About Willow Battista

Willow Battista

Senior Manager, Climate Resilient Food Systems


Areas of expertise:

Food systems; Aquatic foods; 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 EDF’s Climate Resilient Food Systems program where she hopes to help transform our global food systems to be sustainable, equitable, and climate-resilient through application and scaling of interventions that center and elevate the needs and perspectives of small-scale food producers and other vulnerable and marginalized food system actors. Previously, as a member of the Oceans Program, her work 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 lead role in the creation of many of the Oceans Program’s tools and resources, including the Oceans Program’s Principles of Equity and Environmental Justice, the Framework for Integrated Stock and Habitat Evaluation (FISHE), the Comprehensive Assessment of Risks to Ecosystems (CARE), the Governance and Policy Analysis tool, and the Scaling Strategy Toolkit.


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

Kleisner, K. M., Ojea, E., Battista, W., Burden, M., Cunningham, E., Fujita, R., Karr, K., Amorós, S., Mason, J., Rader, D., Rovegno, N., & Thomas-Smyth, A. (2021). Identifying policy approaches to build social–ecological resilience in marine fisheries with differing capacities and contexts. ICES Journal of Marine Science, fsab080. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsab080

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