Dr. Melissa Whitecross
Dr Melissa Whitecross is BirdLife South Africa’s Landscape Conservation Programme Manager and is responsible for coordinating this environmental NGO’s threatened and endemic terrestrial sites and species conservation work. Melissa previously worked as the Raptor & Large Terrestrial Bird Project Manager where she coordinated projects on species such as the Endangered Secretarybird. Melissa holds a PhD in environmental science from Wits University. Melissa is the founder and host of BirdLife South Africa's Conservation Conversations weekly webinar series. Melissa has been awarded the Leslie Brown Memorial Grant from the Raptor Research Foundation, an IUCN SOS Rapid Response Grant for Blue Swallow Conservation and a Nedbank Green Trust Grant for ‘Recognising, assessing and reporting on OECMs in the Western Cape’. Melissa spends much of her free time travelling around South Africa exploring and photographing the country’s natural biodiversity (Instagram: @melissaw27). Melissa is also a keen birder having seen 768 different bird species within southern Africa so far.