CGCS Directory

Dr. Jerry M. Melillo

Senior Scientist, Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory



Biographical Statement:
I am interested in how human activities are altering the biogeochemistry of terrestrial ecosystems. My research includes studies of carbon and nitrogen cycling in a range of 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. I have become increasingly committed to studying the large-scale effects of global change on terrestrial ecosystems, including effects on the chemistry of the atmosphere and on the climate system. I use a combination of field experiments and simulation modeling. Together with a number of collaborators, I am presently conducting soil warming experiments at the Harvard Forest in western Massachusetts and at the Abisko Research Station in Sweden to study the effects of warming on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, plant growth, and potential feedbacks to the climate system.

Selected Publications:
Gurgel, A.C., S. Paltsev, J. Reilly and G. Metcalf, An Analysis of US Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade Proposals Using a Forward-Looking Economic Model, Environment and Development Economics, 16: 155–176, 2011

Ren, W., H. Tian, X. Xu, M. Liu, C. Lu, G. Chen, J. Melillo, J. Reilly and J. Liu, Spatial and Temporal Patterns of CO2 and CH4 Fluxes in China’s Croplands in Response to Multifactor Environmental Changes, Tellus, 63B(2): 222–240, 2011

Melillo, J.M., J.M. Reilly, D.W. Kicklighter, A.C. Gurgel, T.W. Cronin, S. Paltsev, B.S. Felzer, X. Wang, A.P. Sokolov and C.A. Schlosser, Indirect Emissions from Biofuels: How Important?, Science, 326(5958): 1397-1399, 2009

Sokolov, A.P., P.H. Stone, C.E. Forest, R.G. Prinn, M.C. Sarofim, M. Webster, S. Paltsev, C.A. Schlosser, D. Kicklighter, S. Dutkiewicz, J. Reilly, C. Wang, B. Felzer, J. Melillo, H.D. Jacoby, Probabilistic Forecast for 21st Century Climate Based on Uncertainties in Emissions (without Policy) and Climate Parameters, Journal of Climate, 22(19): 5175-5204, 2009

Felzer, B.S., T.W. Cronin, J.M. Melillo, D.W. Kicklighter and C.A. Schlosser, Importance of carbon-nitrogen interactions and ozone on ecosystem hydrology during the 21st century, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114: G01020, 2009

Balshi, M.S., A.D. McGuire, P. Duffy, M. Flannigan, D.W. Kicklighter and J. Melillo, Vulnerability of carbon storage in North American boreal forests to wildfires during the 21st Century, Global Change Biology, 15(6): 1491-1510, 2009

Sokolov, A.P., D.W. Kicklighter, J.M. Melillo, B. Felzer, C.A. Schlosser and T.W. Cronin, Consequences of considering carbon–nitrogen interactions on the feedbacks between climate and the terrestrial carbon cycle, Journal of Climate, , 21(15): 3776-3796, 2008

Reilly, J., S. Paltsev, B. Felzer, X. Wang, D.W. Kicklighter, J. Melillo, R. Prinn, M. Sarofim, A. Sokolov and C. Wang, Global economic effects of changes in crops, pasture, and forests due to changing climate, carbon dioxide, and ozone, Energy Policy, 35(11): 5370-5383, 2007

Zhuang, Q., J.M. Melillo, A.D. McGuire, D.W. Kicklighter, R.G. Prinn, P.A. Steudler, B.S. Felzer and S. Hu, Net emissions of CH4 and CO2 in Alaska: Implications for the region's greenhouse gas budget, Ecological Applications, 17(1): 203-212, 2007

Schimel, D., J. Melillo, H. Tian, D. McGuire, D. Kicklighter, et al., Contribution of increasing CO2 and climate to carbon storage by ecosystems in the United States, Science, 287: 2004-2006, 2000

Prinn, R.G., H.D. Jacoby, A.P. Sokolov, C. Wang, X. Xiao, Z. Yang, R.S. Eckaus, P.H. Stone, A.D.Ellerman, J.M. Melillo, J. Fitzmaurice, D. Kicklighter, G. Holian and Y. Liu, Integrated global system model (IGSM) for climate policy assessment: Feedbacks and sensitivity studies, Climatic Change, 41(3): 469-549, 1999

Tian, H., J.M. Melillo, D.W. Kicklighter, A.D. McGuire and J. Helfrich, The sensitivity of terrestrial carbon storage to historical atmospheric CO2 and climate variability in the U.S., Tellus B, 51(B): 414-452, 1999

Melillo, J.M., A.D. McGuire, D.W. Kicklighter, B. Moore III, C.J. Vorosmarty and A.L. Schloss, Global climate change and terrestrial net primary production, Nature, 363: 234-240, 1993

Contact Information

t: 508-289-7494


Ph.D., Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1977
M.F.S., Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1972
M.A.T., Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 1968
B.A., Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 1965