Melissa earned her BA from Rice University in 2004 in Art History and French Studies. She then graduated from Stanford with a Ph.D in Classical Archaeology in Fall 2011, afterwards completing the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include the economy and society of the late antique eastern Mediterranean, materiality, money and systems of exchange, the everyday use and social implications of technology, and relations between knowledge and visuality. She has participated in excavations in Rome and near Anagni, Italy. Melissa's Stanford dissertation was titled, "To Separate the Act from the Thing: Technologies of Value in the Ancient Mediterranean," which explored how economic tools generated knowledge in varying types of communities within the Roman Empire of the first through the sixth centuries CE. She completed a two-year Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Classics at Northwestern University and, as of fall 2017, will hold a tenure-track assistant professorship in the Department of Ancient Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.