Melissa Emery Thompson received her PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University in 2005 and arrived at UNM as a postdoctoral fellow in 2008. She is currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology, and director of the Comparative Human and Primate Physiology Center in the Interdisciplinary Sciences Cooperative. She has served as Associate Chair of Anthropology (2019-2021) and member of Chair of the Faculty Senate Research Policy committee (2018-2021). In her role as interim Assistant VPR, she will work to reduce barriers to research participation across campus and promote effective communication between faculty and administration.
Dr. Emery Thompson co-directs the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, where she coordinates long-term, non-invasive studies of wild chimpanzee health, behavior, and physiology. She also collaborates widely on research investigating human health, behavioral endocrinology, and life history evolution. She has published over 120 original research articles and has received over $4 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and others.