• Boyd, Melissa Doyle
  • Position: PhD Candidate
  • Office: WL-340
  • Web Page
  • Research Interests: Paleoenvironmental reconstruction, U-Pb geochronology, East Africa geology
  • CV.pdf


  • Rutgers University, NJ, BS Geology, 2012
  • Rutgers University, NJ, BS Evolutionary Anthropology, High Honors, 2015
  • Rutgers University, NJ, PhD Candidate  


  • Earth and Planetary Sciences
    • Instructor, Earthquakes and Volcanoes - 2020-2021
    • Teaching Assistant, Introductory Geology Lab, Paleontology Lab, Earthquakes and Volcanoes, Planet Earth - 2016 to present
  • Department of Anthropology
    • Part-Time Lecturer, Extinction and Evolution & Human Behavior - 2016 to 2017

Research Interests

  • I am broadly interested in understanding the geological effects of environmental change in the Turkana Basin. Because this is likely the region from which our ancestors came, understanding the dynamics of environmental change may shed light on how and why certain areas in the basin produce fossils. I consider myself a field geologist by trade, as I find measuring and correlating stratigraphic sections to be the most elucidating in understanding temporal and spatial relationships. To that end, I also employ sequence stratigraphy and magnetostratigraphy. Additionally, I use physical, biotic, and chemical climate proxies (sedimentology, isotope geochemistry) to further enhance those relationships. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge in U-Pb geochronology and soil carbonates and ultimately hope to understand the interplay between climate and tectonics along the East African Rift Valley.

Field Experience

Advisor and Dissertation Committee

  • Craig Feibel
  • Jim Browning
  • Bob Raynolds
  • open