Barry Costa-Pierce Professor

Executive Director,
Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine
Executive Director,
Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine

Contact Details

Maine EPSCoR at the University of Maine
Portland, ME


Barry Costa-Pierce is the Executive Director of UNE NORTH and the Henry L. & Grace Doherty Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of New England. He has a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Hawai'i, and a Master’s of Science in Zoology/Limnology from the University of Vermont. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has a 40-year career working as an aquaculture and fisheries research scientist and policy expert for education and research organizations, banks, and industries throughout the World having lived long term in Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and the Americas, and, more recently, in Europe. He served for 20 years as an Editor and Editor-in-Chief for Aquaculture (Elsevier). Barry moved to Maine in 2012 to lead the development of new (and revitalization of old) marine programs at UNE. After 6 years in that job, in 2018 he accepted an appointment from UNE’s new President James Herbert to become the founding Executive Director of UNE’s first Institute, named “UNE NORTH”, The Institute for North Atlantic Studies. In that position, he has served as a Fulbright scholar in Iceland; was awarded a Royal Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Wallenberg Professorship at the University of Gothenberg in Sweden; and co-chaired a global aquaculture research conference in China. More recently, after 3 years of study, he launched  a new Master’s degree program in “Ocean Food Systems” at UNE. This innovative program currently has its first class of students from throughout the world in which students apply their studies with industry partners to improve the value chains of ocean food systems. Barry is a first generation college graduate of Azorean-Portuguese immigrants who worked for generations in fishing communities there, and afterwards in New England.


University of Hawai'i
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Oceanography, Aquaculture
1980 To 1985
Dissertation: Ecology of aquaculture ponds
Advisor: Professor Ed Laws

University of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont, United States
M.Sc., 1980
Zoology, Limnology, Aquaculture
1978 To 1980
Dissertation: Algal dynamics in solar aquaculture ponds
Advisor: Dr. George LaBar

Job History

UNE NORTH: The Institute for North Atlantic Studies
Founding Executive Director
Portland, ME, United States
May 2018 - present

UNE Marine Science Center
Biddeford, ME, United States
June 2012 - May 2018

UNE Department of Marine Sciences
Department Chair
Biddeford, ME, United States
June 2012 - May 2018

Rhode Island Sea Grant
Narragansett, RI, United States
May 2001 - April 2012

University of Rhode Island
Professor of Fisheries & Aquaculture
Kingston, RI, United States
May 2001 - April 2012