Melissa Wilson

Melissa Wilson

Associate Faculty, Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution
Associate Professor, School of Life Sciences


Melissa Wilson is a computational biologist whose main research interests include sex-biased biology. She studies the evolution of sex chromosomes (X and Y in mammals), why mutation rates differ between males and females, and how changes in population history affect the sex chromosomes differently than the non-sex chromosomes. Generally she studies mammals, but is also curious about the sex-biased biology of flies, worms and plants.

Wilson is also active in public science engagement and outreach. She writes for the evolution blog,, routinely teaches in K-12 classrooms, and regularly engages the public in discussions about the difference between sex and gender, the importance (or not) of genetic inheritance, and understanding evolution.

Wilson teaches evolution and an introduction to programming for biologists.