Melissa Carew

Melissa Carew, Research Fellow

Email Phone

Melissa’s main interests are understanding species diversity using DNA barcodes and developing DNA-based tools for environmental monitoring, especially in freshwater ecosystems. In the past, her research has largely focused on using DNA approaches to understand life histories, population structure and for species identification of various invertebrate (and some vertebrate) groups. During her PhD, she developed DNA approaches for species identification of Chironomidae (Diptera), well known as a bioindicator group in freshwater environments. She also investigated the bioindicator potential in particular chironomid species by examining their field-based responses to pollution. More recently, her work has broadened to include identifying many species of freshwater macroinvertebrates using DNA barcoding.

Current Projects

  • Improved biomonitoring of urban freshwater ecosystems using DNA barcodes -ARC Linkage project with Melbourne Water Corporation (LP150100876)



Jeppe, K. J., Carew, M. E., Pettigrove, V., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2017). Toxicant mixtures in sediment alter gene expression in the cysteine metabolism of Chironomus tepperi. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 36, 691-698.

Carew, M., Nichols, S., Batovska, J., St Clair, R., Murphy, N., Blacket, M., and Shackleton, M. (2017). A DNA barcode database of Australia’s freshwater macroinvertebrate fauna. Marine and Freshwater Research. Early online.

Jeppe, K. J., Yang, J., Long, S. M., Carew, M. E., Zhang, X., Pettigrove, V., Hoffmann, A. A., and Piggott, J. (2016). Detecting copper toxicity in sediments: from the subindividual level to the population level. Journal of Applied Ecology. Early online.

Carew, M. E., Metzeling, L., St Clair, R., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2016). Detecting invertebrate species in archived collections using next-generation sequencing. Molecular Ecology Resources. Early online.

Carew, M. E., Hoffmann, A. A. (2015). Delineating closely related species with DNA barcodes for routine biological monitoring. Freshwater Biology 60, 1545-1560.

Jeppe, K. J., Carew, M. E., Long, S. M., Lee, S. F., Pettigrove, V., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2014). Genes involved in cysteine metabolism of Chironomus tepperi are regulated differently by copper and by cadmium. Comparative Biochemistry Physiology C Toxicology and Pharmacology 162, 1-6.

Proulx, I., Martin, J., Carew, M., and Hare, L. (2013). Using various lines of evidence to identify Chironomus species.(Diptera: Chironomidae) in eastern Canadian lakes. Zootaxa 3741, 401-458.

Carew, M. E., Pettigrove, V. J., Metzeling, L., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2013a). Environmental monitoring using next generation sequencing: Rapid identification of macroinvertebrate bioindicator species. Frontiers in Zoology 10, 45.

Carew, M., Gagliardi, B., and Hoffmann, A. (2013b). Mitochondrial DNA suggests a single maternal origin for the widespread triploid parthenogenetic pest species, Paratanytarsus grimmii, but microsatellite variation shows local endemism. Insect Science 20, 345-357.

Qian, Z-Q., Sara Ceccarelli, F., Carew, M. E., Schlüns, H., Schlick-Steiner, B. C., and Steiner, F. M. (2011). Characterization of polymorphic microsatellites in the giant bulldog ant, Myrmecia brevinoda and the jumper ant, M. pilosula. Journal of Insect Science 11, 1-8.

Carew, M. E., Miller, A. D., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2011a). Phylogenetic signals and ecotoxicological responses: Potential implications for aquatic biomonitoring. Ecotoxicology 20, 595-606.

Carew, M. E., Marshall, S. E., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2011b). A combination of molecular and morphological approaches resolves species in the taxonomically difficult genus Procladius Skuse (Diptera: Chironomidae) despite high intra-specific morphological variation. Bulletin of Entomological Research 101, 1-15.

O’Brien ML, Pettigrove, V., Carew, M. E., Hoffmann, A. A. (2010). Combining rapid bio assessment and field-based microcosms for identifying impacts in an urban river. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 29, 1773-1780.

Marshall S, Pettigrove, V., Carew, M., Hoffmann A (2010). Isolating the impact of sediment toxicity in urban streams. Environmental Pollution 158, 1716-1725.

