Mr. Stuart Laing

Department of Environment

Research Member
Blue Economy Research Institute

Focus areas: Natural Resource Economics, Environmental Externalities, Experimental Survey Implementation and Analysis, Execution of Coral Reef and Fishery Monitoring Technical Work

BERI Focal Point: Economic Valuations, Ecosystem Valuations, In-situ field project expertise

Stuart joined the University of Seychelles in April 2019 as a Lecturer in the Department of Environment and a research member of BERI.  Stuart comes from a diverse background of economics and technical expertise – primarily in the marine realm – having also spent time consulting. His PhD is considering the use value of Scuba diving on the coral reefs of northern KwaZulu-Natal and southern Mozambique, seeking to establish the importance of these reefs to the country. In this research he is using the contingent valuation method and choice experiments, two stated preference methods of economic valuation, to ascertain not only the value of the reefs to the scuba divers but also to explore their preferences. The knock on effects of changes in coral reef health in the project area will assist managers and policy makers in understanding the importance of sound ecosystem management.

His inter-disciplinarity and varied skill set have seen him collaborate with a range of South African and international institutions (WCS, Five Oceans Environmental, SAIAB, Rhodes University, SAEON) as well as working in countries such as Angola, Gabon, Oman, Abu Dhabi and Mozambique. His technical skills have seen him gaining a sound understanding of the natural world, enabling him to bridge the gap between science and economics.