Professional summary

Melanie is a community ecologist working on the impact of anthropogenic change on insect communities in managed landscapes (agricultural, forestry). Melanie is experienced in aspects of community ecology at all levels of biological organisation ranging from molecular mechanisms to community level effects in terrestrial habitats. She is the PI on two newly funded projects, a NERC ECORISC PhD project to measure the bioavailability, uptake and effects of pesticide spray drift on non-target Lepidoptera inhabiting farmland habitats, and a Butterfly Conservation funded project to develop genomic tools for predicting sensitivity to pesticides in Lepidoptera. Both of these projects aim to develop new methods and tools to measure impacts of pesticide spray drift in real-time in agricultural field margins.

Melanie has recently been involved in a review of pesticide risk assessment schemes for honey bees and other pollinators. Funded by the Health & Safety Executive, this review aimed to support future development of the UK regulatory framework for pollinators, post EU exit. Under currently funded National Capability AgZero+ work, Melanie is involved in the development of a Pesticide Risk Assessment tool to enable relative exposure risk calculations for terrestrial arthropods and freshwater invertebrates. This work is designed to support farm-scale assessments of pesticide spray regimes across crop types. Melanie co-leads Butterflies Under Pressure: Teaching resources for the KS1/2 primary school curriculum topic "Living things and their habitats" (with Casper Breuker, Oxford Brookes University).

Selected publications