Doctor Michelle Ryan

Doctor Michelle Ryan

Lecturer, Ecology and Environmental Science,
Life Sciences


Dr Michelle Ryan has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Management and since completing her PhD in 2014 Michelle has worked in both academia and industry working at Sydney Water as part of the education and engagement team. Michelle’s areas of interest are in aquatic environments and environmental health. At WSU, Michelle Ryan is a lecturer in ecology and environmental science. Michelle has taught units such as Integrated Science, Urban Environment, Field Project, Environmental Issues and Solutions and Water Quality Assessment and Management. Michelles passions include working with local communities to create positive environmental outcomes through education. Michelle’s research interest include human impacts on aquatic environments with a focus on the ecological health of freshwater systems and aquatic vertebrates. 

This information has been contributed by Doctor Ryan.


  • PhD University of Western Sydney
  • BSc University of Western Sydney
  • BAppSc University of Western Sydney

Professional Memberships

  • Environmental Health Australia (2016)
  • River Basin Management Society (2021 - 2021)
  • Ecological Society of Australia (2008)


  • The Academy - Staff Excellence Award 2019-12-04
  • School of Science and Health - Research Impact - Team 2019-12-03
  • School of Science - Research Excellence 2020-12-08


  • Environmental Health
  • Environmental Management
  • Water Pollution Assessment
  • Water and Wastewater Management

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Life Sciences


  • Blacktown City Council Environment Advisory Committee


Phone: (02) 4570 1493
Location: M15.G.15

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • 300789 Urban Environment, 2019
  • 300789 Urban Environment, 2020
  • 300821 Environment and Health, 2018
  • 300821 Environment and Health, 2019
  • 300860 Urban Environment, 2018
  • 300931 Integrated Science, 2018
  • 300931 Integrated Science, 2019
  • 300931 Integrated Science, 2020
  • 301271 Environmental Issues and Solutions, 2020


Journal Articles

  • Ross, G., Horn, S., Macdonald, C., Powell, J., Reynolds, J., Ryan, M., Cook, J. and Nielsen, U. (2020), 'Metabarcoding mites : three years of elevated CO2 has no effect on oribatid assemblages in a Eucalyptus woodland', Pedobiologia, vol 81-82 .
  • Paciuszkiewic, K., Ryan, M., Wright, I. and Reynolds, J. (2019), 'Variations in illicit compound discharged from treated wastewater', Water, vol 11, no 5 .
  • Wright, I., Khoury, R., Ryan, M., Belmer, N. and Reynolds, J. (2018), 'Laboratory study of impacts of concrete fragment sizes on wetland water chemistry', Urban Water Journal, vol 15, no 1 , pp 61 - 67.
  • Wright, I. and Ryan, M. (2016), 'Impact of mining and industrial pollution on stream macroinvertebrates : importance of taxonomic resolution, water geochemistry and EPT indices for impact detection', Hydrobiologia, vol 772, no 1 , pp 103 - 115.
  • Ryan, M., Burgin, S. and Wright, I. (2015), 'Effects of wetland water source on a population of the Australian eastern long-necked turtle Chelodina longicollis', Water, Air and Soil Pollution, vol 226, no 12 .
  • Burgin, S. and Ryan, M. (2008), 'Comparison of sympatric freshwater turtle populations from an urbanized Sydney catchment', Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Research, vol 18, no 7 , pp 1277 - 1284.
  • Ryan, M. and Burgin, S. (2007), 'Gone Walkabout? Movement of the Eastern Long-necked Turtle Chelodina Longicollis from Farm Dams in Northwest Peri-urban Sydney (australia)', Journal of Biological Research, vol 8 , pp 119 - 127.

Conference Papers

  • Webb, B., Morrison, K., Wright, I. and Ryan, M. (2021), 'The effect of water quality, macroinvertebrate assemblages and habitat suitability on the distribution of Platypuses : a pilot study in Cattai Catchment, North West Sydney', Australian Stream Management Conference, online.
  • Wright, I., Morrison, K., Ryan, M., Cusbert, S. and Reynolds, J. (2019), 'Elevated sodium concentrations in Australian drinking water supplies', International Conference on Water Resource and Environment, Macao, China.
  • Rowlands, T., Ryan, M., Estreich, A. and Wright, I. (2019), ''Swimmability' : a key element for communities to safely engage with Australian urban rivers', International Conference on Water Resource and Environment, Macao, China.
  • Reynolds, J., Russom, B. and Ryan, M. (2018), 'The presence of illicit compounds in the Hawkesbury-Nepean river system', Australian Stream Management Conference, Hobart, Tas..
  • Wright, I., Morrison, K., Hurst, E. and Ryan, M. (2018), 'Water quality and ecological recovery of a mountain stream after 60 years of receiving sewage effluent', Australian Stream Management Conference, Hobart, Tas..

Current Projects

Title: From Fires to Drought: Creating Citizen Science and Community Conservation Programs to Restore Hunter River Turtles
  • Australia's Wildlife Ark Inc
Western Researchers: Ricky Spencer and Michelle Ryan
Years: 2020-09-01 - 2022-08-31
ID: P00026866
Title: Platypus Keepers - The Hawkesbury-Nepean Riverkeepers as guardians of the platypus populations of the Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment
  • NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service Incorporated
Western Researchers: Michelle Ryan and Katherine Morrison
Years: 2021-12-03 - 2022-12-02
ID: P00027644

Previous Projects

Title: Threats to the long term viability of the Eastern long necked turtle
  • University of Western Sydney Hawkesbury Foundation Limited
Western Researchers: Shelley Burgin and Michelle Ryan
Years: 2007-07-30 - 2011-12-30
ID: P0016109


Title: WSU Media
Description: Penrith platypus population to be conserved through new gran
Title: The Hawkesbury Gazette
Description: Western Sydney University researches microplastics in Hawkesbury River
Title: The Hawkesbury Gazette
Description: Western Sydney University researches microplastics in Hawkesbury River
Title: ABC News
Description: Platypus in the Sydney Basin
Title: The Conversation
Description: I've always wondered are water crystals bad for the environment
Title: The Conversation
Description: Your drinking water could be saltier than you think
Title: The Conversation
Description: A tale of 2 Rivers
Title: The Hawkesbury Gazette
Description: Local platypus project needs your help
Title: WSU Media
Description: Water, health and community at forefront of Lucknow student trip
Title: WSU Media
Description: Blue Mountains Air Quality
Title: WSU Media
Description: Koalas returning to north west Sydney
Title: WSU Media
Description: Fishing line bins in the Hawkesbury

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