Melissa Groo is a wildlife photographer living in upstate New York. Her passion for wildlife, conservation, and ethical photography drives her to tell stories and educate people about the marvels of the natural world through her images. She finds herself at the intersection of photography as fine art with the power of images to convey feeling and instruction, and considers herself a “wildlife biographer” as much as a wildlife photographer.
Melissa worked for years at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, on elephant communication in their Bioacoustics Research Program. She was a research assistant for scientist Katy Payne on The Elephant Listening Project, and spent field seasons in the rainforest of central Africa studying forest elephants in the wild, where she learned well to listen deeply and watch closely. She remains committed to elephant research and conservation, and works part-time for the African elephant conservation organization, Save the Elephants.
Melissa’s photographs have been published in numerous books and magazines, including Smithsonian Magazine, Audubon Magazine, Birdwatching Magazine, National Wildlife magazine, Living Bird, Montana Outdoors, and New York State Conservationist Magazine. She is a member of NANPA’s Ethics Committee, has a bimonthly column on wildlife photography tips and techniques in Wild Planet magazine, and is a regular contributor to the Miracle of Nature. Melissa has received awards and honorable mentions in national and international photography competitions, including Audubon (Grand Prize winner 2015), Nature’s Best, NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association), Festival de L’Oiseau, Birds as Art, the HBW World Bird Photo Contest, and Nature Photographer Magazine. She shows regularly and her prints are in personal collections all over the world.