Mel Taylor


  • 577 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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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2015 2021

Research Outputs 2008 2019

Behaviour around floodwater: challenges for floodwater safety and risk communication

Taylor, M., Tofa, M., Haynes, K., McLaren, J., Readman, P., Ferguson, D., Rundle, S. & Rose, D., 31 Oct 2019, In : Australian Journal of Emergency Management. 34, 4, p. 40-47 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
risk communication
Emergency services

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

Older adults in disaster and emergency management: what are the priority research areas in Australia?

Fountain, L., Tofa, M., Haynes, K., Taylor, M. R. & Ferguson, S. J., Oct 2019, In : International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 39, p. 1-11 11 p., 101248.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

community service

Public health and natural hazards: new policies and preparedness initiatives developed from an Australian bushfire case study

Westcott, R., Ronan, K., Bambrick, H. & Taylor, M., Aug 2019, In : Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 43, 4, p. 395-400 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Public Policy
Public Health
Health Policy
Emergency Responders
Public Health Practice

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


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


Activities 2019 2019

  • 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)