Melissa’s research interests include violent repression and resistance, conflict actor strategy, and the international dimensions of political violence. Her work is broadly scoped regionally, and focuses on using quantitative and mixed methods. She is currently engaged in several research projects, including on opportunistic repression on the African continent during the COVID-19 pandemic, the strategic decisionmaking surrounding territorial contestation in Afghanistan, and the military’s repression of civilians in advanced democracies.
Before Yale, Melissa worked as a research analyst for several institutions and think tanks, studying and writing on conflict and crisis. She has an M.A. in War Studies from King’s College, London, and degrees in Political Science and Statistics from the University of Chicago.