinance provision)
  • Academic performance and graduate capitals

I am happy to receive informal enquiries relating to doctoral degree (Ph.D) supervision in the areas of Area Studies and International Development, Economics and Business and Management

Media Availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from the media on my research, and am aware of the needs to respond to journalists in a timely manner. Please contact me directly on either Andy.Thorpe@port.ac.uk or 023 92 844251.

Teaching Responsibilities

I teach on a variety of undergraduate modules in the area of development economics across the Faculty of Business and Law and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, including the Economics and Politics of Development and Global Environmental Issues and Concerns. I also contribute to a Distance Learning unit in Development Economics on the Masters programme in International Development Studies. Andy.Thorpe@port.ac.uk or 023 92 844251.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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