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Tessa Francis, Ph.D.

Lead Ecosystem Ecologist
Center for Urban Waters (CUW) 300
Phone Number
Campus Mailbox



Wildlife Science
University of Washington
Zoology and Urban Ecology
University of Washington
Political Science
University of California at Berkeley


Tessa Francis is the Lead Ecosystem Ecologist at the Puget Sound Institute, and the Managing Director of the Ocean Modeling Forum.  Tessa holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley; a B.S. in Wildlife Science from the University of Washington; and a Ph.D. in Zoology and Urban Ecology from the University of Washington.

Scholarly Interests

Tessa is an aquatic ecologist, trained as a limnologist and working in marine systems for the last 10+ years. She is interested in the important associations between terrestrial and aquatic habitats, and how watershed and shoreline dynamics impact aquatic food webs and populations. Tessa's field work focuses on ecosystem-based management of Puget Sound fish, including forage fish and salmonids. At PSI, she leads boundary-spanning activities and projects to link best available science to ecosystem-based management of Puget Sound, including via modeling and synthesis projects. At the Ocean Modeling Forum, Tessa forms and leads multidisciplinary working groups to improve model-based advice for ocean management, using multi-model approaches. She is also the chair of the PSEMP Modeling Work Group.


  • Editor, Encyclopedia of Puget Sound
  • Northwest Straits Commission Science Advisory Board (former)
  • Chair, Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program Modeling Working Group (former)
Personal Website
Selected Publications

Magel C.L. and Francis T.B. 2022. Evaluating ecosystem-based management alternatives for the Puget Sound, U.S.A. social-ecological system using qualitative watershed models. Front. Mar. Sci. 9:1012019. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2022.1012019

James, C.A., Francis, T.B., Baker, J.E. Georgiadis, N., Kinney, A., Magel, C., Rice, J., Roberts, T. and Wright, C.W. 2022. A boundary spanning system supports large-scale ecosystem-based management. Environmental Science & Policy 133: 137-145.

Francis, T.B., Sullaway, G.H., Feist, B.E., Shelton, A.O., Chui, E., Daley, C., Frick, K.E., Tolimieri, N., Williams, G.D. and Samhouri, J.F. 2022. Equivocal associations between small-scale shoreline restoration and subtidal fishes in an urban estuary. Restor Ecol e13652.