Dr Mele Taumoepeau
BA, BSc (Hons), PhD Developmental Psychology
Born in Tonga, Mele traces her Tongan (Ha’ato’u, Ha’apai) and Scottish (Aberdeen) heritage through her parents Makameone and Bridget Taumoepeau. Her bi-cultural upbringing has not only influenced her research interests but her deep desire to see Pasifika succeed in academia.
Her research is concerned with the impact our cultural environments have on young children’s and adolescents’ socio-emotional development. This work has led her to challenge the cultural framing of work in this area and to explore in more detail how our cultural contexts influence the ways in which we successfully socialise our children and young people.
Mele collaborates closely with Pacific community groups, including the Pacific Trust Otago, Moana Connect, Tupou Teritiary Institute and USP. She is deeply committed to supporting the career pathways of Māori and Pacific students and colleagues in her current role as Associate Professor in the School of Psychology, Te Herenga Waka.