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For Immediate Release: March 11, 2010
Contact: Gina Hebert, 508-289-7725; ghebert@mbl.edu

Jerry Melillo Jerry Melillo Named Distinguished Scientist at MBL
Climate change expert specializes in human impacts on terrestrial ecosystems

MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—The Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) has named Dr. Jerry Melillo a Distinguished Scientist for his outstanding achievements and service to the scientific community. The honor is the highest recognition that the MBL can bestow on an individual.
Dr. Melillo is a Senior Scientist and former co-director of the MBL Ecosystems Center, where he has conducted research for more than three decades.

“The MBL is delighted to honor Jerry’s scientific excellence with this special recognition,” said Director and CEO Gary Borisy. “His contribution to ecosystems science and prominence in international science policy over the course of his career are remarkable. We are proud to call him a member of the MBL family.”

Dr. Melillo specializes in the impacts of human activities on terrestrial ecosystems. He has studied carbon and nitrogen cycling in ecosystems across the globe, including arctic shrublands in northern Sweden, temperate forests in North America, and tropical forests and pastures in the Amazon Basin of Brazil. In addition to his work at the MBL, Dr. Melillo is also a professor of biology at Brown University.

Melillo has had a long association with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), having served as a lead author on both the 1990 and 1995 IPCC Assessment Reports. He was selected by the IPCC to contribute to the reports because of his special expertise in climate change research.

In 2009, Dr. Melillo, co-chaired and co-edited a White House report, which offered the most comprehensive assessment to date on the impacts of climate change on the United States.

Dr. Melillo holds a B.A. and a M.A.T. from Wesleyan University and a M.F.S. and Ph.D. from Yale University. From 1996 to 1997, he served as the Associate Director for Environment in the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, and was the Director of the Ecosystems Studies Program for the National Science Foundation from 1986 to 1988.

Dr. Melillo has served as President of the Ecological Society of America and of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), the environmental assessment body of the International Council for Science. He has also served several terms as a MBL trustee and is currently on the Board of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment and the Board of the National Ecological Observatory Network. Dr. Melillo is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Philosophical Society, and an Honorary Professor in the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Melillo and his wife, Lalise, a teacher at Falmouth Academy, live in Falmouth.


The MBL is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Americas. For more information, visit www.MBL.edu.