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Personal profile


I am a Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Business and Law and Director of the Centre for Blue Governance.

I specialise in development economics, particularly environmental or ecological economics. I explore the interfaces between the use of natural resources and the development of countries. My particular area of expertise is the 'Blue Economy' — the sustainable use of oceans and coastlines for economic growth while preserving the health of ecosystems.

I investigate how developing countries can benefit from the use of natural resources in a sustainable way, and, importantly, how to place a monetary value on the protection of the natural environment. My research helps countries to develop sustainably. It informs the implementation of policies that favour environmental protection while providing economic and social benefits.

I coordinate complex research projects with multidisciplinary teams in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific region, working in collaboration with national research institutions, universities and policy makers.

I've coordinated 40 international research and development programmes in the following areas:

  • Marine and coastal biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Marine protected areas, including ecosystem valuation and payment for environmental services
  • Climate change
  • Ocean and coastal zone policy and governance
  • International and regional fish trade
  • Poverty and food security

I support many organisations to develop their strategies for the use of oceans and the coast. I coordinated Blue Economy Strategies for the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the Government of Bangladesh and the Government of Seychelles. I also coordinated the Regional Action Plan for the Blue Economy of the Indian Ocean Commission.

I've authored or co-authored over 350 journal articles, book chapters, research reports, consultancy reports, media reports, conference papers and proceedings. I'm a reviewer for many scientific journals. 

I'm a scientific evaluator for several research councils in the UK, Europe, North America, Africa and Asia.


I have over 25 years of teaching and research experience. I became a Professor of Economics in 2018 and Director of the Centre for Blue Governance in 2019.

I'm currently an Invited Lecturer on the Master's program on Coastal Zone Management at the University of Antilles, Martinique and an Invited Researcher at the Caribbean Public Policy Research Centre. I'm also an Invited Professor at the Emerging Market Institute of Beijing Normal University, China.

I joined the University of Portsmouth as a Research Fellow in 1997. Before this, I was a teaching fellow for the Master’s programme in Marine Resource Management at the University of Québec in Rimouski, Canada.

I completed a PhD in Economics at the University of Portsmouth in 2012. I hold an MSc in Economics of Marine Resources, a Master's in Modern Philosophy and Contemporary Ethics and a Master's in Economic Science.

Research Interests

My core research interest is the governance of oceans and coasts in the context of global changes. My research covers:

  • Economic development
  • Blue governance
  • Blue carbon market
  • Marine resource economics
  • Trade and food security
  • Blue Governance
  • Payment for marine ecosystem services

PhD Research Supervision

I've supervised 9 PhDs and served as an external examiner for PhDs at universities in the UK and overseas.

I welcome enquiries and applications from students wishing to be supervised in PhD projects broadly within the areas listed above.

Teaching Responsibilities


I currently lecture on the following modules:

The Development Economics module has grown in popularity, attracting three times more students than it did five years ago. Student involvement is central to my lectures. 

Media Availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from the media on my research, and am aware of the need to respond to journalists in a timely manner. Please contact pierre.failler@port.ac.uk or +44 (0)23 9284 8505

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • 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 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

UNESCO Chair in Ocean Governance, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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