Melissa Charenko, Ph.D.

Melissa CharenkoTerm: Spring 2017



Melissa Charenko is a PhD candidate in the History of Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her dissertation explores the history of paleoecology, a scientific technique that emerged in the early 20th century which used fossilized micro-fossils such as pollen grains to reconstruct past environments.

She is particularly interested in how paleoecology has been used to explore human influences on the environment, and the ways that these techniques helped determine changes in forest composition through time.



“Grey Towers offered the ideal setting for me to complete a substantial portion of my dissertation. With a quiet tower to spend days writing and reading, easy access to hikes and mountain biking in the evenings, and nights spent beside a babbling brook, Grey Towers had everything I needed and more. The staff made me feel right at home; I only wish a could be as productive the rest of the time!”



2017 “Comparing Place: The Challenges of Deep Time to Ecological Reconstructions,” History of Science Society, Toronto, ON

2017 “Paleo Perspectives on the Nature of Historical Change,” Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, Toronto, ON

2018 “Science as Prophecy,” STS Seminar Series, York University, Toronto, ON

2017 “Histories of the Future,” Nelson Institute Earth Day, Madison, WI

2017 “Ecology’s Deep History,” STS Colloquium, Colby College, Waterville, ME

2016 “The Science of Prophecy?” Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine Introductory Symposium, Philadelphia, PA