Mel Taylor


  • 522 Citations
  • 14 h-Index
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Personal profile


Mel Taylor is an Occupational Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in the Organisational Psychology team at Macquarie University. She is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Mel’s early research experience was with the UK Ministry of Defence in Human Factors and Organisational Psychology. Since joining academia in Australia, in 2007, her research has focussesd on preparedness, response, and recovery to threats of relevance to national security. These are typically low probability, high consequence events such as natural hazards emergencies, pandemics, terrorism, and emergency animal diseases.  

Mel is a project leader in the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre; currently working in the area of flood risk communication, having recently completed a three-year project on best practice in animal emergency management.

Research interests

Mel specialises in applied research, usually working with policy developers and practitioners dealing with risk and public, occupational, or organisational safety. Key areas of research interest are psychosocial response and recovery, uptake of protective behaviours, and risk communication strategies.



Mel currently convenes and teaches the following units in the Masters of Organisational Psychology and Postgraduate Diploma of Business Psychology programs

Training in Organisations (PSYO919)

Teams in the Workplace (PSYO939)

Organisational Change and Development (PSYO915)

Training in Organisations (PSYO967)

Teams in the Workplace (PSYO966)

Organisational Change and Development (PSYO965)

Research student supervision

Mel supervises students in PhD, Masters, and Honours programs. Research typically investigates protective behaviours, anticipated/actual responses, risk perception, and risk communication in one of the following risk contexts:

- natural hazards, e.g. bushfire, flood

- national security, e.g. CBRN terrorism, cybersecurity

- human disease, e.g. pandemics

- zoonotic disease, e.g. Hendra virus, ABLV

- animal emergency diseases, e.g. Equine Influenza, OJD

In addition to areas listed above, Mel's research supervision includes human behaviour in the context of the human-animal bond. e.g. animal emergency management, and also the use of social media in emergencies, and community resilience to, and recovery from disasters.

Community engagement

Mel is a strong advocate for community-led initiatives in emergency management. She is a member of Blue ARC Animal Ready Community, raising awareness of the need for preparedness and planning for animals in emergency management. She regularly provides media interviews and writes for practitioner magazines.

Research engagement

Mel is a member of the Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council for the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), and she is a member of Australian Women in Emergency Management. Mel reviews articles and grant applications on an ad hoc basis for a number of journals and international grant awarding authorities.

Education/Academic qualification

Psychology, PhD, Cranfield University

Psychology, BSc (Hons), Durham University

External positions

Adjunct Fellow, University of Western Sydney

6 Jul 20155 Jul 2018

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Projects 2015 2021

Research Output 2008 2019

Community social capital and individual functioning in the post-disaster context

Zahnow, R., Wickes, R., Taylor, M. & Corcoran, J., Apr 2019, In : Disasters. 43, 2, p. 261-288 28 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

social capital
natural disaster
social support

Animal emergency management in South Australia: a case study of the Sampson Flat bushfire

McCarthy, M. & Taylor, M., Apr 2018, In : The Australian Journal of Emergency Management. 33, 2, p. 60-65 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

South Australia
animal welfare
case studies

Driving into floodwater: a systematic review of risks, behaviour and mitigation

Ahmed, M. A., Haynes, K. & Taylor, M., Oct 2018, In : International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 31, p. 953-963 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

risk behavior
risk factor
decision making
Decision making

Emergency preparedness and planning for animals: a case study in the Blue Mountains, NSW

McCarthy, M., Bigelow, J. & Taylor, M., Oct 2018, In : The Australian Journal of Emergency Management. 33, 4, p. 50-56 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Fire fighting and emergency responding

Wiggins, M., Auton, J. & Taylor, M., 2018, (Accepted/In press) Oxford handbook of expertise. Ward, P., Maarten Schraagen, J., Gore, J. & Roth, E. (eds.). Oxford University Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review



Risk communication

NSW Resilient Australia Community Award - Highly Commended

Melanie Taylor (Recipient), Jenny Bigelow (Recipient), Warren Hole (Recipient) & Mary-Lou Keeting (Recipient), 16 Oct 2018