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Don Melnick 316

Melnick, Don J.

E3B Professor - Thomas Hunt Morgan Professor of Conservation Biology; Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences; Director, Center for Environment, Economy, and Society

E3B Professor - Thomas Hunt Morgan Professor of Conservation Biology
BA New York University; MA and PhD Yale University
Research Description

Over the past 42 years, I have worked with an international group of scientists and students to address questions of basic science, applied science, and environmental policy. In basic and applied science, my colleagues and I have used molecular genetics to investigate aspects of ecology, behavior, evolution, and conservation of vertebrates; spanning organisms from frogs to elephants, and continents from Central and South America to Asia and Africa. In environmental policy, I have co-chaired the UN Millennium Task Force on Environmental Sustainability, and presented a vision for environmentally sustainable economic growth to the UN, World Bank, Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Alliance, and the Congress of the Dominican Republic. Most recently, with a team of over 60 experts from 7 countries, I have developed The Rainforest Standard (RFS), which provides an innovative science-based financial mechanism to simultaneously protect forests, reduce carbon emissions, conserve biodiversity, and improve the socioeconomic conditions of rural forest communities. The RFS is now being piloted in Asia and Latin America.

Research Keywords: Population genetics, Molecular systematics, Organismal evolution, Behavioral ecology, Conservation biology, Environmental policy, Science education

Representative Publications

Evans, B., Zeng, K., Esselstyn, J, Charlesworth, B., and Melnick, D.J. 2014. Reduced representation genome sequencing suggests low diversity on the sex chromosomes of tonkean macaque monkeys. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 31:2425-2440.

Blair, M.E. and Melnick, D.J. 2012. Scale-dependent Effects of a Heterogeneous Landscape on Genetic Differentiation in the Central American Squirrel Monkey. PLoS ONE, 7(8): e43027.

Warfield, J.J., Arango, N., Cabrera, H., and Melnick, D.J. 2012. The Rainforest Standard – Integrating Social, Environmental, and Economic Well-being. Center for Environment, Economy and Society, Columbia University. 221 pp.

Tosi, A.J., Morales, J.C. and Melnick, D.J. 2003. Paternal, maternal, and biparental molecular markers provide unique windows onto the evolutionary history of macaque monkeys. Evolution. 57: 1419-1435.

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