Dr Murray Thomson

A08 - Heydon-Laurence Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9036 6412
Fax +61 2 9351 4771

Website Room 314, A08 - Heydon-Laurence Building
Publication list via Research Gate

Research interests

Stress and Reproduction

I am interested in how animals cope with stress including the stress of pregnancy. Animals can respond to stress in a variety of ways including changes in their endocrinology, physiology and behaviour. Stressful stimuli can include, danger from predators, changing salinity in marine environments, temperature fluctuations, pollution and of course altered physiological demands due to reproductive processes.

Current projects

Honours Projects

The Anatomy and Physiology of the Marine Isopod Cirolana harfordi

C. harfordi is a small crustacean that lives in the intertidal regions of the coast and estuaries. Prior to 2014 this animal was thought to lay eggs into a marsupial pouch, I discovered that was not true for Australian specimens and that this animal gives live birth. The mother carries 20-40 young called manca inside her body until term when they are born strong swimmers. The mother develops tissue that surrounds the young that may function as a primitive placenta. The mancas can obtain food directly from the mother either by biting holes in her digestive system to access pre-digested food or eating parts of her digestive system and its contents. Amazingly, the mother survives this incredibly stressful experience and can subsequently become pregnant again after her previous young are delivered. Both males and females in the species are social animals and their gregarious behaviour can be studied using arenas and video tracking. This social behaviour may have evolved to counteract predation. Other stressful issues for C. harfordi include dealing with desiccation, changing salinity and temperature as well as pollutants. Another fascinating feature of this animal is that it is at a stage of evolutionary transition showing the start of amphibious adaptation from sea to land. Various honours projects are available to study the biology of this fascinating species.

Heat Shock Proteins as Indicators of Stress in Echinoderms

Supervisors: Maria Byrne (Anatomy and Histology), Murray Thomson.

Many newly expressed cellular proteins need a little help to fold into their correct 3 dimensional structure and they are given this help by specialized proteins that are referred to as molecular chaperones. Heat shock proteins are a major family of molecular chaperones and these proteins were discovered for their ability to help reform the high levels of incorrectly folded proteins that are produced by elevated temperatures.

This kind of stress is pertinent to organisms that live in marine environments with widely fluctuating temperatures and of increasing interest in the face of climate change. This presents an exciting opportunity to work in the field and the lab in studying the cellular effects of environmental stress on marine creatures such as sea urchins and sea stars (an adult and juvenile of each shown below) and you can work in both Maria’s, and my lab.

For more honours project opportunities in Behaviour, Physiology and Ecology click here.

Behaviour, Physiology and Ecology Lab

This is a large and modern shared lab space utilized by academics, postdocs, PhD and honours students and other researchers. Equipment includes a cryostat to cut thin sections of tissue, electrophoresis gear for nucleic acid and protein studies and digital microscopes that can record with stills and video.

Selected grants

2007

  • Effect of deep-sea drilling on sustainability of deep-sea ecosystems; Pile A, Pattiaratchi C, Booth D, Thomson M, Darley B, Pattiaratchi C, Booth D, Skropeta D, Jarvis S, Skropeta D; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Linkage Projects (LP).

2005

  • Molecular and cellular pathways that have evolved to regulate uterine function in a viviparous lizard; Thomson M, Thompson M; University of Sydney/Research & Development.

2004

  • The role of the developmental gene HOXA10 in the regulation of the uterus in a vivaparous lizard; Thompson M, Thomson M, Murphy C; DVC Research/Research and Development Scheme: Research and Development (R&D).

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Book Chapters

  • Tentori, E., Thomson, M. (2008). Differential Expression of Soluble and Membrane-bound Proteins in Soft Corals (Cnidaria: Octocorallia). In Bernhard M. Riegl, R. E. Dodge (Eds.), 11th International Coral Reef Symposium: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, July 7-11, 2008, (pp. 154-158). Dania Beach, Florida: National Coral Reef Institute.

