Melissa E. Kemp
PhD Biology, Stanford University
Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas, Austin
Melissa Kemp is an evolutionary biologist who uses the fossil record and historical data to investigate species responses to global change phenomena.
Melissa earned her BA in biology from Williams College in 2010 and her PhD in biology from Stanford University in 2015. At Stanford, she studied the phylogeography of Indo-Pacific clownfish and the population genetics of chorus frogs. Her doctoral dissertation assessed the impact of environmental perturbations on the ecology and evolution of Caribbean lizards at three scales: (1) the regional scale, by evaluating and modeling extinction processes; (2) the community scale, by elucidating the interplay of species richness and species abundance over time; and (3) the species-scale, by assessing genetic responses to biotic and abiotic perturbations.
As an Environmental Fellow, Melissa worked Jonathan Losos of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology to investigate how past global change forces have altered species distributions in Anolis lizards. This helped reveal population trajectories before, during, and after environmental perturbations are encountered, and provided a framework for evaluating future range shifts.
Jonathan Losos, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology