Edward H. Allison

Professor of marine & Environmental affairs

SMEA, University of Washington

CV | SMEA | College of the Environment | google scholar | Research Gate


Research Summary

I am an interdisciplinary marine scientist with interests in coastal and marine social-ecological systems, particularly small-scale fisheries.  My work is often closely linked to policy or management and development practice and spans scales from global meta-analysis, through national policy analysis to local-site case-studies. My recent work has focused on people’s vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, and on the links between fisheries governance, marine conservation, poverty reduction, food security and human health.  Conceptually, my work is informed by scholarship in social-ecological systems and sustainability science, development studies and political ecology.  I often work in partnership with anthropologists, economists, human geographers and ecologists as well as other interdisciplinary scholars. Methodologically, I do both primary and secondary research and combine quantitative and qualitative analysis.  I have worked mainly in tropical areas of Africa, South and South East Asia, though I’ve also completed projects in the UK, Latin America and Oceania and have recently started projects in the Pacific North West. 

For more information about my work and that of the MARINA Lab, please see our Research page.

Courses Taught

SMEA 500 - Introduction to Marine Affairs
SMEA 501 - Interdisciplinary Marine Affairs Practice
SMEA 550B - Marine Affairs Issues in Puget Sound (Field Course)
SMEA 550C - Fish in the Global Food System


Selected Publications

Cinner, J. E., Adger, W. N., Allison, E. H., Barnes, M. L., Brown, K., Cohen, P. J., … Morrison, T. H. (2018). Building adaptive capacity to climate change in tropical coastal communities. Nature Climate Change, 8(2), 117–123.

Kittinger, J. N., Teh, L. C., Allison, E. H., Bennett, N. J., Crowder, L. B., Finkbeiner, E. M., ... & Young, J. (2017). Committing to socially responsible seafood. Science, 356(6341), 912-913.

Singleton, R. L., Allison, E. H., Le Billon, P., & Sumaila, U. R. (2017). Conservation and the right to fish: International conservation NGOs and the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries. Marine Policy, 84, 22-32.

Whitney, C.K., N.J. Bennett,  N.C. Ban,  E.H. Allison, D. R. Armitage, J. Blythe, J. M. Burt, W. Cheung, E. M. Finkbeiner, M. Kaplan-Hallam, R. I. Perry, N. J. Turner & L. Yumagulova (2017) Adaptive capacity: From assessment to action in coastal social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society, 22(2):22. 

Cinner, J. E., Huchery, C., MacNeil, M. A., Graham, N. A., McClanahan, T. R., Maina, J., ... & Allison, E. H. (2016). Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs. Nature, 535(7612), 416-419.

Golden, C.D., Allison, E.H., Cheung, W.W.L., Dey, M.M., Halpern, B.S., McCauley, D.J., Smith, M. and Vaitla, B. (2016). Nutrition: Fall in fish catch threatens human healthNature534, 317–320. 

Allison, E.H. and H.R. Bassett (2015). Climate change in the oceans: Human impacts and responses. Science 350(6262): 778-782.

Cinner J.E., Huchery C., Hicks C.C., Daw T.M., Marshall N., Wamukota A., Allison E.H. (2015). Changes in adaptive capacity of Kenyan fishing communities. Nature Climate Change 5: 872-876. 

Sampson G.S.,  Sanchirico J.N., Roheim C.A., Bush S.R., Taylor J.E., Allison E.H., Anderson J.L., Ban N.C., Fujita R., Jupiter S., and Wilson J.R. (2015) Secure sustainable seafood from developing countries. Science 348 (6234): 504–506. 

Bell, J.D., V. Allain, E.H. Allison, S. Andréfouët, N.L. Andrew, M.J. Batty, M. Blanc, J.M. Dambacher, J. Hampton, Q. Hanich, et al. (2015). Diversifying the use of tuna to improve food security and public health in Pacific Island countries and territories. Marine Policy 51: 584-591

Barange, M., G. Merino, J. L. Blanchard, J. Scholtens, J. Harle, E. H. Allison, J. I. Allen, J. Holt & S. Jennings (2014). Impacts of climate change on marine ecosystem production in societies dependent on fisheries. Nature Climate Change 4: 211–216

Ratner, B.D., Åsgård, B., & Allison, E.H. (2014). Fishing for justice: human rights, development, and fisheries sector reform.  Global Environmental Change 27: 120-13

Hall, S.J., R. Hilborn, N.L. Andrew and E.H. Allison (2013). Innovations in capture fisheries are an imperative for nutrition security in the developing world.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110(21): 8393-8398

Allison, E.H., Ratner, B.D., Asgard, B.A., Willmann, R., Pomeroy, R.D., and Kurien, J. (2012). Rights-based fisheries governance: from fishing rights to human rights.   Fish and Fisheries 13(1): 14-29.

Armitage, D., Béné, C, Charles, A., Johnson, D. and Allison, E.H. (2012).  The interplay of wellbeing and resilience in applying a social-ecological perspectiveEcology & Society 17(4): 15

Béné, C., B. Hersoug, and E. H. Allison (2010). Not by rent alone: analyzing the pro-poor functions of small-scale fisheries in developing countries.  Development Policy Review 28(3): 325-358.

Allison, E.H., A. Perry, M-C. Badjeck, W.N. Adger, N.L. Andrew, K. Brown, D. Conway, A. Halls, G.M Pilling, J.D. Reynolds, and N.K. Dulvy (2009) Vulnerability of national economies to potential impacts of climate change on fisheries. Fish and Fisheries 10: 173-196.

Kissling, E., E.H. Allison, J.A. Seeley, S. Russell, M. Bachmann, S.D. Musgrave and S. Heck (2005).  Fisherfolk are among groups most at risk of HIV: cross-country analysis of prevalence and numbers infected.  AIDS 19(17): 1939-1946.

Allison, E.H., and F. Ellis (2001).  The livelihoods approach and management of small-scale fisheries.  Marine Policy 25 (5) 377-388.


Prospective Students

Professor Allison is leaving the University of Washington in October 2019, therefore will not be taking on new graduate students to his advising group. Details of his new position will be posted here in September 2019.


Photos: A floating village in Tonle Sap, Cambodia by Eddie Allison and shellfishing in Puget Sound, WA.