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Sheila Reddy

Sheila Reddy

Senior Scientist for Sustainability

Sheila Reddy is focused on finding solutions to global sustainability challenges that benefit people and nature. 

As a science lead for TNC’s collaboration with The Dow Chemical Company, Sheila is developing methods to integrate the value of nature into business decisions. Examples include the first side-by-side economic evaluation of natural (marshes) and built (levees) infrastructure to inform Dow’s hurricane risk mitigation strategy; novel methods to assess economic risk from water shortages and to identify solutions using natural capital valuation and water price forecasting; and a tool to rapidly quantify and value multiple ecosystem services at a business site. In recognition of these novel approaches to enhance the environment, the TNC-Dow Collaboration was recently awarded the Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnerships from Harvard University. In addition to publishing in scientific journals and writing for TNC’s Cool Green Science and Science Chronicles, Sheila’s research has been featured in books and popular media outlets, such as Time Magazine, NPR, and She is a member of TNC’s Presidential Advisory Council, the Environmental Advisory Board for the town of Carrboro, North Carolina, and advises graduate students at Duke University and University of California-San Diego.

Prior to joining TNC, Sheila was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Economics at Brown University, where she studied market drivers of sustainable fisheries in Mexico. She also served as a socioeconomics expert on the Phoenix Islands Protected Area for Conservation International. While working on her Ph.D., Sheila was a visiting scientist at the Beijer Institute for Ecological Economics, Sweden and the Ministry of Fisheries, Republic of Kiribati. She also worked with World Wildlife Fund in the Mesoamerican Reef to incorporate coral bleaching sensitivity into marine reserve design. Sheila received her Ph.D. from the interdisciplinary conservation program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in affiliation with the Department of Economics, University of California-San Diego, and her B.S. in Biological Sciences with Honors from Stanford University.

Essays and Media

In addition to publishing in peer-reviewed journals (see publications tab), Sheila has written numerous essays and her research has been covered by various media outlets (see selection below). You can also follow her on Twitter at @NatureReddy.




Roy, E. D., A. T. Morzillo, F. Seijo, S. M. Reddy, J. M. Rhemtulla, J. C. Midler, T. Kuemmerle, and S. L. Martin. 2013. The elusive pursuit of interdisciplinarity at the human-environment interface. BioScience. 63:745-753.

Reddy, S.M.W., A. Wentz, M. Maxey, O. Aburto-Oropeza, S. Nagavarapu, H. Leslie. 2013. Evidence of market-driven size-selective fishing and the mediating effects of biological and institutional factors. Ecological Applications 23: 726-741.


Carilli, J.E. and Walsh, S.M. 2012. Benthic foraminiferal assemblages from Kiritimati (Christmas) Island indicate increased nutrification has occurred on a decadal scale. Marine Ecology Progress Series 456:87-99. doi:10.3354/meps09684

Walsh, S. M., B.I. Ruttenberg, S.L. Hamilton, M. Donovan, S.A. Sandin. 2012. Fishing indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef fish community. Journal of Fish Biology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2011.03209.x


Ruttenberg B.I., Hamilton S.L., Walsh S.M., Donovan M.K., Friedlander A., et al. 2011. Predator-induced demographic shifts in coral reef fish assemblages. PLoS ONE 6(6): e21062. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021062

Walsh, S.M. 2011. Ecosystem-scale effects of nutrients and fishing on coral reefs. Journal of Marine Biology. doi:10.1155/2011/187248


Walsh, Sheila, Theodore Groves, Sriniketh Nagavarapu. "Promoting Alternative Livelihoods for Conservation Backfires when Non-Monetary Benefits of Traditional Livelihoods are Important", July 2, 2010. UCSD, Center for Environmental Economics, Working Paper Series 10-02.

Eakin, C.M. et al. (and 63 co-authors). 2010. Caribbean corals in crisis: record thermal stress, bleaching, and mortality in 2005. PLoS ONE

Sandin, S.A., S.M. Walsh, J.B.C. Jackson. 2010. Prey release, trophic cascades, and phase shifts in tropical nearshore marine ecosystems. In J. Estes and J. Terborgh (eds) Trophic cascades, Island Press. pp. 71-91.

Carilli, J.E., R.D. Norris, B. Black, S.M. Walsh, M.D. McField. 2010. Century-scale records of coral growth rates indicate that local stressors reduce coral thermal tolerance threshold. Global Change Biology 16: 1247-1257.

Vermeij, M., M. Dailer, S.M. Walsh, M. Donovan, C. Smith. 2010. The effects of trophic interactions and spatial competition on algal community composition on Hawaiian Coral Reefs. Marine Ecology 31: 291-299.


Carilli, J.E., R.D. Norris, B.A. Black, S.M. Walsh, M. McField. 2009. Local stressors reduce coral resilience to bleaching. PLoS ONE 4(7): e6324.


Sandin S.A., J.E. Smith, E.E. DeMartini, E.D. Dinsdale, S.D. Donner, A.M. Friedlander, T. Konotchick, M. Maley, J.E. Maragos, D. Obura, O. Pantos, G. Paulay, M. Richie, F. Rowher, R.E. Schroeder, S.M. Walsh, J.B.C. Jackson., N. Knowlton, E. Sala. 2008. Degradation of coral reef communities across a gradient of recent human disturbance. PLoS ONE 3(2): e1548.


Carson, R. and S. Walsh. 2006. Preventing oil spill damages: lessons from the Exxon Valdez. Oceanis 32(3/4): 349-372.

Garren, M., S.M. Walsh, A. Caccone, N. Knowlton. 2006. Patterns of association between Symbiodinium and members of the Montastraea annularis species complex on spatial scales ranging from within colonies to between geographic ranges. Coral Reefs (25): 503-512.


Walsh, S. and M. McField. 2005. Understanding patterns of bleaching in the Mesoamerican Reef: A collaborative effort to support resilience-based management. Major contribution in H. Schuttenberg and P. Marshall, eds. Responding to global change: a reef manager’s guide to coral bleaching. NOAA, Washington, D.C.

Sheila Reddy

Senior Scientist for Sustainability

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