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PhD theses

I supervise a handful of PhD candidates in fisheries economics, coastal ecosystem management, and related issues. If you are interested in writing your PhD dissertation on a coastal or marine economic issue, feel free to contact me via this page. Please be aware of the following:

  • A PhD in The Netherlands typically takes four years, and includes a substantial training part.
  • In The Dutch system PhD candidates are usually recruited on a specific project after funding is required. The Netherlands has close to no tradition in open PhD positions as in the United States. You can check this website for current vacancies. Of course things become somewhat easier if you have already secured funding!

BSc and MSc theses

I regularly supervise BSc and MSc student theses in coastal and marine issues, and in non-market valuation. If you are a Wageningen University student, feel free to contact me for a discussion of your interests. Please be aware of he following:

  • A thesis in non-market valuation requires background knowledge of cost-benefit analysis and non-market valuation as taught, for example, in the Wageningen University course Cost-Benefit Analysis and Environmental Valuation (DEC-31306). Knowledge of statistics or econometrics is highly recommended.
  • If you're interested in modelling, you can do that in (in order of preference) Python, GAMS, R, Excel, or Matlab. Wageningen University offers a course on programming in Python. This course does not deal with economic models specifically so I can recommend checking out the Python packages SciPy and NumPy, which are very helpful for economic research. More advanced applications are available at http://quant-econ.net/. We also have an excellent course on developing environmental-economic models in GAMS (and a bit of Matlab).

Courses

My teaching focus on natural resource economics, fisheries economics, and nonmarket valuation. My major contributions are in the following Wageningen University courses:

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis and Environmental Valuation
  • Marine Resource Management
  • Environmental Economics In Practice

Draft course material

These are documents I wrote because I am not satisfied with the literature I found so far on these topics. Feel free to download, use, comment, and so on.

Dynamic optimisation when the future is unpredictable
Text used for a lecture on stochastic dynamic programming in a course on the economics of natural resources. I consider dynamic programming to be an elegant and practical approach to the analysis of natural resource management problems, but most introductory texts in natural resource economics say little about it. On the other hand, specialized texts on dynamic programming are too technical for a general course on natural resource economics. This text aims to provide an accessible introduction into dynamic programming to students in a wide range of MSc programmes, such as environmental sciences, international development studies, and economics.

Market failure and natural resource depletion
I co-teach a course on marine resource management where I explain the basic principles of natural resource economics to MSc students with almost no economic background. I have not yet found a text that explains natural resource economics in an accessible manner to this audience. So far this document only features the basics of supply, demand, consumer surplus, and producer surplus, but a revised and extended text is in progress.