1994 …2023

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Personal profile

Biography

Melodie McGeoch is Professor in Ecology at Monash University. She is internationally recognized for her work on the measurement and monitoring of biodiversity change, and the translation of biodiversity science for policy. Professor McGeoch is a leading scientist on biodiversity measurement and indicators, with more than 200 publications and 20 years of experience working across ecological theory, protected areas, and systems impacted by climate change and biological invasions.

Melodies’ interests lie predominantly in biodiversity science and the use thereof to advance environmental policy and solve conservation problems – including climate change impacts, biosecurity and sustainable information systems. Spatial variation in biodiversity, its observation and monitoring (from micro- to macro scales) are central theoretical and applied themes in her research. A further overarching research theme is the development of monitoring systems and their application in earth observations, biodiversity assessment and conservation policy. Melodie’s published work includes the theory of biodiversity measurement, estimation and bioindication, and its application to develop robust decision support frameworks.

A recent body of work, in collaboration with the Group on Earth Observations for biodiversity (GEO BON), focusses on improving the quality, quantity and value of biodiversity data for policy and management. This work draws on biodiversity theory, the rapidly evolving field of biodiversity informatics and the concept of Essential Biodiversity Variables (Science, Nature Ecology and Evolution), and aims to deliver sustainable information systems for monitoring and reporting on biodiversity (e.g., McGeoch and Jetz, One Earth 2019). In collaboration with Prof. Walter Jetz and Map of Life at Yale University, Melodie Co-Chairs the Species Populations Working Group of GEO BON. Now, working with the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Melodie is working on integrated environmental governance solutions to bring about transformative change for complex environmental problems.

 

Board and Committee Positions:

1st Vice Chair: Science Committee of the Governing Board, Global Biodiversity Information Facility (Elected position) 2021-2026

Lead: Biodiversity Status and Trends, Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future

Coordinating Lead Author: Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) – Thematic Assessment on Invasive Alien Species and their Control 2019-2023

Co-Chair: Species Populations Working Group, Global Earth Observation: Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) 2016-

Chair: Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Task Group –   Data Fitness for Use in Research on Invasive Alien Species 2015-2016

Independent Member: Board of the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI Australia) 2021 -

Member: Advisory Board of the Atlas of Living Australia 2017 – 2021

Director: Masters of Environment and Sustainability, Monash 2016-2018

 

Awards and Honours:

Fellow of the African Academy of Science (2022)

Max Planck-Yale Centre for Movement and Global Change (2018)

Australian Ecology Research Award: Ecological Society of Australia (2014)

 

Editorial Positions:

Global Ecology and Biogeography: Associate Editor 2017 -

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Associate Editor 2014 - 2018

Journal of Biogeography: Editor 2007 - 2015

Journal of Biogeography: Associate Editor 2005 - 2007

African Entomology: Editor 2000 – 2002

Research interests

  • Biodiversity science and the use thereof to advance environmental policy and solve conservation problems – including climate change impacts, biosecurity and sustainable information systems.
  • Spatial variation in biodiversity, its observation and monitoring (from micro- to macro scales).
  • The development of monitoring systems and their application in earth observations, biodiversity assessment and conservation policy.
  • Theory of biodiversity measurement, estimation and bioindication, and its application to develop robust decision support frameworks.
  • Improving the quality, quantity and value of biodiversity data for policy and management.

Supervision interests

  • How does biodiversity change over space and time, how can we better model and predict this and what does it mean for conservation?
  • How do we identify priority sites and priority species to act against the negative impacts of biological invasions?
  • What does the future of Antarctic biodiversity look like under climate change?
  • What approaches can be developed to make biodiversity information more relevant and accessible to decision-makers?

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research area keywords

  • Antarctica
  • Biodiversity
  • Bioindication
  • Biological Invasions
  • Biosecurity
  • Global Change
  • Protected Areas
  • Spatial Ecology

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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