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Sheila Walsh Reddy, Ph.D.


Sheila Walsh Reddy

Senior Scientist for Sustainability, The Nature Conservancy and Pilot Lead for the TNC-Dow Collaboration

Sheila is tackling global sustainability challenges by improving decision making related to nature for corporations, communities, governments, and individuals. Sheila’s approach to these problems integrates ecology, economics, and policy and leverages cross-sectoral collaborations.

Through TNC’s collaboration with The Dow Chemical Company, Sheila’s team is redefining how the largest corporations in the world value and engage with nature. Specifically, this work has led to a corporate-wide approach that is enabling Dow to systematically and explicitly value nature in decisions on site infrastructure, natural resource management, process improvement, and commercial opportunities. The foundation of this approach comes from Sheila’s work testing the business case that valuing natural capital can help businesses manage risk and create business value, while also creating value for society and the environment. Example business cases include evaluating natural and built infrastructure side-by-side to inform hurricane risk mitigation strategies, forecasting the value of freshwater assets and evaluating investments to mitigate climate risk, and comparing the value from selling forests into conservation and receiving ecosystem services vs. selling forests for development. To support site managers and engineers to evaluate their own business cases, Sheila has also helped develop a tool to rapidly quantify and value ecosystem services on an industrial site. This work has been highlighted in publications including The New Yorker, The Economist, Environmental Leader, Time, and A Better World, Inc. The TNC-Dow Collaboration received the Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnerships from Harvard University in 2013 and the Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals in 2015.

Read Sheila Walsh Reddy's Full Biography

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.

 

Publications

2015 

Reddy, S.M.W., R.I. McDonald, A. Maas, A. Rogers, E.H. Girvetz, S. Wood, J. Molnar, J. DiMuro, T. Finley, G. Leathers. Industrialized watersheds have elevated water risk and limited opportunities to mitigate risk through water trading. In press at Water Resources and Economics.

Leslie, H.M., X. Basurto, M. Nenadovic, L. Sievanen, K.C. Cavanaugh, J.J. Cota-Nieto, B. Erisman, E. Finkbeiner, G. Hinojosa-Arango, M. Moreno-Báez, S. Nagavarapu, S.M.W. Reddy, A. Sánchez-Rodríguez, K. Siegel, J.J. Ulibarria-Valenzuela, A. Hudson Weaver, O. Aburto-Oropeza. Operationalizing the social-ecological systems framework to assess sustainability. In press at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Wood C.L., J. Baum, S.M.W. Reddy, R. Trebilco, S. Sandin, B. Zgliczynski, A. Briggs, F. Micheli. Productivity and fishing pressure drive variability in fish parasite assemblages of the Line Islands, equatorial Pacific. In press at Ecology.

Reddy, S.M.W, R.I. McDonald, A. Maas, A. Rogers, E.H. Girvertz, J. North, J. Molnar, J. DiMuro, T. Finley, G. Leathers. 2015. Finding solutions to water scarcity: A case study of incorporating ecosystem service values into business planning at The Dow Chemical Company’s Freeport facility. Ecosystem Services. doi:10.1016/j.ecoser.2014.12.001  

2014 

Reddy, S.M. W., T. Groves, S. Nagavarapu. 2014. Consequences of a government-controlled agricultural price increase on fishing and the coral reef ecosystem in the Republic of Kiribati. PLoS ONE 9(5): e96817 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096817Faculty 1000 Recommended
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2013 

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/12-1196.1

2012 

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

2011 

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

2010 

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 http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0013969

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.

2009 

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.

2008 

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.

2006 

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.

2005 

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 is tackling global sustainability challenges by improving decision making related to nature for corporations, communities, governments, and individuals. Sheila’s approach to these problems integrates ecology, economics, and policy and leverages cross-sectoral collaborations.

Through TNC’s collaboration with The Dow Chemical Company, , Sheila’s team is redefining how the largest corporations in the world value and engage with nature. Specifically, this work has led to a corporate-wide approach that is enabling Dow to systematically and explicitly value nature in decisions on site infrastructure, natural resource management, process improvement, and commercial opportunities. The foundation of this approach comes from Sheila’s work testing the business case that valuing natural capital can help businesses manage risk and create business value, while also creating value for society and the environment. Example business cases include evaluating natural and built infrastructure side-by-side to inform hurricane risk mitigation strategies, forecasting the value of freshwater assets and evaluating investments to mitigate climate risk, and comparing the value from selling forests into conservation and receiving ecosystem services vs. selling forests for development. To support site managers and engineers to evaluate their own business cases, Sheila has also helped develop a tool to rapidly quantify and value ecosystem services on an industrial site. This work has been highlighted in publications including The New Yorker, The Economist, Environmental Leader, Time, and A Better World, Inc. The TNC-Dow Collaboration received the Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnerships from Harvard University in 2013 and the Alliance for Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals in 2015. 

Beyond the Dow collaboration, Sheila has also advanced strategies, science, and practices related to why local communities invest in natural infrastructure; how state and local governance influences freshwater, fisheries, and hazard mitigation; how behavioral economics explains resource use; how conservation innovations diffuse through social networks; and what makes social-ecological systems resilient. Sheila has over 20 publications in ecology, economics, and policy. She was named as a 2014 New Horizons in Science Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences. 

Sheila is the Vice Chair of the Environmental Advisory Board for the town of Carrboro, NC and on the speakers bureau for NC GreenPower. Prior to TNC, Sheila was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Economics at Brown University. Sheila received her Ph.D. from University of California-San Diego for research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Department of Economics. 

Contact

Robert Lalasz
Media Contact, Director of Science Communications
Phone: 571.425.6154
E-mail: rlalasz@tnc.org

Areas of Expertise

  • Ecosystem Services
  • Natural Capital
  • Sustainability

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