Jerry M. Melillo

Distinguished Scientist

Tel: 508-289-7494 | Fax: 508-457-1548

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

Full CV

Research Statement

My research team focuses on understanding the impacts of human activities on the biogeochemistry of ecological systems using a combination of field studies and simulation modeling. Our field studies include two soil warming experiments at the Harvard Forest in central Massachusetts. We have developed and use 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.

Soil Warming at Harvard Forest

Pattern of microbial respiration response to a 5oC year-round increase in warmed plots at Harvard Forest, central Massachusetts – DOI: 10.1126/science.aan2874

Terrestrial Ecosystem Model


Melillo, J.M., S.D. Frey, K.M. DeAngelis, W. Werner, M.J. Bernard, F.P. Bowles, G. Pold, M.A. Knorr, A.S. Grandy. 2017. Long-term Pattern and Magnitude of Soil Carbon Feedback to the Climate System in a Warming World. Science. 358:101-105. DOI: 10.1126/science.aan2874

Melillo, J.M., X. Lu, D.W. Kicklighter. J. Reilly.,Y. Cai, A.P. Sokolov. 2016. Protected Areas’ Role in Climate-Change Mitigation. AMBIO. 45(2), 133-145. DOI 10.1007/s13280-015-0693-1.

Lu, X., D.W. Kicklighter, J.M. Melillo, J.M. Reilly. 2015. Land Carbon Sequestration within the Conterminous United States: Regional- and State-level Analyses. Journal of Geophysical Resarch – Biogeosciences. 120 (2), 379-398. DOI: 10.1002/2014JG002818

Melillo, J.M., T.C. Richmond, and G.W. Yohe, Eds. 2014. Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program, 841 pp. doi:10.7930/J0Z31WJ2.

Frey, S.D., J. Lee, J.M. Melillo, J. Six. 2013. Soil Carbon Cycling: The temperature response of microbial efficiency and its feedback to climate. Nature Climate Change 3:395–398. doi:10.1038/nclimate1796.

Lu, X. D. Kicklighter, J.M. Melillo, P. Yang, B. Rosenzweig, C.J. Vörösmarty, B. Grossand R.J. Stewart. 2013. A Contemporary Carbon Balance for the Northeast Region of the United States. Environmental Science and Technology 47:13230-13238, doi: 10.1021/es4033097z.

Butler, S.M., J.M. Melillo, J.E. Johnson, J. Mohan, P.A. Steudler, H. Lux, E. Burrows, C.L. Varios, T.D. Hill, N. Aponte and F. Bowles. 2012. Soil warming changes the nitrogen cycle: Nitrogen-driven changes in species composition. Oecologia 168:819-828, doi: 10.1007/s00442-011-2133.

Reilly, J., J.M. Melillo, Y. Cai, D. Kicklighter, A. Gurgel, S. Paltsev, T. Cronin, A. Sokolov and A. Schlosser. 2012. Using land to mitigate climate change: Hitting the target, recognizing the tradeoffs. Environmental Science and Technology, doi: 10.1021/es2034729.

Contact Us

The Ecosystems Center
7 MBL Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1015

Find Us

Physical location of offices:
CV Starr Environmental Laboratory
11 Albatross Street
Woods Hole, MA

Support Us

Support Ecosystems Center science through the MBL's Annual Fund. All donors automatically become members of the MBL Associates.