Dr. phil. Melissa Marselle

Academic Staff

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)

Deutscher Platz 5e
04103 Leipzig

Melissa Marselle

Scientific Career


since 2017

Postdoctoral Researcher, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ and German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

2015 - 2017

Research Fellow, University of Salford (UK)

2014 - 2015

Post-doctoral researcher, Edge Hill University (UK)

2007 - 2010

Research Fellow, University of Salford (UK)

2004 - 2007

Research Assistant, University of Liverpool (UK)


2010 - 2013

PhD Environmental Psychology
De Montfort University (UK), Institute of Energy & Sustainable Development
Thesis: ‘Growing Resilience through Interaction with Nature: The well-being
benefits of outdoor group walks‘

2003 - 2004

MSc Environmental Psychology
University of Surrey (UK), School of Psychology
Thesis: ‘Psychological experience of restorative natural environments’

1999 - 2003

BA Psychology
Oregon State University (USA)

Other Professional Activities

Melissa is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society.

Peer reviewer for: Journal of Environmental Psychology; Environment & Behavior; Ecopsychology; International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health; BMC Public Health; Applied Psychology: Health and Wellbeing; Journal of Environmental Planning and Management; British Journal of Sports Medicine; and Applied Research in Quality of Life.

Research Interests

As an environmental psychologist, Melissa is interested in human-environment interactions. Her research focuses on the psychological benefits of cultural ecosystem services. She is interested in how interactions with natural environments influence mental health and wellbeing, and the ‘dose’ of nature required for these health benefits. She also investigates the influence biodiversity and different environment types have on mental health and wellbeing. Other research interests include the psychological processes of sustainable behaviour and behaviour change.

BfN Logo


Climate change poses significant challenges to both biodiversity and human health and wellbeing. Thankfully, nature protection, restoration and conservation can mitigate climate change and foster human health and wellbeing.
There is significant awareness on the use of natural environments for human health and wellbeing from local, national and international governments and organisations. Building on this, is a growing recognition of the importance of biodiversity to human health and wellbeing. Understanding the impact biodiversity has on human health and wellbeing is required to implement nature-based solutions for climate change adaption - and public health.

In June 2017, the UFZ and iDiv co-organized the conference ‘Biodiversity and health in the face of climate change’ with the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the European Network of Heads of Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA). The event is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe.

2017 Biodiversity and Health in the Face of Climate Change conference
Expert Workshop on Urban Biodiversity and Health in the Face of Climate Change

Biodiversity, Health and Climate Change book

We are currently working on the definitive ‘go-to’ book for those who are new to the field of biodiversity and health. The aim of this book is to identify and discuss biodiversity’s impact on human physical and mental health and wellbeing. The book will provide an outlook for advancing this field in a changing climate, by addressing the implications biodiversity-health relationships have for nature conservation, public health, urban planning, and nature-based solutions. The scope is interdisciplinary, and geared towards identifying solutions and lessons to be applied across science, practice and policy. The book will be published by Springer.
The book is edited by Melissa Marselle (UFZ), Jutta Stadler and Horst Korn (German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, BfN), Katherine Irvine (James Hutton Institute) and Prof Aletta Bonn (UFZ).

EKLIPSE Expert Working Group ‘Which types and components of urban and peri-urban blue / greenspaces have a significant impact on human mental health and mental well-being?’

I am a member of this EXPLISE Expert working group to assess and synthesize relevant knowledge related to the types and characteristics (components) of urban and peri-urban natural spaces (blue and green) that have significant impact on human mental health and mental well-being. This working group is a direct policy request from Working Group Biodiversity & Health of the French National Action Plan Health & Environment lead by the French ministry of Environment.

EKLIPSE Expert Working groups
Background information on the Expert Working Group

Biodiversity & Health – Assessing whether the biodiversity of Leipzig influences Leipzigers’ health and wellbeing

Working with the University of Leipzig, I am investigating whether biodiversity and land use types influences human health and wellbeing. Using population data the University’s Leipzig Research Centre for Civilization Diseases (LIFE) Adult study, I will investigate whether the biodiversity and type of natural environment near to one’s home impacts their health and wellbeing. Specifically, I will explore if there is a direct relationship between the natural environment and health, and if these relationships are mediated by four pathways. This will help us better understand the environmental determinants of health, as well as suggest evidence for city planning.
University of Leipzig LIFE Health Care Study


Accepted / in press (1)

Articles in ISI listed journals (1)

Edited books (1)

Book chapters (4)

Reports (1)

Edited reports (1)

Further Publications

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  • Beattie, G., Marselle, M., Litchfield, D & McGuire, L. (2017). Staying over-optimistic about the future: Uncovering attentional biases to climate change messages. Semiotica, 218, 21-64.

