Melodie studied Botany and Entomology at the University of KwaZulu Natal before moving to Pretoria University to complete her PhD. Her PhD, which set the scene for her future research interest in spatial ecology and the development of bioindicator systems, was completed in 1995 on the community ecology of an Acacia–fungus– insect interaction. She continued her research with a postdoc at Sheffield University. She has since held academic positions at Pretoria and Stellenbosch Universities and spent four years heading the Cape Research Centre for South African National Parks. She joined the school as Associate Professor in July 2012.
Melodie’s research focuses on the ecology and conservation of populations and communities. Her interests extend from quantifying and modeling the abundance and distribution of species to global change impacts on protected areas. She and her research group use plant and animal populations and communities to examine the dynamics of biological invasions and the response of communities to changing environments. Other projects include the quantification and monitoring of trends in biological invasion for the purpose of informing biodiversity policy and management and the response of sub-Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems to climate change.
Australian Ecology Research Award 2014