Dr Michael Oellermann is a Postdoctoral research fellow and has a broad interest in understanding the mechanism that drive species adaptation across various organisational levels. During his PhD at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany, he developed a particular expertise in the thermal biology of marine cephalopods and fishes, involving sea-going research and collaborative research visits at La Trobe University, Melbourne, the University of Auckland and IMAS. Following a patented innovation during his PhD, Michael led an industry project to develop a commercial apparatus to study blood oxygen function. He was then awarded with a Research Fellowship by the German Research Foundation to resume his scientific career at IMAS.
Before joining IMAS, Michael completed his undergraduate studies in biology at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany and further specialised in marine biology and animal physiology at the University of Bremen. He then obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Marine Science at the University of Wellington and took a technical research position at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He then returned to Germany to complete his Diploma and PhD at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research to study genetic and physiological processes explaining thermal adaptation of cuttlefish and Antarctic octopods. Following his PhD, Michael led a technology transfer project at Loligo Systems ApS in support by the Danish government. He was then awarded with a Research Fellowship by the German Research Foundation to study the physiological and behavioural responses of spiny lobsters and their implications to climate driven range shifts at IMAS.
|Degree||Thesis title||University||Country||Date of award|
|PhD||“Blue Blood on Ice” - Cephalopod haemocyanin function and evolution in a latitudinal cline||University of Bremen/Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research||Germany||4/02/2015|
Thermal Sensitivity and Mitochondrial|
Function of Cuttlefish Hearts
|University of Bremen/Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research||Germany||8/03/2010|
|Postgraduate Diploma in Marine Science||-||University of Wellington||New Zealand||25/02/2008|
|Vordiplom||-||University of Düsseldorf||Germany||11/08/2005|
Languages (other than English)
German, French, Hindi
Society of Experimental Biology
- Cell physiology
- Blood oxygen transport and blood pigment function
- Mitochondrial function
- Range shift of marine species
- Cephalopods and spiny lobsters
Michael's research aligns to the University's research themes of Marine, Antarctic and Maritime and Environment, Resources and Sustainability. His research aims to understand the mechanism that drive species adaptation across various organisational levels. He developed a particular interest in the physiological processes that determine species´ overall fitness and capacity to adjust to environmental forces. Mitochondria, the cell`s power plants, captured Michael`s initial interest. He studied their function in various models such as cuttlefish, fishes and human disease models. Motivated to gain a broader understanding of evolutionary processes, he investigated how adaptation of oxygen transport enabled Antarctic octopods to survive at close to freezing temperatures and how this links to their genetic fingerprint. Michael`s current research at IMAS aims to understand the mechanism that define the geographic distribution of marine species, to improve forecasts of species range shifts. He currently attempts to link physiological traits with behavioural and competitive performance, to fill a significant gap in the understanding of the complex response of species to climate change. The excellent facilities and research capacities and ready availability of experimental lobsters, have attracted Michael to conduct his research fellowship at IMAS.
Michael also led a technology transfer project to commercialise a modified apparatus to measure oxygen binding of blood pigments and has been involved in further product developments for the industry with applications in animal research and human health. Being back in science he continues to seek commercial potential along the tracks of ongoing technological developments in basic research.
Michael collaborated with various international partners to study species´ responses to temperature and to commercialise new technology. These collaborative projects involved partners in Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark.
Research fellowship by the German Research Foundation
PhD scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Journal of Experimental Biology Travelling Fellowship
Various travel grants by the Company of Biologists, the Society of Experimental Biology and the Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research
Predicting redistribution of a Eastern- and Southern rock lobster in an ocean warming hotspot
Fields of Research
- Other environmental sciences (419999)
- Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation (410102)
- Aquaculture (300501)
- Fish physiology and genetics (300504)
- Animal physiology - systems (310910)
- Behavioural ecology (310301)
- Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology) (310302)
- Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) (310305)
- Natural resource management (410406)
- Systems biology (310114)
- Wild caught rock lobster (100307)
- Aquaculture rock lobster (100206)
- Fisheries - aquaculture (100299)
- Marine systems and management (180599)
- Coastal or estuarine biodiversity (180203)
- Ecosystem adaptation to climate change (190102)
- Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences (280102)
Oellermann M, Lieb B, Portner H-O, Semmens J, Mark F: Blue blood on ice: modulated blood oxygen transport facilitates cold compensation and eurythermy in an Antarctic octopod. Frontiers in Zoology 2015, 12(1):6.
Oellermann M, Strugnell J, Lieb B, Mark F: Positive selection in octopus haemocyanin indicates functional links to temperature adaptation. BMC Evol Biol 2015, 15(1):133.
Oellermann M, Mark FC, Dunker E: Diffusion chamber for ascertaining different parameters of an aqueous substance. In.: European Patent Office; 2015.
Oellermann, M.: Blue Blood on Ice: Cephalopod haemocyanin function and evolution in a latitudinal cline, PhD thesis, Universität Bremen; 2015
Thonig A, Oellermann M, Lieb B, Mark F: A new haemocyanin in cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) eggs: sequence analysis and relevance during ontogeny. EvoDevo 2014, 5(1):6.
