Leanne Melbourne



University of Bristol, Ph.D., 2018

University of Bristol, MSci., 2013

Research Interests

Dr Melbourne’s interests align with the link between environmental change and growth within marine organisms and how this affects structural integrity. By analyzing museum collections, Dr Melbourne looks at how the geological record and the recent past can help inform us how future climate change may affect marine organisms and their function.

She uses a variety of tools to analyze the internal structure, mineral chemistry and material properties of marine calcifiers. These tools include Scanning Electron Microscopy, Computed Tomography Scanning, Electron Probe Microscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy and Nanoindentation. Using Finite Element Analysis, Dr Melbourne can model how changes to the internal structure and material properties affects structural integrity and subsequently their function. Dr Melbourne’s work has focused on coralline algae, benthic foraminifera and bivalves, and she is now expanding into corals.


J. Brodie*, LA. Melbourne, R. Mrowicki, P. Brickle, S.Russell and S. Scott (2020). Biodiversity of Corallina species from Tristan da Cunha and the Falkland Islands, including C. chamberlainiae sp. nov.: implications for South Atlantic biogeography. European Journal of Phycology. doi.org/10.1080/09670262.2020.1780635

L. Chaves Torres*, G. Kaur, LA. Melbourne, RD. Pancost (2019). Selective chemical degradation of silica sinters of the Taupo Volcanic Zone (New Zealand). Implications for early Earth and Astrobiology. Geobiology, Vol 17, 449-464, doi-org.bris.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/gbi.12340

LA. Melbourne*, M. Denny, R. Harniman, EJ. Rayfield and DN. Schmidt (2018). The importance of wave exposure on the structural integrity of rhodoliths. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Vol 503, 109-119, doi: 10.1016/j.jembe.2017.11.007

L. Chaves Torres*, LA. Melbourne, M.T. Hernandez-Sanchez, GN. Inglis, RD. Pancost (2017) Insoluble prokaryotic membrane lipids in continental shelf sediments offshore Cape Town: Implications for organic matter preservation, Marine Chemistry, Vol 197, 38-51, doi.org/10.1016/j.marchem.2017.10.003

LA. Melbourne*, JJ. Hernandez-Kantun, S. Russel and J. Brodie (2017). There is more to maerl than meets the eye: DNA barcoding reveals a new species in Britain, Lithothamnion erinaceum sp. nov. (Hapalidiales, Rhodophyta), European Journal of Phycology, Vol 52, 166-1678, doi:10.1080/09670262.2016.1269953

LA. Melbourne*, J. Griffin*, DN. Schmidt, and EJ. Rayfield (2015). Potential and limitations of finite element modelling in assessing structural integrity of coralline algae under future global change. Biogeosciences, Vol 12, 5871-5883, doi:10.5194/bg-12-5871-2015

Teaching Experience

Faculty Appointments

Lecturer in Marine Paleontology, University of Bristol (2020-2021)

Courses taught

University of Bristol (UoB)

Marine Micropaleontology (UoB, Year 3)

Micropaleontology (UoB, MSc)