Melanie Mark-Shadbolt is from Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairararapa, Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Te Atiawa, as well as Clans Macintosh and Gunn. She is an indigenous environmental sociologist and is the current the Kaihautū Chief Māori Advisor to the Ministry for the Environment, the Director Māori of NZ’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge, and CEO of Te Tira Whakamātaki Foundation.
Melanie is a specialist in applying traditional knowledge to biosecurity and sustainable natural resource management. Her work has covered research in stakeholder values, attitudes and behaviours, social acceptability of management practices, risk communication and the wider human dimensions of environmental health. Melanie serves on a number of boards and national advisory bodies including; the Myrtle Rust Governance Group, Kauri Dieback Strategic Science Advisory Group, Rauika Mangai and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga Climate Change programme. She was previously the Māori Research & Development Manager Kaiārahi at the Bio-Protection Research Centre at Lincoln University, Ararau Coordinator for Ngāi Tahu tribal entity TeTapuae o Rehua, and the Chair of Te Waipounamu District Māori Council.