Melissa R. Cronin is a Ph.D. student in the Coastal Conservation Action Lab at UC Santa Cruz studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Her research focuses on assessing conservation strategies for marine megafauna. She is also a National Geographic Young Explorer and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Currently, she writes a column for Motherboard, focusing on conservation, ecology, and wildlife. 

Previously, she was journalist covering the environment, wildlife, politics and narwhals. She is most interested in the intersection between people and the natural world — how do we use the planet's resources without destroying them? How do we coexist with animals without wiping them out? How do we really save the whales?

Her work has been featured in Slate, Gawker, Grist, The Verge, Narratively, VICE, Popular Science, Quartz, Motherboard, Discovery, The Nation, Salon, The Dodo, EarthTouch News and others. She is a member of the Society for Environmental Journalists. Past interview subjects include primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, environmental thinker Bill McKibben, Sea Shepherd Capt. Paul Watson, Gene Baur ... Chevy Chase and Steve-O. 

By night, she is the fiction editor of Potluck Magazine, a literary journal that features fiction, non-fiction, poetry and art. Check it out.