Melia Nafus, Ph.D.


Melia Nafus is a Research Ecologist in the Fort Collins Science Center’s Invasive Species Science Branch. She leads the USGS Brown Treesnake Project based in the Marianas where her research is focused on improving detection and capture of cryptic reptiles 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. She also develops and collaborates on research designed to inform ecology and species recovery needs in the Pacific and elsewhere, as well as invasive reptile ecology in the Everglades. Broadly speaking, Melia is interested in factors that affect persistence of herpetofaunal populations including behavior, habitat selection, population dynamics, and spatial use.  


  • 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