Journals

  • Salma, U., Thomson, M. (2016). Gregarious aggregative behavior in the marine isopod, Cirolana harfordi. Invertebrate Biology, in press.
  • Thomson, M. (2014). Ovoviviparous reproduction in Australian specimens of the intertidal isopod Cirolana harfordi. Invertebrate Reproduction and Development, 58(3), 218-225. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M. (2013). Mouthparts and their setae of the intertidal isopod Cirolana harfordi. Journal of Microscopy, 252(2), 111-121. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M. (2013). The physiological roles of placental corticotropin releasing hormone in pregnancy and childbirth. Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, 69(3), 559-573. [More Information]
  • Ma, M., Thomson, M. (2012). Protein kinase A subunit alpha catalytic and A kinase anchoring protein 79 in human placental mitochondria. The Open Biochemistry Journal, 6, 23-30. [More Information]
  • Zivanovic, A., Pastro, N., Fromont, J., Thomson, M., Skropeta, D. (2011). Kinase Inhibitory, Haemolytic and cytotoxic activity of three deep-water sponges from North Western Australia and their fatty acid composition. Natural Product Communications: an international journal for communications and reviews, 6(12), 1921-1924.
  • Thomson, M. (2010). Challenges and Achievements in Developing Competencies in Digital Microscopy. Synergy, (30), 57-60.
  • Thomson, M. (2010). Mouthparts of the deep-sea isopod Bathynomus pelor (Isopoda, Cirolanidae). Crustaceana, 83(12), 1483-1506. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M. (2010). Signal Transduction of Steroidogenic Hormones to the Adrenal and Gonadal Mitochondria and the Possibilities for Combating Lipoid Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Current Signal Transduction Therapy, 5(2), 161-169. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M., Robertson, K., Pile, A. (2009). Microscopic structure of the antennulae and antennae on the deep-sea isopod Bathynomus pelor. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 29(3), 302-316. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M. (2008). The Effects of Placental Corticotrophin Releasing Hormone on the Physiology and Psychology of the Pregnant Woman. Current Women's Health Reviews, 4(4), 270-279. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M., Herbert, J., Thompson, M. (2006). Tyrosine phosphorylated proteins in the reproductive tract of the viviparous lizard Eulamprus tympanum and the oviparous lizard Lampropholis guichenoti. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 144(3), 382-386. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M., Herbert, J., Murphy, C., Thompson, M. (2005). HoxA10-like proteins in the reproductive tract of the viviparous lizard Eulamprus tympanum and the oviparous lizard Lampropholis guichenoti. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 142(1), 123-127. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M. (2003). Does cholesterol use the mitochondrial contact site as a conduit to the steroidgenic pathway? BioEssays, 25(3), 252-258. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M., McCarroll, J., Bond, J., Gordon-Thomson, C., Williams, E., Moore, G. (2003). Parathyroid hormone-related peptide modules signal pathways in skin and hair follicle cells. Experimental Dermatology, 12(4), 389-395.
  • Thomson, M. (2002). Evidence of undiscovered cell regulatory mechanisms: phosphoproteins and protein kinases in mitochondria. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 59(2), 213-219. [More Information]
  • Kuyznierewicz, I., Thomson, M. (2002). GTP-binding proteins Gsalpha, Gialpha, and RAN identified in mitochondria of human placenta. Cell Biology International, 26(1), 99-108. [More Information]
  • Phillips, P., Thomson, M. (2002). Small GTP-binding proteins in the nuclei of human placenta. Journal Of Cellular Biochemistry, 84(1), 100-107.
  • Thomson, M. (2002). The regulation of mitochondrial physiology by organelle-associated GTP-binding proteins. Cell Biochemistry And Function, 20(4), 273-278. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M., Corso, M. (2001). Protein Phosphorylation in Mitochondria from Human Placenta. Placenta, 22, 432-439.

Conferences

  • Salma, U., Thomson, M. (2016). Effects of diluted salinity on the survival, righting reflex and respiration of a marine intertidal isopod, Cirolana harfordi. Species on the Move International Conference, Hobart.
  • Nguyen, H., Byrne, M., Thomson, M. (2013). Hsp70 expression in the south-eastern Australian sea urchins Heliocidaris erythrogramma and H. tuberculata. Echinoderms in a Changing World: 13th International Echinoderm Conference, Leiden, The Netherlands: CRC Press/Balkema. [More Information]
  • Griffin, K., Thomson, M. (2013). Is the intertidal isopod Cirolana harfordi a filter feeder and social animal? Proceedings of the Australian Marine Sciences Association meeting, Adelaide, Australia: AMSA.
  • Thomson, M., Stoddart, H., Smith, H. (2009). Crustacean communities living around oil rigs. Proceedings of the Australian Marine Sciences Association meeting, Adelaide, Australia: AMSA.
  • Holmes, S., Pile, A., Thomson, M., Elstub, H. (2009). Modes of reproduction, population genetics and dispersal: what connects what? AMSA2009 - Marine Connectivity, Adelaide, South Australia: ALMSA.

2016

  • Salma, U., Thomson, M. (2016). Effects of diluted salinity on the survival, righting reflex and respiration of a marine intertidal isopod, Cirolana harfordi. Species on the Move International Conference, Hobart.
  • Salma, U., Thomson, M. (2016). Gregarious aggregative behavior in the marine isopod, Cirolana harfordi. Invertebrate Biology, in press.

