Melissa joined the Koprowski Conservation Research Laboratory as a wildlife biologist in 2005. She received her Master's degree at Idaho State University with a post-baccalaureate certificate in geotechnology. Melissa completed her PhD testing hypotheses related to Mt. Graham red squirrel natal dispersal and habitat selection in 2016. More here. She works to support vertebrate conservation research design and implementation in the field, maintains spatial data sets, hires and trains research assistants, helps out with teaching in the department and serves on various committees. Broadly Melissa's research interests focus on the spatial ecology, demography, and threats to the persistence of threatened and endangered vertebrates, including the endangered Mt. Graham red squirrel.
Melissa has experience working with diverse taxa from mammals small and large, to birds, reptiles, amphibians, and beetles. Her research incorporates life history, spatial ecology, and behavior, population modeling, spatial statistics, habitat use and connectivity modeling.
Melissa's primary position is now Associate Director of Recovery Ecology for the Southwest Hub, San Diego Wildlife Alliance.