Heather Tallis

The Nature Conservancy

Global Managing Director / Lead Scientist for Strategy Innovation



Heather Tallis is Global Managing Director and Lead Scientist for Strategy Innovation at The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental organization. She currently leads the Science iTeam, dedicated to bringing innovation and integration to the world’s most pressing challenges for people and nature. Tallis works to integrate ecological, social and economic sciences so that human well-being is integrated into conservation practice from the planning stage forward. She founded and chairs the Bridge Collaborative, an effort to build evidence-based impact across environment, health and development communities. Her work on the ground is aimed at transforming the way we see and manage links between nature and people in water management systems, health care, infrastructure, education, supply chains, and even peace processes. Tallis has guided initiatives with diverse stakeholders across the globe and held expert advisory roles with the World Bank and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Prior to joining the Conservancy in 2013, Tallis was lead scientist at the Natural Capital Project, where she led the development of pioneering software applications, InVEST, RIOS and OPAL that reveal the ecosystem services costs and benefits of land and water use decisions. Beyond her science-policy work, Tallis is invested in fostering diversity and inclusion, hosting events and speaking widely on the need to shift the face and focus of conservation.

Tallis holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Washington and Master’s degrees from the University of Otago and University of California, Santa Cruz, where she is now adjunct faculty. She is co-editor of the book Natural Capital: The Theory and Practice of Mapping Ecosystem Services, released by Oxford University Press in 2011.

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