Melissa is the joint social science liaison with the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Washington Sea Grant. Prior to joining NWFSC in 2012 as an affiliate research social scientist, Melissa was a core research PI at the Institute for Culture and Ecology, and worked in collaboration with the USDA Pacific Northwest Research Station on community-based natural resource management in the Pacific Northwest. Melissa earned a M.A. (2004) and Ph.D. (2009) in Environmental Anthropology at the University of Washington.
Melissa is currently collaborating with other staff scientists in the Conservation Biology division to define, identify, and assess social and cultural interactions with coastal and marine ecosystems. Three key areas of research are: (a) the sociocultural dimensions of ocean acidification; (b) shellfish harvesting and subsistence as cultural benefits of marine ecosystems; and (c) methods for understanding the social and spatial dimensions of human-marine interactions and wellbeing.