Biology Department
Melissa DeSiervo

Melissa DeSiervo

Job Title
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Integrated Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) 335

Areas of expertise

Population ecology, Community ecology, Quantitative ecology

Research interests

I am a population and community ecologist interested in species interactions and movement in a rapidly changing world. In my research I develop and apply mathematical models to uncover the ecological mechanisms that drive spatial and temporal variation in the abundance of organisms in nature. My research lies at the intersection of theory and empirical science, and I primarily work with plants and insects in a variety of local and non-local ecosystems including grasslands, forests, and small ponds.
Specific research interests include: Insect pests, mosquito larval ecology, density dependence, disease ecology, species interactions, Arctic and alpine regions, forest ecology, disturbance ecology, multivariate statistics, time series

Teaching interests

Diversity of Life: Heredity, Evolution, and Ecology (BIO 103), Ecology (BIO 330)


DeSiervo MH, LL Sullivan, LM Kahan, EW Seabloom and LG Shoemaker. (2023) Disturbance alters transience but nutrients determine equilibria during grassland succession with multiple global change drivers. Ecology letters.

Shoemaker LG, J Walter, L Gherardi, MH DeSiervo, and N Wisnoski. (2021) Writing mathematical ecology: A guide for authors and readers. Ecosphere

DeSiervo MH, MP Ayres, RA Virginia, LE Culler. (2020) Consumer-resource dynamics in Arctic ponds. Ecology.
Photo on journal cover

DeSiervo MH, ES Jules, DS Bost*, EJ DeStigter* and RJ Butz. (2018) Patterns and drivers of recent tree mortality in diverse conifer forests of the Klamath Mountains, California. Forest Science.

Academic credentials

B.S. Cornell University; M.S. Humboldt State University; PhD Dartmouth College