Employee Spotlight: Melissa Roach

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Newest member of the Bird Banding Laboratory has a long history with birds.

Melissa Roach holding a Mangrove Cuckoo

Scientist holding a banded, Mangrove Cuckoo in a forested area. (Public domain.)

Melissa Roach joined the Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL), at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC), in January of 2019. She has been an avid birder and field biologist since 2008 and has been fortunate to work on various research projects throughout the country including Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico. She’s contributed to multiple studies examining songbird abundance and productivity as well as migration trends in raptors, seabirds, and songbirds. A Virginia native, Melissa completed her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Lynchburg College, in Virginia. She went on to earn her master’s degree in Natural Resources, from the University of Missouri, with Dr. Frank Thompson, where she studied the effects of pine woodland restoration on breeding birds in the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains. Most recently, she worked on a project examining the effects of environmental lead (Pb) on the reproductive success of songbirds in Missouri.

You can read more about Melissa’s masters research here:

Melissa C. Roach, Frank R. Thompson, and Todd Jones-Farrand (2018). Songbird nest success is positively related to restoration of pine–oak savanna and woodland in the Ozark Highlands, Missouri, USA. The Condor 120: 543–556.

Melissa C. Roach, Frank R. Thompson, and Todd Jones-Farrand (2019). Effects of pine-oak woodland restoration on breeding bird densities in the Ozark-Ouachita Interior Highlands. Forest Ecology and Management 437: 443-459.