Melissa Duron has a B.S. in biology. While obtaining her degree at the University of Southern Maine, Duron assisted Dr. Chris Maher in her research of breeding systems and genetic relationships of woodchucks in Maine. In addition, she was employed seasonally at BRI where she conducted loon and mountain bird surveys in the Rangeley Lakes region, banded and sampled songbirds, and sampled aquatic abiota and biota in New York to determine possible mercury pathways in the Common Loon.
From 2004 to 2010, her focus shifted to investigating possible mercury pathways in the terrestrial food web, determining biological hotspots and identifying habitats vulnerable to mercury contamination through bird banding/sampling, abiotic sampling, and invertebrate collection. In addition, she began to troubleshoot the process of standardizing and moving historical BRI data into a relational database.
In 2010, Duron worked on Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) of birds affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, tackling administrative duties, sampling methods, research design, project management, and troubleshooting in a precarious environment. She conducted and led inshore boat-based damage assessment surveys in the Gulf of Mexico on avian species impacted by the spill, then moved into a QA/QC Manager position, where she oversaw all data for the oil spill and developed field and data management protocols. Along with other team members, Duron recently analyzed high definition aerial video and managed data for BRI’s Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies Project.
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