Biogeography, paleoecology, conservation biology
Melissa Kemp is an evolutionary biologist who uses the fossil record to investigate species responses to global change phenomena. Melissa earned her B.A. in biology from Williams College in 2010 and her Ph.D. in biology from Stanford University in 2015. At Stanford, she examined extinction and colonization trends in Quaternary Caribbean lizards, with the goal of determining extinction biases and the repercussions of extinctions on the surviving community. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University with Dr. Jonathan Losos, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Harvard Center for the Environment. While at Harvard, she will augment the Caribbean fossil record with new paleontological excavations. She hopes that by synthesizing data from ancient and present-day ecosystems, she can make inferences about future ecosystems that will enhance conservation efforts.