Kate Melnik

PhD CandidateKate Melnik

Research Title: Experimental Investigation of New Zealand Vegetation Flammability in Rural-Urban Interface Locations

Kate researches wildfire behaviour and live plant flammability, with her current project focusing on the flammability of vegetation in the rural-urban interface. When doing fire research, Kate draws on her academic background in Plant Biology (BSc) and Land Reclamation (MSc) at the University of Alberta, as well as the on-the-ground operational experience as a wildland firefighter with the British Columbia Wildfire Service and a volunteer firefighter with Fire and Emergency New Zealand. Kate gained valuable fire research experience during the 3.5 years that she worked as a fire researcher and data analyst for the Rural Fire Research group at Scion, New Zealand Forest Research Institute.

Kate is passionate about finding innovative data-driven solutions for applications in wildfire research, and really enjoys coding in R and Python. When not working with fire, Kate loves spending time in the mountains.


  • Andres Valencia
  • Daniel Nilsson
  • Marwan Katurji

Start date: 2021

Proposed end date: 2024

Type of position sought: Academic, Research, Industry, Operations