Oellermann M, Pörtner H-O, Mark FC: Simultaneous high-resolution pH and spectrophotometric recordings of oxygen binding in blood microvolumes. J Exp Biol 2014, 217(9):1430-1436.
Oellermann M, Pörtner HO, Mark FC: Mitochondrial dynamics underlying thermal plasticity of cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) hearts. J Exp Biol 2012, 215:2992-3000.
MacDonald JR, Oellermann M, Rynbeck S, Chang G, Ruggiero K, Cooper GJS, Hickey AJR: Transmural differences in respiratory capacity across the rat left ventricle in health, aging, and streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus: evidence that mitochondrial dysfunction begins in the subepicardium. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 2011, 300(2):C246-C255.
Zuccarello G, Oellermann M, West J, De Clerck O: Complex patterns of actin molecular evolution in the red alga Stylonema alsidii (Stylonematophyceae, Rhodophyta). Phycol Res 2009, 57(1):59-65.
Journal Article(4 outputs)
|2021||Kelly R, Evans K, Alexander K, Bettiol S, Corney S, et al., 'Connecting to the oceans: supporting ocean literacy and public engagement', Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries pp. 1-21. ISSN 0960-3166 (2021) [Refereed Article]|
Co-authors: Kelly R; Alexander K; Bettiol S; Corney S; Cullen-Knox C; Cvitanovic C; de Salas K; Emad GR; Garcia C; Ling S; MacLeod C; Meyer A; Murunga M; Nash KL; Norris K; Scott J; Wood G; Pecl GT
|2020||Oellermann M, Hickey AJR, Fitzgibbon QP, Smith G, 'Thermal sensitivity links to cellular cardiac decline in three spiny lobsters', Scientific Reports, 10, (1) Article 202. ISSN 2045-2322 (2020) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 6
Co-authors: Fitzgibbon QP; Smith G
|2020||Twiname S, Audzijonyte A, Blanchard JL, Champion C, de la Chesnais T, et al., 'A cross-scale framework to support a mechanistic understanding and modelling of marine climate-driven species redistribution, from individuals to communities', Ecography, 43, (12) pp. 1764-1778. ISSN 1600-0587 (2020) [Refereed Article]|
Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 1
Co-authors: Twiname S; Audzijonyte A; Blanchard JL; Champion C; Fitzgibbon QP; Fogarty HE; Hobday AJ; Kelly R; Pienado P; Tracey S; Villanueva C; Pecl GT
|2020||Twiname S, Fitzgibbon QP, Hobday AJ, Carter CG, Oellermann M, et al., 'Mismatch of thermal optima between performance measures, life stages and species of spiny lobster', Scientific Reports, 10, (1) Article 21235. ISSN 2045-2322 (2020) [Refereed Article]|
Co-authors: Twiname S; Fitzgibbon QP; Carter CG; Pecl GT
Grants & Funding
- Research fellowship by the German Research Foundation (2017)
- Travel grant for invited lecture by the University of Exeter (2016)
- Travel grant funded by the Company of Biologists and the Society of Experimental Biology (2016)
- Grant by the Danish Inno-Booster program (2015)
- Travel grant by PreSens GmbH (2013)
- Travel grant funded by the Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research (2012)
- PhD scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service (2012)
- Journal of Experimental Biology Travelling Fellowship (2012)
- Travel grants by the Company of Biologists and the Society of Experimental Biology (2010)
Number of grants
- Using field and lab work to determine spatial and size variability in lobster diet around Tasmania. Stage 1: Methods comparison; Stage 2: Spatial and size variability; Stage 3: Prey preference trials in lab; Stage 4: Optimal foraging investigation; Stage 5: Potential impact of future warming.
- Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment ($6,375)
- Administered By
- University of Tasmania
- Research Team
- Keane JP; Oellermann M; Fitzgibbon Q; Gardner C; Smith J
- This research meets the HERDC five core criteria as there is limited behavioural and physiology research pertaining to fluctuating temperatures, especially compounded with changing salinities, that has been conducted on these species, as well being the first study to measure the rates of protein synthesis (PS) in elasmobranchs (1: novel & 2: creative). Because this is the first research of its kind on these sharks and rays, as well novel in measuring elasmobranch PS rates, the final outcomes are uncertain as the response to stressors varies across species and rates of PS are unknown (3: uncertain). The ideas and proposals for this research have been outlined in a project plan which also includes a detailed budget to prepare for the total cost of the project in advance (4: systemic). All research methods will be recorded and reported, including novel PS procedures, and data will be presented in an understandable and accessible way to allow for reproduction of research or procedures with other species (5: transferable/reproducible).
- Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment ($13,445)
- Administered By
- University of Tasmania
- Research Team
- Semmens JM; Lyle JM; Oellermann M; Ollerhead K
- 2020 - 2021
Supervision of B.Sc. and M.Sc. students.
|PhD||Lose Home or Eat More: comparative prey choice and consumption of different rock lobsters species on barren forming sea urchins||2019|