Melia Nafus, Ph.D.


Melia Nafus is a Research Ecologist in the Fort Collins Science Center’s Invasive Species Science Branch stationed at Guam. She is interested in factors, such as habitat variation and anthropogenic activity, which influence persistence of herpetofaunal populations through their effects on spatial use, behavior, survival, and abundance. In the past her research has focused on improving understanding of factors that affect recruitment and successful translocation implementation for juvenile desert tortoises. Currently, she is studying questions primarily related to management and control of brown tree snake populations on Guam. Her research is focused on improving detection and capture of snakes at low densities, potential ecological effects of snake control, and development and implementation of control measures to enact population suppression on Guam and prevent their spread to other Pacific Islands.


  • Ph.D. Ecology, Graduate Group in Ecology, University of California Davis, 2014
  • B.S. Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Idaho, 2007

Professional Experience

  • 2016 to Present, Research Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Dededo Guam
  • 2014 to 2016, Researcher, San Diego Zoo Global Institute for Conservation Research, Escondido California