Madison Willert, Ph.D.
Knauss Marine Policy Fellow
Madison is a 2023 Knauss Marine Policy Fellow working jointly with the National Sea Grant Office and NOAA’s Marine Debris Program. Madison’s work supports the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act activities across both offices to enhance coordination and communication between the teams concerning marine debris-related projects.
Madison completed her PhD in 2022 at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Biological Sciences, where she used stable isotope analysis to investigate the long-term effects of overfishing on marine food webs. Her graduate work included a predoctoral research fellowship at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
During her Smithsonian fellowship, Madison analyzed specimens from the museum’s collections to evaluate anthropogenic-mediated dietary shifts in marine mesopredators over the past two hundred years. Her graduate work took her to French Polynesia, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, and Curaçao, inspiring a lifelong love for travel and marine fieldwork.
Madison holds a BA in biology from Carleton College, where she also minored in French. She is passionate about applied science and science-based marine conservation.