Melanie is a plant biologist and CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellow at the ANU. She uses synthetic biology approaches to develop new biological environmental sensor-switch technologies for improving drought tolerance in crops. These technologies can be applied outside the plant field and she has recently expanded her work into understanding the fundamental biology of coral bleaching. She lectures on the topics of synthetic biology, GMOs, and gene editing.
Melanie previously worked at the University of Helsinki in Finland with Professor Jaakko Kangasjärvi on environmental stress and reactive oxygen species signalling in plants as part of the Finnish Centre of Excellence in the Molecular Biology of Primary Producers and as a 2018 Australian Endeavour Award Fellow. Her doctoral studies were supervised by Professor Barry Pogson at the Australian National University as part of the Australian Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology.