Kathryn Willis is from the small town of Yolla on the north-west coast of Tasmania and joined the CSIRO Marine Debris Research Team in October 2022 as a postdoctoral research scientist. Kathryn is a marine socio-ecologist who is particularly interested in how communities can establish best-practice conservation management strategies in marine systems, and in doing so, maximise their environmental and social impact. She has worked extensively on policy responses to plastic pollution and the breadth of her work evaluates the selection, implementation and effectiveness of marine litter management strategies in countries around the world. Kathryn was a 2021 Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), University of Washington, Seattle USA, she completed her doctoral studies at the University of Tasmania where she conducted a continent-wide assessment of local government responses to plastic pollution in Australia. Kathy is passionately wanting to learn about community-based solutions that have social and environmental benefits beyond less pollution on our beaches, in our oceans and across our terrestrial and riverine landscapes. She is a big advocate for ECR led research, and promoting a healthy work – life balance.
Her current research portfolio includes the following projects: Co-leading the ‘Establishing a baseline of marine plastic pollution in the Philippines’, co-editor for ‘Ending Plastic Waste: Community Actions Around the World’ book released July 2023, CSIRO Ending Plastic Waste Mission.