Melissa Denecke is the Director of the IAEA’s Division of Physical and Chemical Sciences. Previously, she was Scientific Director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, holding a Chair in the University’s School of Chemistry. Before that, she was department head for ‘Actinide Speciation’ at the Institute for Nuclear Waste Disposal at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. Other positions held were at the School of Engineering, Offenburg, Forschungszentrum Rossendorf e.V. (FZR) and the Hamburg University. Melissa is radiochemist and an internationally recognised expert in application of state-of-the-art techniques for radionuclide characterisation on a molecular scale using a number of accelerator-based and research reactor techniques. Her research interests focus on actinide and separations chemistry, immobilisation processes at interfaces, numerous aspects of radioactive waste disposal and assessment of legacies and combining spectroscopic speciation with modelling. She is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, receiving the Becquerel Medal Award for Radiochemistry in 2016 and the Distinguished Lecturer Award in Environmental Chemistry in 2019; the American Chemical Society, Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker; American Vacuum Society; International XAFS Society; Geochemical Society; Kerntechnische Gesellschaft e.V.; Nuclear Institute; Women in Nuclear Germany, UK and Global, having served as Executive Board Member.