• 602 Citations
  • 13 h-Index

Research output per year

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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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Research Outputs

Fire fighting and emergency responding

Wiggins, M., Auton, J. & Taylor, M., 2020, Oxford handbook of expertise. Ward, P., Maarten Schraagen, J., Gore, J. & Roth, E. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 642-661 20 p. (Oxford handbooks online).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Information delivery and the veterinarian-horse owner relationship in the context of Hendra virus in Australia

    Hii, C., Dhand, N. K., Toribio, J. A. L. M. L., Taylor, M. R., Wiethoelter, A., Schembri, N., Sawford, K., Kung, N., Moloney, B., Wright, T., Field, H. & Schemann, K., 13 Apr 2020, In : Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 179, p. 1-9 9 p., 104988.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Understanding bushfire risk, warnings and responses: lessons from the 2018 Reedy Swamp fire

    Whittaker, J., Haynes, K., Tofa, M., Wilkinson, C. & Taylor, M., 6 Mar 2020, Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. 126 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

    Open Access
  • Vehicle-related flood fatalities in Australia, 2001–2017

    Ahmed, M. A., Haynes, K. & Taylor, M., 30 Apr 2020, In : Journal of Flood Risk Management. 17 p., e12616.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Why don't bushfire warnings work as intended? Responses to official warnings during bushfires in New South Wales, Australia

    Whittaker, J., Taylor, M. & Bearman, C., May 2020, In : International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 45, p. 1-10 10 p., 101476.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Prizes

    Excellence in Risk Communication

    Mel Taylor (Recipient), 4 Jun 2018


  • NSW Resilient Australia Community Award - Highly Commended

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



    • 1 Invited talk

    Risk Communication

    Matalena Tofa (Speaker), Melanie Taylor (Speaker)
    26 Nov 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


    Driving into Floodwater: Research into Practice Brief 1

    Mozumdar Ahmed (Participant), Mel Taylor (Participant), Matalena Tofa (Participant), Katharine Haynes (Participant)


    Evaluation of flood risk communication materials - practice brief five April 2020

    Mel Taylor (Participant), Matalena Tofa (Participant), Joshua O'Loughlin (Participant), Sunil Taneja (Participant), Katharine Haynes (Participant)


    SES personnel’s experiences of driving in floodwater - practice brief six April 2020

    Mel Taylor (Participant), Matalena Tofa (Participant), Mozumdar Ahmed (Participant), Rachel Begg (Participant), Gemma Rose Hope (Participant), Katharine Haynes (Participant)