Melissa Wills

Melissa Wills

Position Title

260 Social Science and Humanities
1 Shields Ave., Davis CA 95616


Melissa Wills is a lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology Studies. Her research addresses the relationship between the life sciences and science fiction. Her current book project, titled Ruptures: Life without Germs in the Microbiome Era, examines microbiology’s debt to the imagination of germfree worlds.


  • "Join the Fold: Video Games, Science Fiction, and the Refolding of Citizen Science," co-authored with Colin Milburn, Katherine Buse, Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal, Melissa Wills, Raida Aldosari, Patrick Camarador, Josh Aaron Miller, and Justin Siegel. Design Issues 39, no. 1 (2023): 70–87.
  • "Citizens of the Future: Science Fiction and the Games of Citizen Science," co-authored with Colin Milburn. Science Fiction Film and Television 14, no. 2 (2021): 115–144.
  • "'La vie impossible': Germfree Life in the Microbiome Era." In Practices of Speculation: Modeling, Embodiment, Figuration, edited by Jeanne Cortiel, Christine Hanke, Jan Simon Hutta, and Colin Milburn, 119–143. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2020.
  • "Corporate Agriculture and the Exploitation of Life in Portal 2." Games and Culture 14, no. 3 (2019): 256–275.
  • "Are Clusters Races? A Discussion of the Rhetorical Appropriation of Rosenberg et al.'s 'Genetic Structure of Human Populations.'" Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9, no. 12 (2017).