Valderrama, Diego

Diego Valderrama is Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University and International Research Associate of EfD Colombia. He holds a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Rhode Island (2008).  

Research interests 

The major focus of his research is the application of economic methods to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of living marine resources.  With regard to fisheries, he has developed sophisticated bio-economic models providing innovative insights for the management of scallop and salmon fisheries in the U.S. as well as queen conch and deep-sea shrimp fisheries in Colombia.  Recent research has also focused on the management of invasive species in marine ecosystems. 

In the aquaculture field, he has investigated the production and environmental economics of a broad range of species (shrimp, tilapia, catfish, hybrid striped bass, sturgeon, scallops, seaweed) and systems (primarily pond aquaculture but also marine aquaculture).  His research has also attempted to measure the potential of aquaculture to improve the socio-economic conditions of coastal communities affected by declining fisheries in developing countries.


His most important mentee is Jorge Marco Renau, a Postdoc Research Associate of the EfD Marine Program at the Department of Economics at Universidad de los Andes (Colombia). Coauthored three papers with him over the last five years. Currently mentoring graduate students at George Mason University, including two female students. 


Last three grants: 

Assessing Global Aquaculture Production Systems. 2021. Funding Agency: Environment for Development (Program: Blue Resources for Development).  

An Economic Assessment of Ecosystem Services Associated with Kelp Aquaculture - Business and Economic Planning for Seaweed Aquaculture Systems in the United States. 2020. Funding Agency: NOAA Sea Grant (Program: Addressing Economic and Market Needs of the U.S. Aquaculture Industry).  

Assessing the Catch Efficiency of Innovative Trapping Devices to Improve the Response to the Lionfish (Pterois volitans and P. miles) Invasion in Threatened Areas of the Caribbean Sea. 2018. Funding Agency: The Eppley Foundation for Research. 

Policy engagement 

Establishment of a research partnership with INVEMAR, the premier marine research institute in Colombia. 


Peter Berck’s Best Discussion Paper Award, 15th Annual Meeting of the Environment for Development (EfD) Initiative, November 15-19, 2021. Title of Paper: “Improving Utilization of the Queen Conch (Aliger Gigas) Resource in the Colombian Caribbean: A Bioeconomic Model of Rotational Harvesting”. Coauthored with Jorge Marco, Diego Valderrama, Mario Rueda, and Maykol Rodriguez Prieto.…;


People | 5 June 2018