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Malcolm Shick

If you need to locate a faculty member with knowledge about particular functions of SMS (e.g., graduate admissions), you can find them on the list of current faculty committees.

Malcolm Shick

Contact Information

Malcolm Shick

Phone:
(207) 581-2562

Email/web:
shick@maine.edu

Address:
5751 Murray Hall, Room 206
Orono, ME  04469-5751

Education

Ph.D. Texas A&M University

Research interests

My research focuses on ultraviolet photobiology and oxidative stress in marine invertebrates, particularly those that harbor photosynthetic endosymbionts. Primary defenses against UV per se include mycosporine-like amino acids, compounds having absorption maxima ranging from 310 to 360 nm, much of the range of biologically-damaging solar UV-B and UV-A. Most of the research on these compounds in marine organisms has centered on algae or on zooxanthellate invertebrates; animals are not known to be able to produce the compounds, which are synthesized via the shikimic acid pathway that is absent from animals, so the assumption has been that invertebrate hosts receive MAAs as one benefit of the symbiosis. Nevertheless, non- symbiotic animals also contain the compounds, and we have evidence of dietary sources of MAAs in diverse species. However, a bioinformatics analysis of the genome of the sea anemone Nematostella vectenis shows that genes encoding enzymes of the shikimic acid pathway have been transferred to the sea anemone's genome from prokaryotic and eukaryotic (dinoflagellate) microbes. Additional genes encoding some enzymes of the pathway are present in a putative, undescribed bacterial symbiont of this sea anemone. Biosynthesis of MAAs in cnidarian-microbial symbioses may be a "shared metabolic adaptation." We have also shown that sea urchin eggs rich in MAAs (a consequence of feeding the adults a controlled diet high in MAAs) show less of a UV-induced cleavage delay, and fewer developmental abnormalities, than do eggs having lower levels of MAAs. Some of the deleterious effects of solar ultraviolet radiation are mediated by forms of active oxygen, and these may be contributing factors to "coral bleaching". Our spin-trapping studies have demonstrated the production of oxyradicals in tissues of sea anemones and in sea urchin eggs during irradiation with UV. Thus, exposure to UV secondarily necessitates defenses against oxyradicals. We have studied enzymic antioxidant defenses such as superoxide dismutase, catalase, and ascorbate peroxidase, and currently are investigating these metalloenzymes in the context of trace-metal limitation and coral bleaching. Our experimental organisms have included sea anemones and corals, bivalve molluscs (including those having chemolithotrophic bacterial symbionts), echinoid and holothuroid echinoderms (including larvae), and marine macroalgae. I maintain collaborations on UV-induced photooxidative stress with scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Centre Scientifique de Monaco, Kings College London, Western Ontario University, and the University of Nice. Currently I do not have positions available in my laboratory for graduate students or post-doctoral associates.

Publications

  • Spence, E., W.C. Dunlap, J.M. Shick, and P.F. Long. Redundant pathways of sunscreen biosynthesis in a cyanobacterium. ChemBioChem 13: 531–533

    For more information: Download file (PDF)

  • Weston, A.J., W.C. Dunlap, J.M. Shick, A. Kleuter, K. Iglic, A. Vukelic, A. Starcevic, M. Ward, M.L. Wells, C.G. Trick, and P.F. Long. A profile of an endosymbiont-enriched fraction of the coral Stylophora pistillata reveals proteins relevant to microbial–host interactions. Molecular & Cellular Proteomics 11: 1–19, 10.1074/mcp.M111.015487.

    For more information: Download file (PDF)

  • Shick, J.M., K. Iglic, M.L. Wells, C.G. Trick, J. Doyle, and W.C. Dunlap. Responses to iron limitation in two colonies of Stylophora pistillata exposed to high temperature: Implications for coral bleaching. Limnology & Oceanography, 56 (3): 813–828.

    For more information: Download file (PDF)

  • Starcevic, A., W.C. Dunlap, J. Cullum, J.M. Shick, D. Hranueli, and P.F. Long. Gene expression in the scleractinian Acropora microphthalma exposed to high solar irradiance reveals elements of photoprotection and coral bleaching. PLoS ONE, 5 11: e13975 (10 pages).

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  • Starcevic, A., S. Akthar, W.C. Dunlap, J.M. Shick, D. Hranueli, J. Cullum, and P.F. Long. 2008. Enzymes of the shikimic acid pathway encoded in the genome of a basal metazoan, Nematostella vectensis, have microbial origins. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A., 105 (7): 2533-2537.

    For more information: Download file (PDF)

  • Shick, J.M. 2008. Toward an aesthetic marine biology. Art Journal 67 (4), Winter 2008: 62-86.

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  • Shick, J.M. 2007. Ultraviolet stress. Pages 604-609 in Encyclopedia of Tidepools and Rocky Shores, M.W. Denny and S.D. Gaines (editors). University of California Press, Berkeley.

    For more information: Download file (PDF)

  • Ferrier-Pages, C., C. Richard, D. Forcioli, D. Allemand, M. Pichon, and J.M. Shick. 2007. Effects of temperature and UV radiation increases on the photosynthetic efficiency in four scleractinian coral species. Biological Bulletin, 213: 76-87.
  • Shick J.M., C. Ferrier-Pages, R. Grover, and D. Allemand. 2005. Effects of starvation, ammonium concentration, and photosynthesis on the UV-dependent accumulation of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) in the coral Stylophora pistillata. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 295: 135-156.
  • Furla, P., D. Allemand, J.M. Shick, C. Ferrier-Pages. S. Richier, A. Plantivaux, P.-L. Merle, and S. Tambutte. 2005. The symbiotic anthozoan: A physiological chimera between alga and animal. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 45: 595-604.

