Melissa Marr

Core Scientist in Farmed Animal Functional Genomics


I currently hold the post of Daphne Jackson Trust post-doctoral research fellow in applied conservation genomics. My background is in systematics and evolutionary biology, with a focus on taxonomic ranks at the species level and below. My research interests centre around the application of modern and ancient DNA, and geometric morphometrics, to the real-world conservation of endangered species.  Previous research includes the use of museum collections to examine taxonomic boundaries and population structure using both genetic and morphometric approaches and the investigation of post Ice-Age responses to abrupt climate change in late and post-glacial British mammals.

My current research focuses on whole genome sequencing of red squirrels, an iconic British mammal that has disappeared from much of England and Wales due to competition with an introduced species, the North American grey squirrel. Scotland provides a stronghold for remaining red squirrels and this study aims to provide crucial genetic information for their future conservation and management in this region.


2017: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Natural History Museum (London) & Royal Holloway University of London 2011: Master of Research (MRes) Biosystematics, Natural History Museum London & Imperial College 2007: BSc(Hons) Animal Biology and Wildlife Conservation, University of East London