• The University of Western Australia (M087), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Dr Blache has completed his PhD in Neurosciences at INRA in France and the AFRC Neuroendocrine Laboratory at Babraham in the UK. Dr Blache was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of Western Australia and then joined UWA. Since 1993, Dr Blache worked on projects funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Australia Wool Innovation (AWI) and the French, Danish and Norwegian research agencies.

In the field of metabolism, since around 2000 my research on leptin opened avenues for other researchers to understand the impact of energy status on postpartum anoestrus in cattle. I 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. I have been a co-author on at least 50 papers following the development of this assay.

My work on emotional reactivity in sheep was at first criticised in Australia. Then about 8 years after I started this work, multiple groups developed research programs on emotional reactivity and personality in farm animals. The combination of my expertise in emotional reactivity and metabolism has led Prof Maloney and myself to demonstrate that nervousness has an impact on energy utilisation and temperature regulation.

My work with Prof Maloney, supported by an ARC DP grant, on selective brain cooling and thermoregulation, including evaporative cooling, has led to the publication of more than half a dozen papers.

In 2018, I started to use Drosophila Melanogaster to study the mechanisms of action of circadian rhythm of temperature on other biological rhythms and stress response, the impact of compounds like melatonin and vitamin E on the response to environmental stressors. Our work has described the circadian rhythm of body temperature and demonstrated that these rhythms are affected by nutritional stress. We have proposed the use of temperature rhythms to assess the level of stress experienced by animals. This line of thought is now accepted in the field of both stress and thermoregulation.

Since 2019, I have been involved in applied and fundamental research investigating the welfare of sheep and pigs. In sheep, I have been involved in understanding the impact of phytoestrogen on sheep reproduction and the identification of biomarkers for experience. I have been involved in similar work in pigs, looking at indicators of positive welfare.

Since 2022; I have collaborated on projects investigating the interaction between microbiome and temperament.

I have published 220 refereed papers (Google i10-index of 171, h-index: 51), 20 reviews and book chapters and 10 Industry reports and have an h-index of 35 (Web of Knowledge) and a ResearchGate Research interest score of 3804 and h-index of 45 (ResearchGate, 7,791 citations, over 64,000 reads).

Roles and responsibilities

Associate Professor - School of Agriculture and Environment
Associate Professor - UWA Institute of Agriculture

2017 to present: Co-Director of The “Centre for Sustainable Ruminants Systems”, Yangzhou, China

2018 to present: Founding member of the Animal Welfare Collaborative, Brisbane, Queensland

2000 to present: Director of the UWA Radioimmunoassay Laboratory, Perth

Emotion and stress in animals

Animal Ethics and Welfare

Hormone assays

Future research

Role of gut microbiome in personality in animals and response to heat waves

Funding overview

My research funding has come from the Australian Research Council, The Medical Health and Research Council, and industry funding bodies such as Meat and Livestock Australia, and Rural Industries Research Corporation. 

Previous positions

2005 - 2021: Senior Lecturer
School of Animal Biology – Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, UWA

2000 - 2005: Lecturer
School of Animal Biology – Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science, UWA

1993 - 2000: Research Fellow
NHMRC and ARC funded position
Animal Science – Faculty of Agriculture, UWA

Current projects

Current projects with the following PhD Students:

Sarah Babington: Biomarkers of positive welfare states in sheep

Doraid Alkhishaybi: Vitamin E, oxidative stress and reproductive function

Peter Panizza: Heat stress and microbiome

Dane Webster: Role of Neat 1 is the whole body stress response

Projects with past PhD students:
Madlen Kratz: The effects of nutrition on honey bee (Apis mellifera) health and colony performance during crop pollination

Luoyang Ding: Temperament in sheep: Its genetic basis and impact on meat production

Grace Goh: The rhythmicity of body temperature and its impact on clock gene expression and longevity in vivo

Yuri Kitagawa: Variation in core body temperature indicates fitness in ruminants, and is related to the potential for reproduction

Lorelle Barrett: Nesting preference and motivations in ducks.

Anna Amir: Secondary plant compounds and reproduction in sheep

Aprille Chadwick - Improving welfare of reproductive technologies for goats

Daud Dzulsuhaimi - Thermoregulation and reproduction in male alpacas

Travis Murray - Dairy ewes and temperament: shape up or sheep out

Xiaoyan Qiu: Gene polymorphisms associated with temperament in Merino sheep

Stacey Rietema: Temperament and activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in sheep

Kelsie Moore: Pelt characteristics and insulation in alpacas

Mikaela Ciprian: Ethical theories and decision making in Animal Ethics Committee

Miriam Sullivan: How can we improve welfare for aquarium fish?

Kirrin Lund - Energy and nitrogen metabolism in alpacas

Alex Wells - Why producers do what they do: the case of mulesing in the Australian wool industry

Joanne Elliott - Attitudes, social influence and human behaviour in the adoption of strategies to improve lamb survival

Sharon Tay - Does mums diet affect her offspring?

Teaching overview

I currently lecture in the following units:

SCIE2100: Social Responsibility in Action (Sem 1)

NEUR1001: Neuroscience in Society (Sem 1)

ANIM3306: Clean Green and Ethical Animal Production (Sem 2)


1) Animal emotional reactivity: role of the gut microbiome in the development and the expression of temperament in sheep

2) Neurodevelopment of preterm lambs (as a model for preterm infants) including emotion reactivity, cognitive function and regulation of food intake and growth.

3) Animal Welfare: thermoregulation and heat stress, stress physiology, pain management, development of predictive indicators of animal welfare, development of biomarkers of positive welfare state in livestock.


French (mother-tongue)
English (fluent)
Spanish (Knowledge) Thai (Knowledge)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research expertise keywords

  • Animal ethics and welfare
  • Animal behaviour
  • Animal emotion
  • Stress physiology
  • Endocrinology of reproduction in alpacas


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