I research how we can integrate (spatial) socioeconomic and biodiversity approaches to improve coral reef conservation planning in regions with high resource dependence.
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
USR 3278 CNRS-EPHE Centre for Island Research and Environmental Observatory (CRIOBE)
98729 Mo’orea, French Polynesia
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Adjunct Research Fellow
James Cook University
Townsville, QLD 4811, Australia
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Mel grew up in a small fishing town situated between limestone cliffs in upper Normandy in France. Her passion for understanding how Nature works started from a young age: she remembers collecting insect larvae and tadpoles from the local pond with her parents to observe metamorphosis in their home aquarium, before releasing them back where they belong… During her undergraduate studies on life sciences, she volunteered in several research projects on wildlife ecology and conservation to gain experience. Projects included modelling nesting seasons of endemic freshwater turtles and assessing the impact of invasive freshwater turtles on pond biodiversity in experimental ponds, both in France, and understanding inter-nesting behaviour of marine turtles in northern Australia.
After she graduated with her MSc (Ecology) from Paris 11 University, she moved back to Australia, where she was asked to consult on a population viability analysis of birds threatened by forestry in the Tiwi Islands. Determined to visit as many Pacific countries as she could, she then moved to New Zealand to work as a field technician on estuary biodiversity monitoring projects. She hopped to the next island, New Caledonia, and worked for over 2 years as a research assistant in GIS for the French Research Institute for Development (IRD), where she learnt about coral reef social-ecological systems and the field of conservation planning. While in New Caledonia, she also started volunteering and working for local NGO Opération Cétacés which focuses on providing research, training and education on marine mammals and continues to collaborate today. She moved back to Australia to formalise her newly acquired skills with a PhD (Conservation Planning & Coral Reef Studies) at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, which she completed in 2015. Her thesis investigated how we can integrate lessons from socioeconomic and biodiversity approaches for coral-reef conservation planning in regions with high resource dependence. After her PhD she used her quantitative skills to assist research on social drivers of success in co-management of coral reef resources while working as a communications manager for the Centre.
Mélanie is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the CRIOBE at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) (in collaboration with the Centre) on conservation planning research, with a focus on tropical social-ecological systems. She also consults independently on various scientific and educational projects, and teaches conservation planning and GIS at James Cook University.
- Hamel, M. A., Pressey, R. L., Evans, L. S. and Andréfouët, S. (2017), The Importance of Fishing Grounds as Perceived by Local Communities Can be Undervalued by Measures of Socioeconomic Cost Used in Conservation Planning.Conservation Letters, doi:10.1111/conl.12352.
- Fricke, R., Allen, G. R., Andrefouet, S., Chen, W. J., Hamel, M. A., Laboute, P., Mana, R., Hui, T. H. and Uyeno, D. (2014). Checklist of the marine and estuarine fishes of Madang District, Papua New Guinea, western Pacific Ocean, with 820 new records. Zootaxa, 3832(1): 1-247.
- Andréfouët, S., Hamel, M.A. (2014) Tropical islands quick data gap analysis guided by coral reef geomorphological maps. Marine Pollution Bulletin.
- Hamel, M.A., Andréfouët, S., Pressey, R.L. (2012) Compromises between international habitat conservation guidelines and small-scale fisheries in Pacific island countries. Conservation Letters, 6: 46–57.
- Van Wynsberge, S., Andréfouët, S., Hamel, M.A., Kulbicki, M. (2012) Habitats as surrogates of taxonomic and functional fish assemblages in coral reef ecosystems: a critical analysis of factors driving effectiveness. Plos One, 7(7): e40997.
- Jimenez H., Bigot L., Bourmaud C., Chabanet P., Gravier-Bonnet N., Hamel M., Payri C., Mattio L., Menou J. L., Naeem S., Rilwan Y., Sattar S., Scott L., Shiham A., Vigliola L., Andréfouët S. (2012) Multi-taxa coral reef community structure in relation to habitats in the Baa Atoll Man and Biosphere UNESCO Reserve (Maldives), and implications for its conservation. Journal of Sea Research, 72:77-86.
- Andréfouët, S., Hamel, M.A., Dalleau, M. (2012) Distinctions between pattern-based and selection-based biodiversity surrogates is essential: caveats for managers. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 452:287-295.
- Hamel, M.A., Andréfouët, S. (2012) Biodiversity-based propositions of conservation areas in Baa Atoll, Republic of Maldives. Atoll Research Bulletin, 590: 223-235.
- Andréfouët, S., Rilwan, Y., Hamel, M.A. (2012) Habitat mapping for conservation planning in Baa Atoll, Republic of Maldives. Atoll Research Bulletin, 590: 207-222.
- Hamel, M.A., Andréfouët, S. (2010) Using very high resolution remote sensing for the management of coral reef fisheries: review and perspectives. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 60: 1397–1405
- Hamel, M.A., McMahon, C.R., Bradshaw, C.J.A. (2008) Flexible inter-nesting behaviour of generalist olive ridley turtles in Australia. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 359: 47-54.
Conference presentations and symposia
- Hamel, M.A. , Pressey, R. L., Andréfouët, S., Devillers, R., Keith, D. Using biophysical maps for conservation planning: towards a risk assessment framework for practitioners. Fifteen minutes talk. International marine Conservation Congress. Glasgow (Scotland), August 2014.
- Hamel, M.A.. Incorporating spatial socioeconomic information into coral reef conservation planning in the Pacific. Fifteen minute talk. Society for Conservation Biology – Oceania section meeting 2014. Suva (Fiji), July 2014.
- Hamel, M.A., Adams, V., Mangubhai, S. Socioeconomic considerations in conservation planning: past, present, future. Two hours symposium, chaired. Society for Conservation Biology – Oceania section meeting 2014. Suva (Fiji), July 2014.
- Hamel, M.A., Andréfouët, S., Pressey, R. L. Compromises between international habitat
conservation guidelines and small-scale fisheries in Pacific island countries. Fifteen minute talk. Society for Conservation Biology – Oceania section meeting 2012. Darwin, September 2012.
- Pressey, R. L., Weeks, R., Mills, M., Horigue, V. C., Hamel, M. A. Marine spatial planning in the Coral Triangle and Oceania: learning to deal with multiple objectives and scales. Fifteen minute talk. Society for Conservation Biology – Oceania section meeting 2012. Darwin, September 2012.
- Hamel, M.A., Pressey, R. L., Andréfouët, S. Cost-effectiveness of habitat-based conservation planning. Fifteen minute talk. International Coral Reef Symposium 2012 (Symposium theme 18: Management and Monitoring, Mini-Symposium 18C: Spatially-explicit and multi-disciplinary approaches for coral reef conservation). Cairns, Australia, July 2012.