2014

  • Thomson, M. (2014). Ovoviviparous reproduction in Australian specimens of the intertidal isopod Cirolana harfordi. Invertebrate Reproduction and Development, 58(3), 218-225. [More Information]

2013

  • Nguyen, H., Byrne, M., Thomson, M. (2013). Hsp70 expression in the south-eastern Australian sea urchins Heliocidaris erythrogramma and H. tuberculata. Echinoderms in a Changing World: 13th International Echinoderm Conference, Leiden, The Netherlands: CRC Press/Balkema. [More Information]
  • Griffin, K., Thomson, M. (2013). Is the intertidal isopod Cirolana harfordi a filter feeder and social animal? Proceedings of the Australian Marine Sciences Association meeting, Adelaide, Australia: AMSA.
  • Thomson, M. (2013). Mouthparts and their setae of the intertidal isopod Cirolana harfordi. Journal of Microscopy, 252(2), 111-121. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M. (2013). The physiological roles of placental corticotropin releasing hormone in pregnancy and childbirth. Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, 69(3), 559-573. [More Information]

2012

  • Ma, M., Thomson, M. (2012). Protein kinase A subunit alpha catalytic and A kinase anchoring protein 79 in human placental mitochondria. The Open Biochemistry Journal, 6, 23-30. [More Information]

2011

  • Zivanovic, A., Pastro, N., Fromont, J., Thomson, M., Skropeta, D. (2011). Kinase Inhibitory, Haemolytic and cytotoxic activity of three deep-water sponges from North Western Australia and their fatty acid composition. Natural Product Communications: an international journal for communications and reviews, 6(12), 1921-1924.

2010

  • Thomson, M. (2010). Challenges and Achievements in Developing Competencies in Digital Microscopy. Synergy, (30), 57-60.
  • Thomson, M. (2010). Mouthparts of the deep-sea isopod Bathynomus pelor (Isopoda, Cirolanidae). Crustaceana, 83(12), 1483-1506. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M. (2010). Signal Transduction of Steroidogenic Hormones to the Adrenal and Gonadal Mitochondria and the Possibilities for Combating Lipoid Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Current Signal Transduction Therapy, 5(2), 161-169. [More Information]

2009

  • Thomson, M., Stoddart, H., Smith, H. (2009). Crustacean communities living around oil rigs. Proceedings of the Australian Marine Sciences Association meeting, Adelaide, Australia: AMSA.
  • Thomson, M., Robertson, K., Pile, A. (2009). Microscopic structure of the antennulae and antennae on the deep-sea isopod Bathynomus pelor. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 29(3), 302-316. [More Information]
  • Holmes, S., Pile, A., Thomson, M., Elstub, H. (2009). Modes of reproduction, population genetics and dispersal: what connects what? AMSA2009 - Marine Connectivity, Adelaide, South Australia: ALMSA.

2008

  • Tentori, E., Thomson, M. (2008). Differential Expression of Soluble and Membrane-bound Proteins in Soft Corals (Cnidaria: Octocorallia). In Bernhard M. Riegl, R. E. Dodge (Eds.), 11th International Coral Reef Symposium: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, July 7-11, 2008, (pp. 154-158). Dania Beach, Florida: National Coral Reef Institute.
  • Thomson, M. (2008). The Effects of Placental Corticotrophin Releasing Hormone on the Physiology and Psychology of the Pregnant Woman. Current Women's Health Reviews, 4(4), 270-279. [More Information]

2006

  • Thomson, M., Herbert, J., Thompson, M. (2006). Tyrosine phosphorylated proteins in the reproductive tract of the viviparous lizard Eulamprus tympanum and the oviparous lizard Lampropholis guichenoti. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 144(3), 382-386. [More Information]

2005

  • Thomson, M., Herbert, J., Murphy, C., Thompson, M. (2005). HoxA10-like proteins in the reproductive tract of the viviparous lizard Eulamprus tympanum and the oviparous lizard Lampropholis guichenoti. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 142(1), 123-127. [More Information]

2003

  • Thomson, M. (2003). Does cholesterol use the mitochondrial contact site as a conduit to the steroidgenic pathway? BioEssays, 25(3), 252-258. [More Information]
  • Thomson, M., McCarroll, J., Bond, J., Gordon-Thomson, C., Williams, E., Moore, G. (2003). Parathyroid hormone-related peptide modules signal pathways in skin and hair follicle cells. Experimental Dermatology, 12(4), 389-395.

2002

  • Thomson, M. (2002). Evidence of undiscovered cell regulatory mechanisms: phosphoproteins and protein kinases in mitochondria. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 59(2), 213-219. [More Information]
  • Kuyznierewicz, I., Thomson, M. (2002). GTP-binding proteins Gsalpha, Gialpha, and RAN identified in mitochondria of human placenta. Cell Biology International, 26(1), 99-108. [More Information]
  • Phillips, P., Thomson, M. (2002). Small GTP-binding proteins in the nuclei of human placenta. Journal Of Cellular Biochemistry, 84(1), 100-107.
  • Thomson, M. (2002). The regulation of mitochondrial physiology by organelle-associated GTP-binding proteins. Cell Biochemistry And Function, 20(4), 273-278. [More Information]

2001

  • Thomson, M., Corso, M. (2001). Protein Phosphorylation in Mitochondria from Human Placenta. Placenta, 22, 432-439.

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