Coleman R, Pettigrove, V., Raadik T, Hoffmann A, Miller A, Carew M (2010). Microsatellite markers and mtDNA data indicate two distinct groups in dwarf galaxias, Galaxiella pusilla; (Mack) (Pisces: Galaxiidae), a threatened freshwater fish from south-eastern Australia. Conservation Genetics 11, 1911-1928.

Townsend, K. R., Pettigrove, V. J., Carew, M. E., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2009). The effects of sediment quality on benthic macroinvertebrates in the River Murray, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research 60, 70-82.

Schiffer, M., Umina, P., Carew, M., Hoffmann, A., Rodoni, B., and Miller, A. (2009). The distribution of wheat curl mite (Aceria tosichella) lineages in Australia and their potential to transmit wheat streak mosaic virus. Annals of Applied Biology 155, 371-379.

Carew, M., Schiffer, M., Umina, P., Weeks, A., and Hoffmann A (2009). Molecular markers indicate that the wheat curl mite, Aceria tosichella Keifer, may represent a species complex in Australia. Bulletin of Entomological Research 99, 479-486.

Anson, J., Pettigrove, V., Carew, M. E., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2008). High molecular weight petroleum hydrocarbons derived from different sources affect freshwater benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 27, 1077-1083.

van Zweden, J., Carew, M., Henshaw, M., Robson, S., Crozier, R. (2007). Social and genetic structure of a supercolonial weaver ant, Polyrhachis robsoni , with dimorphic queens. Insectes Sociaux 54, 34-41.

Cox, R., Hoffmann, A. A., Pettigrove, V., and Carew ME (2007). A microcosm approach for assessing the response of indigenous chironomids to salinity. Australasian Journal of Ecotoxicology 13, 113-118.

Carew, M. E., Pettigrove, V., Cox, R. L., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2007a). The response of Chironomidae to sediment pollution and other environmental characteristics in urban wetlands. Freshwater Biology 52, 2444-2462.

Carew, M. E., Pettigrove, V., Cox RL, and Hoffmann, A. A. (2007b). DNA identification of urban Tanytarsini chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae). Journal of the North American Benthological Society 24, 586-599.

Carew, M. E., Pettigrove, V., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2005). The utility of DNA markers in classical taxonomy: Using cytochrome oxidase I markers to differentiate Australian Cladopelma (Diptera : Chironomidae) midges. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 98, 587-594.

Carew, M. E., Goodisman, M. A. D., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2004). Species status and population genetic structure of grapevine eriophyoid mites. Entomologia Experimentalis Et Applicata 111, 87-96.

Schiffer, M., Carew, M. E., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2004). Molecular, morphological and behavioural data reveal the presence of a cryptic species in the widely studied Drosophila serrata species complex. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 17, 430-442.

Thomson, L. J., Rundle, B. J., Carew, M. E., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2003). Identification and characterization of Trichogramma species from south-eastern Australia using the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS-2). region of the ribosomal gene complex. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 106, 235-240.

Carew, M. E., Pettigrove, V., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2003). Identifying chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae). for biological monitoring with PCR-RFLP. Bulletin of Entomological Research 93, 483-490.

Magiafoglou, A., Carew, M. E., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2002). Shifting clinal patterns and microsatellite variation in Drosophila serrata populations: a comparison of populations near the southern border of the species range. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 15, 763-774.

Goodisman, M. A. D., Matthews, R. W., Spradbery, J. P., Carew, M. E., and Crozier, R. H. (2001). Reproduction and recruitment in perennial colonies of the introduced wasp Vespula germanica. Journal of Heredity 92, 346-349.

Crozier, R. H., Kaufmann, B., Carew, M. E., Crozier, Y. C. (1999). Mutability of microsatellites developed for the ant Camponotus consobrinus. Molecular Ecology 8, 271-276.

Crozier, R. H., Oldroyd, B. P., Tay, W. T., Kaufmann, B. E., Johnson, R. N., Carew, M. E., and Jennings, K. M. (1997). Molecular advances in understanding social insect population structure. Electrophoresis 18, 1672-1675.

Carew M. E., Tay W. T., and Crozier R. H. (1997). Polygyny via unrelated queens indicated by mitochondrial DNA variation in the Australian meat ant, Iridomyrmex purpureus. Insectes Sociaux 44, 7-14.


2006 PhD – The University of Melbourne

1996 B.Sc (Hon) La Trobe University