Dr Dominique Blache

Improving animal welfare through biological and societal approaches

Nothing is to be taken for granted even and, especially, what I am teachingDr. Dominique Blache

Dr Blache takes an integrative approach to animal welfare using his expertise in neuroscience and endocrinology to study stress, metabolism, and reproduction. In the last 20 years, Dr Blache’s research on leptin has advanced understanding of the impact of energy status on postpartum anoestrus in cattle. He developed one of the rare non-commercial assays for leptin. This robust and versatile assay has been used, and is still used, by numerous groups in Australia and overseas.

In 2004, Dr Blache pioneered the field of animal emotion in Australia (funded by Meat & Livestock Australia), resulting in an estimated breeding value for temperament now available to sheep breeders. With collaborators in Uruguay, he demonstrated that emotion reactivity influences the reproductive function of female sheep with calm ewes having a higher ovulation rate than the ewes of nervous temperament.

Dr Blache’s research on stress physiology and circadian and ultradian rhythms has resulted in the need for advanced statistical methods. His involvement in the new ARC-DP “Tsunami” and the MLA “New Biomarkers of Animal Positive State” illustrates his capacity to collaborate and combine diverse disciplines to explore new research avenues.


  • PhD in Neurosciences (Bordeaux, France)
  • MSc in Neurosciences (Bordeaux, France)
  • BSc in Animal Physiology (Tours, France)

External Positions

  • Member of the UWA Institute of Agriculture – Animal Production Discipline
  • Co-Director of the “Centre for sustainable ruminants systems”, Yangzhou University, China
  • Founding member of the Animal Welfare Collaborative, Brisbane

Notable achievements

Invited review on circadian rhythms in animals for special issue of Biology

Developed a non-commercial assay for leptin

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Pioneered the field of animal emotion in Australia


Teaching and supervisor opportunities

Dr Blache has developed novel units and materials and innovative approaches to teaching. He was a pioneer in introducing debates into his undergraduate unit (since 2000). In 2012, he was the first lecturer in Agriculture to include case studies in postgraduate units to facilitate interaction between students, researchers, and industry and also novel analytical tools such as meta-analysis.

In collaboration with Prof. Lynette Fernandes, he has designed a new unit Social Responsibility in Action which he co-teaches with lecturers from five schools.

Recently, in collaboration with Prof Jenny Rodger, Dr Blache developed an innovative unit Neuroscience in Society that aims to stimulate interest in Neuroscience and appreciation of the scientific endeavour. He uses a “power discussion” method: the students find information, assess that information for themselves, and decide on three papers to be discussed in class. The exercise gives “power” to the students, provides them the freedom to explore the literature and learn the ins and outs of scientific communication.

Dr Blache has supervised to completion 25 PhD, eight Master’s, and over 45 undergraduate students. He is currently a Unit Coordinator in Neuroscience in Society and also teaches in the following units:

  • Social Responsibility in Action (SCIE2100, 20% teaching)
  • Food Fibre and Fuel Security (SCIE5507)
  • Fundamentals of Agricultural Science (AGRI4409)
  • Clean, Green and Ethical Animal Production (ANIM3306)
  • Human Biology: Applications and Investigations II (ANHB3320)
  • Neuroendocrinology (APHB5503)
  • Animal Reproduction (AGRI4403)


2020 - 2023

Meat and Livestock Australia

  • New Biomarkers of Positive Animal Welfare State
  • Tilbrook, A., Fernandes, J., Maloney, S. & Blache, D.


Meat and Livestock Australia

  • BeefLinks: Defining the potential and application of (native) Australian plants for a carbon neutral northern beef value chain in Western Australia
  • Vercoe, P., Durmic, Z. & Blache, D.


Australian Research Council Discovery Project

  • TSuNAMi: Time Series Network Animal Modelling
  • Small, M., Correa, D., Walker, D. & Blache, D.


NSW Department of Trade & Investment

  • Assessing the humaneness of cane toad euthanasia techniques
  • Maloney, S., Blache, D., McLeod, S. & Sharp, T.


Meat and Livestock Australia

  • Phase 2: Maximising the reproductive potential of the meat sheep industry by eliminating high oestrogen clovers, more live lambs on the ground
  • Foster, K., Ryan, M., Vercoe, P., Durmic, Z., Blache, D., Martin, G. & Wyrwoll, C.


Meat and Livestock Australia

  • Maximising the reproductive potential of the meat sheep industry by eliminating high oestrogen clovers, more live lambs on the ground
  • Ryan, M., Vercoe, P., Blache, D., Martin, G., Durmic, Z., & Foster, K.

Contact Dr Dominique Blache