Department Directory







Department Chair: Rita Mehta Department Manager: Stephanie Zakarian
Graduate Program Coordinator: Judy Straub Department Assistant: Eva Chudnow
Undergraduate Program Coordinator/Lead Advisor: Rexton Lynn Undergraduate Advisor:
Biology Teaching Laboratory and Facilities Support Technician: Nicole Hack
Department Office: (831) 459-5358 Administrative Office: CBB, Room 207, 209
Miranda Kathleen Melen
  • Pronouns she/her
  • Title
    • PhD Candidate - Parker Lab
  • Division Physical & Biological Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Department
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • CSC Coastal Biology Building, 164
  • Office Hours By appointment
  • Mail Stop CBB/EE Biology

Biography, Education and Training


Miranda Melen has an M.S. in Environmental Studies from San Jose State University and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Santa Clara University. Her Master's research focused on understanding the reproductive success of Eryismum teretifolium (Ben Lomond wallflower), an endangered biennial endemic to the Zayante Sandhills in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA. Her thesis assessed the genetic makeup of four distinct E. teretifolium populations, the importance of insect pollinators for reproductive success, and the geographic barriers to reproductive success. Miranda previously worked for the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory as the Senior Ecologist in the Habitats Program where she assisted in the restoration and management of rare and valuable habitats that are home to sensitive and endangered species of plants and vertebrates of the San Francisco Bay Area. She previously was a lecturer in the Environmental Studies Department at San Jose State University where she taught environmental restoration courses. Miranda has a background in endangered plants, urban runoff, recycling, and environmental education. She has traveled to Costa Rica for primate research and rainforest restoration, and kayaked around two desert islands off the coast of Baja California, Mexico. Miranda enjoys the outdoors and is passionate about hiking, camping, kayaking, and insects.

Selected Publications

Melen M, Herman J, Lucas J, O’Malley R, Parker I, Thom A, and Whittall J. 2016. Reproductive success through high pollinator visitation rates despite self incompatibility in an endangered wallflower. American Journal of Botany 103(11).

Melen M. 2014. A promiscuous wallflower: the rare Zayante sandhills endemic Erysimum teretifolium (Brassicaceae) benefits from outcrossing. Master's Thesis, Environmental Studies Department, San José State University, San José, California, USA.