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Dr Melanie Blanchette

Melanie is a research fellow within the School of Science.

Professional Associations

  • Society for Freshwater Science
  • International Mine Water Association

Awards and Recognition

  •  2015. ECU Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Award for Engagement in Research, Edith Cowan University, For “significant contribution to mine water research and engaging with the mining industry to improve the environmental legacy of open-cut mining."

Research Areas and Interests

Freshwater ecology (seasonal/intermittent rivers), environmental genomics, mine water.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, James Cook University, 2013.
  • Master of Science, James Cook University, 2006.
  • Bachelor of Science Biology, United States of America, 2002.


Recent Research Grants

  • Developing closure criteria for river diversions: an alternative to reference sites,  Australian Coal Association,  Australian Coal Association Research Program,  2016 - 2018,  $445,293.
  • Testing hay as an in-situ remediation option for acidic pit lakes in the Pilbara,  Rio Tinto Ltd,  Grant,  2015 - 2017,  $52,200.
  • Coal pit lake closure by river flow-through: Risks and opportunities,  Australian Coal Association,  Australian Coal Association Research Program,  2014 - 2017,  $1,261,715.
  • Educational pilot accommodating rehabilitation of WA Pilbara,  Koodaideri Contracting Services Pty Ltd,  Grant,  2015 - 2016,  $104,715.
  • Microbial metagenomics: A next-generation DNA sequencing approach to improving river condition assessment ,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher Grant - 2014,  2014 - 2015,  $13,450.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • Schmidt, K., Blanchette, M., Pearson, R., Alford, R., Davis, A., (2017), Trophic roles of tadpoles in tropical Australian streams. Freshwater Biology, 62(11), 1929?1941, West Sussex, United Kingdom, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13036.
  • Blanchette, M., Lund, M., (2016), Pit lakes are a global legacy of mining: an integrated approach to achieving sustainable ecosystems and value for communities. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 23(open issue, part 1), 28-34, DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2016.11.012.
  • Blanchette, M., Davis, AM., Jardine, TD., Pearson, RG., (2014), Omnivory and opportunism characterize food webs in a large dry-tropics river system. Freshwater Science, 33(1), 142-158, North American Benthological Society, DOI: 10.1086/674632.
  • Blanchette, M., Pearson, R., (2013), Dynamics of habitats and macroinvertebrate assemblages in rivers of the Australian dry tropics. Freshwater Biology, 58(4), 742-757, Blackwell Publishing, DOI: 10.1111/fwb.12080.

Conference Publications

  • Lund, M., Blanchette, M., Gonzalez Pinto, J., Green, R., Mather, C., Kleiber, C., Lee, S., (2017), Are Microcosms Tiny Pit Lakes?. Mine Water & Circular Economy (Vol II)., 2(June 25?30), 1204 ? 1206, Lappeenranta, Finland (Lappeenranta University of Technology)..
  • Blanchette, M., Lund, M., (2017), Biophysical Closure Criteria Without Reference Sites: Evaluating River Diversions Around Mines. Mine Water & Circular Economy, 1, , 437 ? 445, Lappeenranta, Finland (Lappeenranta University of Technology)..
  • Blanchette, M., Lund, M., Stoney, R., Short, D., Harkin, C., (2016), Bio-physical closure criteria without reference sites: realistic targets in modified rivers. Proceedings of the International Mine Water Association 2016, 586?592.
  • Macdonald, K., Lund, M., Blanchette, M., (2015), Impacts of artisanal small-scale gold mining on water quality of a tropical river (Surow River, Ghana). 10th ICARD-IMWA 2015 conference proceedings, 1-12, Chile, Gecamin.
  • Macdonald, K., Lund, M., Blanchette, M., McCullough, C., (2014), Regulation of artisanal small scale gold mining (ASGM) in Ghana and Indonesia as currently implemented fails to adequately protect aquatic ecosystems. Proceedings of the International Mine Water Association 2014, 401-405, IMWA.
  • Lund, M., Blanchette, M., (2014), Are we approaching pit lake closure from the wrong perspective?. Proceedings of the International Mine Water Association Congress 2014, 720-724, IMWA.
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