Dr. Chris Melby began his career at Colorado State University (CSU) in 1990 after spending the previous 8 years as a faculty member at Purdue University in the Department of Health and Kinesiology. He served for 11 years as Head of the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at CSU in addition to maintaining his regular faculty appointment. His research focuses on human metabolism and the role of nutrition and physical activity to reduce risk factors for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease with an emphasis on improving health inequities. He has published more than 100 research papers in health science and medical journals including the Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Public Health, American Journal of Physiology, and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. He completed a Fulbright teaching/research fellowship in Ecuador in 2015 and has continued investigating the nutrition and physical activity transitions among indigenous populations living at high altitude in the Andes Mountains.
During his career, Dr. Melby has served as advisor and mentor to many undergraduate, M.S. and Ph.D. students. He enjoys teaching and has won several teaching awards including the Excellence in Education Award at CSU and the “Best Teacher Award’ from the CSU Alumni Association. His involvement as a faculty member with the Semester at Sea Program stems from his love for adventure and his interest in experiencing different cultures. In addition to his time in South America, he has lived and taught in the Middle East and Australia.
Chris has a variety of hobbies that primarily involve sports and adventure activities including running, basketball, rock and ice climbing, and high-altitude mountaineering. He has summited mountains in the U.S., New Zealand, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru, with several mountains in South America topping 20,000 feet in elevation. He enjoys regularly hiking with students or several of his grandchildren to the summits of 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado.
Chris has been married for 46 years to his wife, Barbara, a recently retired pre-school teacher and graphic artist who will accompany him on the voyage. They have 3 married children and 9 grandchildren, all of whom live in Colorado and share their love of the outdoors. He is excited to continue learning with his Semester at Sea students as they venture together to the various countries on the fall 2022 voyage. Despite not being a ‘foodie’, he will be looking for opportunities with his students to sample many different foods and discuss their potential to impact human health. He also plans to engage in a few hiking and climbing excursions when not on the ship.