Melissa joined the BehaviourWorks team in early 2022. She is fascinated by the natural environment and the ways humans interact with it.
Melissa's research interests span health, the nature environment, conservation, and the intersections between them. She has a particular interest in the physical and psychological health benefits of contact and connection with nature, the psychology of environmental conservation, and how interaction with the natural environment can influence - and be influenced by - pro-environmental and pro-biodiversity conservation behaviours.
Melissa completed her undergraduate studies at La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne, and Master of Applied Psychology (Health) at The University of Queensland.
Melissa submitted her PhD thesis in late 2021. Her research - a Graduate Research Industry Partnership between BehaviourWorks Australia (BWA) and the Victorian State Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning - investigated connection with nature, nurturing connection with nature, and the interplay between (re)connecting people with nature and biodiversity conservation behaviours.
Melissa is a registered Health Psychologist with a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. She works part-time in private practice, specialising in helping clients with chronic illnesses to live well with, and despite, illness and/or disability. She also teaches and supervises post-graduate psychology students.
Prior to joining BWA, Melissa worked in range of research and psychology roles in academic settings, public health, and private industry. She enjoys qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research, is a stats nerd, and has a pet hate for poorly designed surveys.
When not at work, Melissa can generally be found learning something about something and/or in the garden, elbow-deep in dirt.
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