Melissa is the Deputy Director and Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plants 4 Space and Professor of Space Law, Policy and Governance, Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources, University of Adelaide.
Melissa is a prominent legal researcher, working in the areas of commercial and military uses of outer space, encompassing both domestic and international space law. She has worked closely with the Australian space industry, including serving as Deputy Director and Board Member of the Space Industry Association of Australia, as well as on the successful bid team for the 2025 International Astronautical Congress to be held in Sydney. She has published widely on all legal and regulatory aspects of the space environment.
Melissa joined the University of Adelaide in 2011 and was Dean of Law 2017- 2021. She holds a PhD from Monash University, an LLM from the University of Melbourne, and a BA (Hons) and LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne, as well as a Grad Cert in Higher Education from Monash and a Grad Cert in Higher Education (Online Learning) from the University of Adelaide. She has held visiting positions at The University of Amsterdam (2002), and National University of Singapore (2006 and 2017). Melissa is a Member of the International Institute of Space Law and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.