Professor Michelle Leishman is an internationally renowned plant ecologist who works at the intersection of invasion biology, plant conservation, urban greening and climate change adaptation. She uses a range of approaches from field studies to manipulative experiments and large-scale spatial analyses to tackle the global issues of climate change, invasive species and biodiversity loss. Her research has attracted over 10000 citations, placing her in the top 1% of researchers in the disciplines of plant ecology and invasion biology.
Professor Leishman works closely with researchers, government and industry to translate research into on-ground solutions for conservation and land management. She leads innovative partnerships that work as collaborative hubs connecting researchers with government, industry and the community. This includes her roles as Deputy Director of the Biodiversity Node of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Adaptation Hub, Leader of the Green Cities Which Plant Where project, and Co-Director of MQ’s Smart Green Cities. She is sought after to provide advice to local and state government and non-government organisations in the conservation and natural resources management sector. Her leadership and outstanding contribution to conservation biology is recognised through her appointments as previous Chair of the NSW Scientific Committee and as a Trustee of the Botanic Gardens Trust and Board Member of Bush Heritage. As a research leader and Head of Department, she has a strong commitment to empowering and supporting students and early career researchers to pursue research with impactful and practical outcomes.