Melissa is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Coastal and Marine System Science Program working with Dr. Xinping Hu in the Ecosystem Science and Modeling lab. Melissa's dissertation research focuses on the carbonate system of the Texas estuaries, including investigations of the magnitude and drivers of spatial, seasonal, and interannual variability in estuarine carbonate chemistry.
She earned an M.S. in Environmental Science from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2015, with a thesis focusing on the nonconsumptive effects of predators on the calcification and respiration rates and carbon cycle contribution of juvenile Eastern Oysters. She also holds a B.S. in Biology with minors in marine science and chemistry from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.
Melissa is passionate about science education and the use of science in ecosystem management and policy. She has dedicated time to those fields throughout her graduate degree, serving as instructor of record for several undergraduate courses, co-founding and serving as an editor for Third Coast Science for You (a community outreach popular science magazine), and completing a 6-month NSF-funded Non-Academic Research Internship with the Ocean Conservancy’s Ocean Acidification Program in Washington, DC.