NEWS RELEASE: MIT-Woods Hole Researcher Elected to the National Academy of Sciences Thursday, May 1, 2014

Jerry M. Melillo, senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole and a research associate at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the academy announced this week.

Membership in the NAS is considered one of the highest honors in U.S. science. Melillo is one of 84 new members elected. Members are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Melillo is a corecipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and served as the president of the Ecological Society of America from 2004-2005.

His research focuses on how human activities alter the biogeochemistry of terrestrial ecosystems. It includes studies of carbon and nitrogen cycling in a range of ecosystems across the globe, such as arctic shrub lands in northern Sweden, temperate forests in North America, and tropical forests and pastures in the Amazon Basin of Brazil. Melillo uses a combination of field experiments and model simulations to study the large-scale effects of global change on terrestrial ecosystems. He is presently conducting soil warming experiments at the Harvard Forest in western Massachusetts to study the effects of warming on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, plant growth, and potential feedbacks to the climate system. Melillo holds a Ph.D. from Yale University (1977).

NAS is a society of distinguished scholars established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.