Melissa is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Conservation Action Lab at UC Santa Cruz studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a Designated Emphasis in Coastal Science & Policy. Her research aims to understand Mobula ecology and conservation through multiple approaches. She is working with tuna purse seine fishers to conduct a population genetics study of Mobulas in the Eastern Pacific, and leading a project to collaborate with tuna skippers, observers and crew to identify best practices to reduce Mobula bycatch mortality. Finally, she is producing an analysis of tuna fisheries policy and its potential to reduce bycatch impacts on sharks and rays on the high seas. She is also a National Geographic Young Explorer, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, and a Switzer Foundation Fellow.