Our People

Sheila Walsh Reddy

Conservation Impact Lead, Chief Conservation Office

Durham, North Carolina USA

Headshot of Sheila Reddy.

Sheila Reddy Sheila Reddy © Johnny Stafford


Economics, Ecosystem Services, Sustainability


Matt Miller
ph. +1 208-350-2203


Dr. Sheila Reddy is the Conservation Impact Lead at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). She leads TNC’s approach to monitoring, evaluation, and learning, with the goal of reducing risk, improving management, and scaling impact in conservation.

Sheila forms strategic partnerships to overcome barriers to measuring conservation impact at the right cost, scale, and level of certainty throughout the life-cycle of conservation projects and programs. Current partnerships leverage a range of agile, science-based, and technology-enabled approaches---e.g., experiments/quasi-experiments, deep learning, remote sensing---to assess impacts on ecosystems, water quality, agricultural practices, and human well-being.

Sheila’s previous collaborative work in conservation science, applied economics, and corporate sustainability has received awards for innovation, academic and social impact. She serves as an Associate Editor for the journal, Conservation Science and Practice.

Sheila previously served as Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives and as a Senior Scientist and Strategy Advisor at TNC. Before joining TNC in 2011, Sheila was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University in Economics and Ecology. She earned her Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography through a program with the Department of Economics, University of California-San Diego. She has B.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University.

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In addition to publishing in peer-reviewed journals (see Publications tab), Sheila has written numerous essays and her collaborative research has been covered by various media outlets (see selection below). 


Visit Sheila's Google Scholar Profile for a full list of publications.


Reddy, S.M., Montambault, J., Masuda, Y.J., Keenan, E., Butler, W., Fisher, J.R., Asah, S.T. & Gneezy, A. (2017). Advancing Conservation by Understanding and Influencing Human Behavior. Conservation Letters, 10, 248–256.


Aburto-Oropeza, O., Leslie, H.M., Mack-Crane, A., Nagavarapu, S., Reddy, S.M.W. & Sievanen, L. (2016). Property rights for fishing cooperatives: how (and how well) do they work? World Bank Econ Rev, lhw001.

Reddy, S.M., Guannel, G., Griffin, R., Faries, J., Boucher, T., Thompson, M., Brenner, J., Bernhardt, J., Verutes, G., Wood, S.A., Silver, J.A., Toft, J., Rogers, A., Maas, A., Guerry, A., Molnar, J. & DiMuro, J.L. (2016). Evaluating the role of coastal habitats and sea-level rise in hurricane risk mitigation: an ecological economic assessment method and application to a business decision. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 12, 328–344.


Kochnower, D., Reddy, S.M.W. & Flick, R.E. (2015). Factors influencing local decisions to use habitats to protect coastal communities from hazards. Ocean & Coastal Management, 116, 277–290.

Leslie, H.M., Basurto, X., Nenadovic, M., Sievanen, L., Cavanaugh, K.C., Cota-Nieto, J.J., Erisman, B.E., Finkbeiner, E., Hinojosa-Arango, G., Moreno-Báez, M., Nagavarapu, S., Reddy, S.M.W., Sánchez-Rodríguez, A., Siegel, K., Ulibarria-Valenzuela, J.J., Weaver, A.H. & Aburto-Oropeza, O. (2015). Operationalizing the social-ecological systems framework to assess sustainability. PNAS, 112, 5979–5984.

Reddy, S.M.W., McDonald, R.I., Maas, A.S., Rogers, A., Girvetz, E.H., Molnar, J., Finley, T., Leathers, G. & DiMuro, J.L. (2015). Industrialized watersheds have elevated risk and limited opportunities to mitigate risk through water trading. Water Resources and Industry, 11, 27–45.

Reddy, S.M.W., McDonald, R.I., S. Maas, A., Rogers, A., Girvetz, E.H., North, J., Molnar, J., Finley, T., Leathers, G. & L. DiMuro, J. (2015). Finding solutions to water scarcity: incorporating ecosystem service values into business planning at The Dow Chemical Company’s Freeport, TX facility. Ecosystem Services, 12, 94–107.

