Melodie A. McGeoch was born in Gauteng, South Africa. She obtained her B.Sc degree in Botany and Entomology, and B.Sc (Hons) in Entomology, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. In 1995 she was awarded a PhD in Entomology from the University of Pretoria. She has held academic positions at the Universities of Pretoria, Stellenbosch and Monash. She is currently Professor in Ecology at La Trobe University (Australia). Over her career to date Prof. McGeoch has held positions as Editor of African Entomology, Head of the Cape Research Centre (South African National Parks), and Director of Masters in Environment and Sustainability (Monash University). She currently serves as 1st Vice Chair of the Science Committee of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and sits on the Board of the National Computational Infrastructure (ANU).
Prof. McGeoch’s research activities fall into three main areas: (1) Developing methods to improve the estimation, modeling and monitoring of biodiversity. This research has led to developments in the theory and application of indicators for biodiversity policy and management, including for example Essential Biodiversity Variables. She has led the development of novel, information-rich methods to model biodiversity change. (2) A key research focus has been the development of the theory of species distributions. Specifically, modelling the fundamental properties of species distributions using occurrence data, by examining the relationships between scale, range, population aggregation and abundance. (3) More recently she has worked on approaches to improve the quality, quantity, accessibility and usefulness of data on biological invasions. This was driven by the need for improved quality of information on invasive species. Along with an international team of partners, her research contributed to the delivery of the Global Register of Introduced and Invasive Species – the Register provides open access checklists of invasive alien species for all countries.