Melissa Wilson Sayres

Melissa Wilson Sayres

Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences
Faculty Associate, Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution
Faculty Associate, Biodesign Virginia G. Piper Center for Personalized Diagnostics


Melissa Wilson Sayres 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 Sayres 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 Sayres teaches evolution and an introduction to programming for biologists.