About Melissa

Melissa McHale is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, at Colorado State University, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Wits City Institute, at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Melissa also serves as a program leader for urbanization and health at CSU's One Health Institute. Her focus is on urban ecology and sustainability which encompasses transdisciplinary study of complex social-ecological systems, social drivers of urban ecosystem structure and function, and global urbanization patterns and processes. Dr. McHale has also developed an internationally renowned research and education program in South Africa, where she provides students with unique opportunities to work with underprivileged communities on their greatest sustainability challenges.

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  • Built Environment
  • Citizen Science
  • Community-Based Conservation
  • Conservation
  • Conservation Decision Making
  • Ecology
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Environmental Services
  • Human Dimensions of Conservation
  • Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
  • Human-Wildlife Conflict
  • International Conservation
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Livelihoods
  • Parks and Protected Areas
  • Remote Sensing
  • Resilience Thinking
  • Shrubs
  • Social Ecological Systems
  • Social Responsibility
  • Spatial Ecology
  • Sustainable Development
  • Systems Thinking
  • Trees
  • Turf
  • Urban Ecology
  • Water Quality
  • Water Resources
  • Weeds


PhD, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology - Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO, 2007

BS, Natural Resource Management, Conservation Ecology - Cook College, Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ, 1998

Awards, Honors, Grants

  • Distinguished Ecologist, Honor Alumna, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology: http://www.ecology.colostate.edu/distinguished-ecologists.aspx, 2017

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