Growing up in a small country town, Michelle has always been passionate about nature and felt sanctuary in the wilderness.
She has a strong business background and worked for several years in Turkey, Qatar and South Africa, focusing on sustainable development and waste management. Michelle has a Masters in Conservation Biology from The University of Queensland and is now completing her PhD with Associate Professor Jonathan Rhodes, Professor Hugh Possingham and Professor James Watson. Her research broadly focuses on applied conservation research that is linked directly to on-the-ground actions. More specifically, she is interested in effective reserve design, action mapping, cost-effective conservation actions, proactive planning under climatic change, understanding cumulative and interacting threats, and prioritising management for biodiversity.
She is a volunteer for Wildcare Australia, predominately rescuing and rehabilitating native, orphaned mammals. She is also an IUCN WCPA Commission Member and president of the Society for Conservation Biology, Brisbane chapter.