Jerry Melillo

Science Director

Jerry Melillo is a Distinguished Scientist and Director Emeritus at The Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA, and a Professor of Biology at Brown University. In 1996 and 1997, he served as the Associate Director for Environment in the US President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. Jerry has completed terms as the President of the Ecological Society of America and of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), an international environmental assessment body headquartered in Paris.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He is also an honorary Professor in the Institute of Geophysical Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Jerry has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles, two ecology textbooks and three edited volumes on biogeochemistry. Between 1998 and 2009 he co-led two assessments for the US Global Change Research Program on the impacts of climate change on the United States; the first published in 2000 and the second published in 2009. Jerry is currently the chairman of the independent federal advisory committee that oversaw the design and production of the US Global Change Research Program’s Third National Climate Assessment that was released on May 6, 2014.

Jerry specializes in understanding the impacts of human activities on the biogeochemistry of ecological systems from local to global scales, using a combination of field studies and simulation modeling. He has done field research in the Brazilian rain forests, the savannahs of East Africa, the shrublands of northern Sweden and the forests of Europe and eastern North America.  Currently, he is conducting a set of soil-warming experiments at the Harvard Forest in central Massachusetts, to quantify forest ecosystem feedbacks to the atmosphere in response to chronic soil temperature increases. Jerry’s research team has developed and uses a simulation model, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), to consider the impacts of various aspects of global change – climate, chemistry of the atmosphere and precipitation, land cover and land use – on the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems across the globe. TEM is part of the Integrated Global Systems Model, an integrated assessment model, based at MIT.