Wood, C.L., Baum, J.K., Reddy, S.M.W., Trebilco, R., Sandin, S.A., Zgliczynski, B.J., Briggs, A.A. & Micheli, F. (2015). Productivity and fishing pressure drive variability in fish parasite assemblages of the Line Islands, equatorial Pacific. Ecology, 96, 1383–1398.


Reddy, S.M.W., Groves, T. & Nagavarapu, S. (2014). Consequences of a government-controlled agricultural price increase on fishing and the coral reef ecosystem in the Republic of Kiribati. PLOS ONE, 9, e96817. Faculty 1000 Recommended


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

Roy, E.D., Morzillo, A.T., Seijo, F., Reddy, S.M.W., Rhemtulla, J.M., Milder, J.C., Kuemmerle, T. & Martin, S.L. (2013). The elusive pursuit of interdisciplinarity at the human-environment interface. BioScience, 63, 745–753.


Carilli, J. & Walsh, S. (2012). Benthic foraminiferal assemblages from Kiritimati (Christmas) Island indicate human-mediated nutrification has occurred over the scale of decades. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 456, 87–99.

Walsh, S.M., Hamilton, S.L., Ruttenberg, B.I., Donovan, M.K. & Sandin, S.A. (2012). Fishing top predators indirectly affects condition and reproduction in a reef-fish community. Journal of Fish Biology, 80, 519–537.


Ruttenberg, B.I., Hamilton, S.L., Walsh, S.M., Donovan, M.K., Friedlander, A., DeMartini, E., Sala, E. & Sandin, S.A. (2011). Predator-induced demographic shifts in coral reef fish assemblages. PLOS ONE, 6, e21062.

Walsh, S.M. (2011). Ecosystem-scale effects of nutrients and fishing on coral reefs, ecosystem-scale effects of nutrients and fishing on coral reefs. Journal of Marine Biology, 2011, e187248.


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

Eakin, C.M., Morgan, J.A., et al. (2010). Caribbean corals in crisis: record thermal stress, bleaching, and mortality in 2005. PLOS ONE, 5, e13969.

Sandin, S.A., Walsh, S.M. & Jackson, J.B.C. (2010). Prey release, trophic cascades, and phase shifts in tropical nearshore ecosystems. In: Trophic cascades: predators, prey, and the changing dynamics of nature (eds. Terborgh, J. & Estes, J.A.). Island Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 71–91.

Vermeij, M.J.A., Dailer, M.L., Walsh, S.M., Donovan, M.K. & Smith, C.M. (2010). The effects of trophic interactions and spatial competition on algal community composition on Hawaiian coral reefs. Marine Ecology, 31, 291–299.

Walsh, S.M., Groves, T. & Nagavarapu, S. (2010). Promoting alternative livelihoods for conservation backfires when non-monetary benefits of traditional livelihoods are important(Working Paper No. 10-02). Center for Environmental Economics.


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


Sandin, S.A., Smith, J.E., DeMartini, E.E., Dinsdale, E.A., Donner, S.D., Friedlander, A.M., Konotchick, T., Malay, M., Maragos, J.E., Obura, D., Pantos, O., Paulay, G., Richie, M., Rohwer, F., Schroeder, R.E., Walsh, S., Jackson, J.B.C., Knowlton, N. & Sala, E. (2008). Baselines and degradation of coral reefs in the northern Line Islands. PLOS ONE, 3, e1548.


Carson, R. & Walsh, S.M. (2006). Preventing damage from major oil spills: lessons from the Exxon Valdez. Oceanis, 32, 349–372.

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

Walsh, S.M. & McField, M. (2006). Understanding patterns of bleaching in the mesoamerican reef – a collaborative effort to support resilience-based management. In: A reef manager’s guide to coral bleaching (eds. Marshall, P. & Schuttenberg, H.). Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australia.