Melillo, Jerry

Jerry Melillo
Senior Scientist, Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory




Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole


Biographical Statement:
I am interested in how human activities are altering the biogeochemistry of terrestrial ecosystems. My research includes studies of carbon and nitrogen cycling in a range of ecosystems across the globe including arctic shrublands in northern Sweden, temperate forests in North America, and tropical forests and pastures in the Amazon Basin of Brazil. I have become increasingly committed to studying the large-scale effects of global change on terrestrial ecosystems, including effects on the chemistry of the atmosphere and on the climate system. I use a combination of field experiments and simulation modeling. Together with a number of collaborators, I am presently conducting soil warming experiments at the Harvard Forest in western Massachusetts and at the Abisko Research Station in Sweden to study the effects of warming on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, plant growth, and potential feedbacks to the climate system.

Selected Publications:
Gurgel, A.C., S. Paltsev, J. Reilly and G. Metcalf, An Analysis of US Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade Proposals Using a Forward-Looking Economic Model, Environment and Development Economics, 16: 155–176, 2011

Ren, W., H. Tian, X. Xu, M. Liu, C. Lu, G. Chen, J. Melillo, J. Reilly and J. Liu, Spatial and Temporal Patterns of CO2 and CH4 Fluxes in China’s Croplands in Response to Multifactor Environmental Changes, Tellus, 63B(2): 222–240, 2011

Melillo, J.M., J.M. Reilly, D.W. Kicklighter, A.C. Gurgel, T.W. Cronin, S. Paltsev, B.S. Felzer, X. Wang, A.P. Sokolov and C.A. Schlosser, Indirect Emissions from Biofuels: How Important?, Science, 326(5958): 1397-1399, 2009

Sokolov, A.P., P.H. Stone, C.E. Forest, R.G. Prinn, M.C. Sarofim, M. Webster, S. Paltsev, C.A. Schlosser, D. Kicklighter, S. Dutkiewicz, J. Reilly, C. Wang, B. Felzer, J. Melillo, H.D. Jacoby, Probabilistic Forecast for 21st Century Climate Based on Uncertainties in Emissions (without Policy) and Climate Parameters, Journal of Climate, 22(19): 5175-5204, 2009

Felzer, B.S., T.W. Cronin, J.M. Melillo, D.W. Kicklighter and C.A. Schlosser, Importance of carbon-nitrogen interactions and ozone on ecosystem hydrology during the 21st century, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114: G01020, 2009

Balshi, M.S., A.D. McGuire, P. Duffy, M. Flannigan, D.W. Kicklighter and J. Melillo, Vulnerability of carbon storage in North American boreal forests to wildfires during the 21st Century, Global Change Biology, 15(6): 1491-1510, 2009

Sokolov, A.P., D.W. Kicklighter, J.M. Melillo, B. Felzer, C.A. Schlosser and T.W. Cronin, Consequences of considering carbon–nitrogen interactions on the feedbacks between climate and the terrestrial carbon cycle, Journal of Climate, , 21(15): 3776-3796, 2008

Reilly, J., S. Paltsev, B. Felzer, X. Wang, D.W. Kicklighter, J. Melillo, R. Prinn, M. Sarofim, A. Sokolov and C. Wang, Global economic effects of changes in crops, pasture, and forests due to changing climate, carbon dioxide, and ozone, Energy Policy, 35(11): 5370-5383, 2007

Zhuang, Q., J.M. Melillo, A.D. McGuire, D.W. Kicklighter, R.G. Prinn, P.A. Steudler, B.S. Felzer and S. Hu, Net emissions of CH4 and CO2 in Alaska: Implications for the region's greenhouse gas budget, Ecological Applications, 17(1): 203-212, 2007

Schimel, D., J. Melillo, H. Tian, D. McGuire, D. Kicklighter, et al., Contribution of increasing CO2 and climate to carbon storage by ecosystems in the United States, Science, 287: 2004-2006, 2000

Prinn, R.G., H.D. Jacoby, A.P. Sokolov, C. Wang, X. Xiao, Z. Yang, R.S. Eckaus, P.H. Stone, A.D.Ellerman, J.M. Melillo, J. Fitzmaurice, D. Kicklighter, G. Holian and Y. Liu, Integrated global system model (IGSM) for climate policy assessment: Feedbacks and sensitivity studies, Climatic Change, 41(3): 469-549, 1999

Tian, H., J.M. Melillo, D.W. Kicklighter, A.D. McGuire and J. Helfrich, The sensitivity of terrestrial carbon storage to historical atmospheric CO2 and climate variability in the U.S., Tellus B, 51(B): 414-452, 1999

Melillo, J.M., A.D. McGuire, D.W. Kicklighter, B. Moore III, C.J. Vorosmarty and A.L. Schloss, Global climate change and terrestrial net primary production, Nature, 363: 234-240, 1993

Education + Credentials
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

Recent Publications

Journal Article
You, Y., H. Tian, . . ., D. Kicklighter, . . ., J. Melillo, . . .  and J. Reilly (2024). Global Change Biology, 30(1) (doi: 10.1111/gcb.17109)
Journal Article
Kicklighter, D.W., T. Lin, J. Zhang, M. Chen, C.J. Vörösmarty, A.K. Jain and J.M. Melillo (2023). Frontiers in Environmental Science, 11 (doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2023.1069451)
Journal Article
You, Y., H. Tian, S. Pan, H. Shi, Z. Bian, A. Gurgel, Y. Huang, D. Kicklighter, X. Liang, C. Lu, J. Melillo, R. Miao, N. Pan, J. Reilly, W. Ren, R. Xu, J. Yang, Q. Yu and J. Zhang (2022). Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 325, 109144 (doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2022.109144)
Journal Article
DeLisi, C., A. Patrinos, M. MacCracken, D. Drell, G. Annas, A. Arkin6, G. Church, R. Cook-Deegan, H. Jacoby, M. Lidstrom, J. Melillo, R. Milo, K. Paustian, J. Reilly, R. Roberts, D. Segre, S. Solomon, D. Woolf, S. Wullschleger and X. Yang   (2020). BioDesign Research, 2020 (1016207) (doi: 10.34133/2020/1016207)
Joint Program Reprint, Journal Article
Kicklighter, D.W., J.M. Melillo, E. Monier, A. P. Sokolov and Q. Zhuang (2019). Nature Communications, 10, 3024 (doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10944-0) [PDF]

News + Media

Recent Event
Joint Program News | 
Jun 24, 2021
News Brief
Joint Program News | 
Dec 11, 2019
News Release
Joint Program News | 
Oct 23, 2019
News Brief
University of California, Davis Department of Land, Air and Water Resources | 
Jul 17, 2019
News Release
Joint Program News | 
Jan 05, 2016
News Release
Joint Program News | 
May 01, 2014