Research Interests

  • Interdisciplinary, international marine conservation & resource management
  • Social-ecological assessment of conservation issues and management effectiveness, with a focus on small-scale fisheries, area-based conservation, and marine mammal bycatch in developing countries
  • Stewardship of coastal resources by communities in developing countries
  • Behavioral ecology & conservation of marine megafauna
  • Working with local communities to build capacity for conservation
  • Enhancing conservation-relevant communication and collaboration across projects, disciplines, sectors, and regions


  • Ph.D. - Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2014
  • M.S. - Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2009
  • B.A. - Princeton University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a certificate in Environmental Studies, 2005


I am an NSF SEES Fellow & Conservation Assessment Scholar at the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (CMBC), and the founder & co-chair of CMBC's Small-Scale & Artisanal Fisheries Research Network (SAFRN).

For my postdoctoral research, I'm working with Octavio Aburto and the Gulf of California Marine Program at CMBC, Ratana Chuenpagdee and Too Big To Ignore, the Marine Conservation Institute, and more, to evaluate how Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs), and Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs) meet ecological and social management objectives, ranging from protection of biodiversity to human rights.

My general research interest is interdisciplinary conservation of nearshore environments in developing nations. I also seek to understand and improve how the conservation community communicates and collaborates, so that recommendations resulting from research can better be linked to concrete, effective action.

Lab website: tswhitty.com