About Me

MelissaKempI was born and raised in Granite, Maryland, a rural quarry town outside of Baltimore. It was amongst rock outcrops and within the surrounding forests of the Patapsco State Park that my love for the natural world blossomed and manifested itself through artistic and scientific endeavors. I am a proud graduate of theĀ Carver Center for the Arts and Technology High School in Towson, where I studied the visual arts.

I am a first generation college student and alumna of the Questbridge scholars program. In 2010, I received my Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Williams College. Upon graduation, I enrolled in the Biology doctoral program at Stanford University, which I completed in 2015. At Stanford I was a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a Stanford DARE Fellow, and a National Geographic Young Explorer. Read more about my research here. Currently, I am an NSF broadening participation and Harvard Center for the Environment postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, where I work with Jonathan Losos.

I am dedicated to making educational opportunities accessible to everyone and I use my research as a platform for outreach. I regularly involve undergraduate and high school students in my field and laboratory research.

In September 2018, I will join the Department of Integrative Biology at The University of Texas at Austin as an Assistant Professor.