Melissa Emery Thompson

Melissa Emery Thompson

Mugshot of Melissa Emery Thompson

Title with Advance at UNM:

Leadership team member

Your background in academia:

Dr. 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  Professor of Anthropology and Assistant Vice President for Research. In the Office of the VP for Research, Melissa focuses on strategies to reduce barriers to research participation across campus, faculty and student success initiatives, and promotion of effective communication between faculty and administration.


Emery Thompson co-directs the Kibale Chimpanzee Project, where she coordinates long-term, non-invasive studies of wild chimpanzee health, behavior, and physiology. Additionally, she directs the Comparative Human and Primate Physiology Center in UNM’s Interdisciplinary Sciences Cooperative, focusing on the design and implementation of minimally-invasive methods to promote research at the intersection of public health, evolutionary, and behavioral sciences. She has published over 150 original research articles and has received over $4 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and others.