Melinda Zeder

Melinda Zeder is a Senior Scientist, Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Her research interests include the domestication plants and animals and the origins of agriculture. Her work has also focused on the social and environmental implications of early agriculture in the ancient Near East, and the development of specialized subsistence economies in early complex societies. She has worked in Iran, Israel, Turkey, and most recently in Syria.

She is the author of the book Feeding Cities: Specialized Animal Economy in the Ancient Near East and the lead editor of the 2006 book Documenting Domestication: New Genetic and Archaeological Paradigms. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a former member of the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012.