Willow Battista

Manager, Resilient Fisheries


Areas of expertise:
Climate-resilient fisheries; Data-limited scientific assessment (stocks and ecosystems) and adaptive management; Designing equitable management systems; Effective governance for sustainable management; Principles for scaling successful solutions; Designing behavioral science-based interventions for marine conservation problems.

Willow is a member of the Ocean Climate Strategies Team. Her recent work has focused on understanding the impacts of climate change on fisheries, and especially on small-scale fishing communities, and on helping these communities build sustainable resilience. She has had a role in the creation of many of FSC’s tools, including the Comprehensive Assessment of Risks to Ecosystems (CARE), the Governance and Policy Analysis tool, and the Scaling Strategy Toolkit.

Willow also leads our efforts to understand the principles of equity and environmental justice, and to better apply them in our marine resource management work. She hopes to use these guiding principles to better help fishery-dependent communities transition to holistically improved systems that can thrive in spite of climate-driven changes.


Before coming to EDF (first as a consultant in 2012, transitioning to staff in 2018), Willow received a Master’s in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UCSB, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Washington. Although Willow found psychology fascinating, and spent a handful of years working in psych research, she knew her heart was always in conservation science. This led her to make the leap back to environmental science for grad school, so she could work on issues she is passionate about like finding ways to help meet human needs without depleting limited resources or over-burdening the biophysical systems on which we depend.


Battista, W., Karr, K., Sarto, N., & Fujita, R. (2017). Comprehensive Assessment of Risk to Ecosystems (CARE): A cumulative ecosystem risk assessment tool. Fisheries Research, 185, 115–129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2016.09.017

Battista, W., Kelly, R. P., Erickson, A., & Fujita, R. (2016). A Comprehensive Method for Assessing Marine Resource Governance: Case Study in Kāne‘ohe Bay, Hawai‘i. Coastal Management, 44(4), 295–332. https://doi.org/10.1080/08920753.2016.1135277

Battista, W., Kelly, R. P., Erickson, A., & Fujita, R. (2019). Fisheries Governance Affecting Conservation Outcomes in the United States and European Union. Coastal Management. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08920753.2018.1498711

Battista, W., Romero-Canyas, R., Smith, S. L., Fraire, J., Effron, M., Larson-Konar, D., & Fujita, R. (2018). Behavior Change Interventions to Reduce Illegal Fishing. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00403

Battista, W., Tourgee, A., Wu, C., & Fujita, R. (2017). How to Achieve Conservation Outcomes at Scale: An Evaluation of Scaling Principles. Frontiers in Marine Science, 3. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2016.00278

Fujita, R., Karr, K., Battista, W., & Rader, D. N. (2013). A Framework for Developing Scientific Management Guidance for Data-Limited Fisheries. Proceedings of the 66th Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, 83–90. http://www.academia.edu/download/36517249/Fujita_etal-_Framework_for_data-limite_fishreies-GCFI_2013.pdf

Jacobsen, K. I., Battista, W. J., Kaplan, L. M., Price Tack, J. L., Villarreal, M. D., & Costello, C. (2016). A model to assess trade-offs between environmental impact and profitability of offshore salmon farms: A case study on Chile. Journal of Applied Aquaculture, 28(3), 144–182. https://doi.org/10.1080/10454438.2016.1175831

Kelly, R. P., Erickson, A. L., Mease, L. A., Battista, W., Kittinger, J. N., & Fujita, R. (2014). Embracing thresholds for better environmental management. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 370(1659), 20130276–20130276. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2013.0276

Smith, S. L., Battista, W., Sarto, N., Fujita, R., Stetten, D. C., Karasik, R., & Burden, M. (2019). A framework for allocating fishing rights in small-scale fisheries. Ocean & Coastal Management, 177, 52–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.04.020

Press materials