  • Wilson, C., Brougham, C., & Marselle, M. (under review) Can student engagement activity be conceptualized as social marketing activity? Journal of Marketing for Higher Education (Contemporary Thought in Higher Education Special Issue)
  • Beattie, G., Marselle, M., Litchfield, D & McGuire, L. (in press). Staying over-optimistic about the future: Uncovering attentional biases to climate change messages. Semiotica.
  • Wilson, C. and Marselle, M. (2016). Insights from psychology about the design and implementation of energy interventions with the Behaviour Change Wheel. Energy Research & Social Science, 19, 177-191.
  • Marselle, M., Irvine, K.N., Lorenzo-Arribas, A., & Warber, S.L. (2016). Does perceived restorativeness mediate the effects of perceived biodiversity and perceived naturalness on emotional well-being following group walks in nature? Journal of Environmental Psychology, 46, 217-232. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2016.04.008
  • Warber, S.L., Dehundy, A., Bialko, M., Marselle, M., & Irvine, K.N. (2015). Addressing Nature Deficit Disorder: A mixed methods study of young adults attending a wilderness science camp. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol. 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/651827
  • Marselle, M., Irvine, K.N., Lorenzo-Arribas, A., & Warber, S.L. (2015). Moving beyond green: Exploring the relationship of emotional well-being, environment type and indicators of environmental quality following group walks. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12, 106-130 (Health Benefits of Nature Special Issue).
  • Marselle, M., Irvine, K.N., & Warber, S.L. (2014). Examining group walks in nature and multiple aspects of well-being: A large scale study. Ecopsychology, 6, 134-147 (Nature and Public Health Special Issue).
  • Marselle, M., Irvine, K.N., & Warber, S.L. (2013). Walking for well-being: Are group walks in certain types of natural environments better for well-being than group walks in urban environments? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10, 5603-5628 (Health Benefits of Nature Special Issue).
  • Marselle, M., Wootton, A.B., & Hamilton, M.G. (2012). Designing out violence in the night-time economy: Evaluation of a pedestrianisation intervention. Security Journal, 25 (2), 116-133.
  • W.J. Davies, M.D. Adams, N.S. Bruce, R. Cain, A. Carlyle, P. Cusack, D. Hall, K.I. Hume, A. Irwin, P. Jennings, M. Marselle, C.J. Plack, J. Poxon (2009). Perception of soundscapes: A interdisciplinary approach. Applied Acoustics, 74(2), 224-231.

Conferences contributions (presentations, posters)

  • Marselle, M., Warber, S.L., Gillespie, B. & Irvine, K.N. (2 September, 2016) Use of nature as a stress buffer. 9th International Congress of Morita Therapy - Sustainable psychotherapies for the 21st Century, University of Exeter, UK.
  • Wilson, C. & Marselle, M. (2 September, 2015) Clarification and specification: The route to better targeting of behavioural determinants of change? 14th International Colloquium on Nonprofit, Arts, Heritage, and Social Marketing, London Metropolitan University, UK.
  • Marselle, M., Irvine, K.N., Lorenzo-Arribas, A., & Warber, S.L. (August, 2015) Environmental quality and emotional well-being: Perceived restorativeness as a potential mediator. 11th Biennial Conference of Environmental Psychology, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Policy & practice contributions

  • Wootton, A.B., Marselle, M., Davey, C.L., Nuttall, B.N., & Jones, T.J. (2017). ProtectED Code of Practice: Ensuring the safety, security and wellbeing of Higher Education Institution students and assets. Self Assessment Workbook. Salford: University of Salford. Available from: www.protect-ed.org
  • Behrmann, D., Schroder, A., Davey, C.L., Marselle, M., Wootton, A.B., Floegl, H., Mann, T., Stummvoll, G., Sikora, A., Silewicz, D., & Szraijber, A. (2010). Initial Report: Information about the EU project Planning Urban Security. Hanover, Germany: Landeskriminalamt Niedersachsen.
  • Wootton, A.B., Marselle, M., Davey, C.L., Armitage, R. & Monchuk, L. (2009). National Police Crime Prevention Service: Implementation Planning Research Project Final Report. Salford: Design Against Crime Solution Centre.
  • Marselle, M. & Wootton, A.B. (2008). City Centre Crime: Design Interventions. Final report for Greater Manchester Police and Manchester City Council. Salford: Design Against Crime Solution Centre.

(For full publication record go to external profiles )