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  • Shick, J.M. 2004. The continuity and intensity of ultraviolet radiation affect the kinetics of biosynthesis, accumulation, and conversion of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) in the coral Stylophora pistillata. Limnology and Oceanography, 49: 442-458.

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  • Shick, J.M. and W.C. Dunlap. 2002. Mycosporine-like amino acids and related gadusols: biosynthesis, accumulation, and UV-protective function in aquatic organisms. Annual Review of Physiology, 64: 223-262

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  • Shick, J.M., W.C. Dunlap, J.S. Pearse, and V.B. Pearse. 2002. Mycosporine-like amino acid content in four species of sea anemones in the genus Anthopleura reflects phylogenetic but not environmental or symbiotic relationships. Biological Bulletin, 203: 315-330.

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  • Adams, N.L. and J.M. Shick. 2001. Mycosporine-like amino acids prevent UVB-induced abnormalities during early development of the green sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis. Marine Biology, 138: 281-294.

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  • Shick, J.M., W.C. Dunlap, and G.R. Buettner. 2000. UV protection in marine organisms. II. Biosynthesis, accumulation, and sunscreening function of mycosporine-like amino acids. Pages 215-228 in T. Yoshikawa, S. Toyokuni, Y. Yamamoto, and Y. Naito (eds.), Free Radicals in Chemistry, Biology and Medicine. OICA International, London.
  • Dunlap, W.C., J.M. Shick, and Y. Yamamoto. 2000. UV protection in marine organisms. I. Sunscreens, oxidative stress and antioxidants. Pages 200-214 in T. Yoshikawa, S. Toyokuni, Y. Yamamoto, and Y. Naito (eds.), Free Radicals in Chemistry, Biology and Medicine. OICA International, London.
  • Shick, J.M., S. Romaine-Lioud, C. Ferrier-Pages, and J.-P. Gattuso. 1999. Ultraviolet-B radiation stimulates shikimate pathway-dependent accumulation of mycosporine-like amino acids in the coral Stylophora pistillata despite decreases in its population of symbiotic dinoflagellates. Limnology and Oceanography, 44: 1667-1681.

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  • Tapley, D.W., G.R. Buettner, and J.M. Shick. 1999. Free radicals and chemiluminescence as products of the spontaneous oxidation of sulfide in seawater, and their biological implications. Biological Bulletin, 196: 52-56.

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  • Mason, D.S., F. Schafer, J.M. Shick, and W.C. Dunlap. 1998. Ultraviolet radiation-absorbing mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) are acquired from their diet by medaka fish (Oryzias latipes) but not by SKH-1 hairless mice. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 120A: 587-598.

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  • Dunlap, W.C. and J.M. Shick. 1998. Ultraviolet radiation-absorbing mycosporine-like amino acids in coral reef organisms: A biochemical and environmental perspective. Journal of Phycology, 34: 418-430.

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  • Shick, J.M., M.P. Lesser, and P.L. Jokiel. 1996. Effects of ultraviolet radiation on corals and other coral reef organisms. Global Change Biology, 2: 527-545.

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  • Shick, J.M., M.P. Lesser, W.C. Dunlap, W.R. Stochaj, B.E. Chalker, and J. Wu Won. 1995. Depth-dependent responses to solar ultraviolet radiation and oxidative stress in the zooxanthellate coral Acropora microphthalma. Marine Biology, 122: 41-51.
  • Sawyer, S.J., H.B. Dowse, and J.M. Shick. 1994. Neurophysiological correlates of the behavioral response to light in the sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima. Biological Bulletin, 186: 195-201.
  • Stochaj, W.R., W.C. Dunlap, and J.M. Shick. 1994. Two new UV-absorbing mycosporine-like amino acids from the sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima and the effects of zooxanthellae and spectral irradiance on chemical composition and content. Marine Biology, 118: 149-156.
  • Shick, J.M. 1993. Solar UV and oxidative stress in algal-animal symbioses. Pages 561-564 in A. Shima, M. Ichihashi, Y. Fujiwara, and H. Takebe (eds.), Frontiers of Photobiology. Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam.
  • Doeller, J.E., D.W. Kraus, J.M. Shick, and E. Gnaiger. 1993. Heat flux, oxygen flux, and mitochondrial redox state as a function of oxygen availability and ciliary activity in excised gills of Mytilus edulis. Journal of Experimental Zoology, 265: 1-8.
  • Dykens, J.A., J.M. Shick, C. Benoit, G.R. Buettner, and G.W. Winston. 1992. Oxygen radical production in the sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima and its endosymbiotic algae. Journal of Experimental Biology, 168: 219-241.
  • Shick, J.M., M.P. Lesser, and W.R. Stochaj. 1991. Ultraviolet radiation and photooxidative stress in zooxanthellate Anthozoa: the sea anemone Phyllodiscus semoni and the octocoral Clavularia sp. Symbiosis, 10: 145-173.
  • Doeller, J.E., D.W. Kraus, E. Gnaiger, and J.M. Shick. 1990. Calorespirometry and spectrophotometry of the ciliated gill of the marine mussel Mytilus edulis (L.). Thermochimica Acta, 172: 171-178.
  • Shick, J.M. 1990. Diffusion limitation and hyperoxic enhancement of oxygen consumption in zooxanthellate sea anemones, zoanthids, and corals. Biological Bulletin, 179: 148-158.
  • Lesser, M.P., W.R. Stochaj, D.W. Tapley, and J.M. Shick. 1990. Bleaching in coral reef anthozoans: effects of irradiance, ultraviolet radiation, and temperature on the activities of protective enzymes against active oxygen. Coral Reefs, 8: 225-232.

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