Melissa’s research focuses on the effects of land-based sources of pollution on coral thermal tolerance in American Samoa. She is also interested in how adaptive processes shape coral resistance to bleaching. Melissa is a graduate from University of Maryland, College Park and has also worked in research labs at Georgetown University and the University of Western Australia. In addition to her research, Melissa is active in environmental education and outreach and enjoys showing others why marine conservation is so important.
In her free time, Melissa enjoys exploring Big Sur, taking pictures, and cooking delicious vegetarian meals!
Melissa successfully defended her thesis work in July 2021 and is now pursuing a PhD at Southern Cross University, working with Dr. Emily Howells and Dr. Line Bay.