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porifera.net lab

@ Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany

Lab

porifera.net lab staff

(For email contact forms and phone numbers, please check our list of contacts)

Headmichael nickel

Postdocs

PhD students

Technicians

  • Katja Felbel

Students

Student assitants & projects

  • Josephine Gaede
  • Lars Moeckel
  • Christopher Arnold
  • Julia van Beesel
  • Julian Sartori

PD Dr. Michael Nickel

Privatdozent Dr. rer. nat. habil. Michael Nickel is a biologist, associate professor and the head of porifera.net lab.

Michael Nickel

 

ResearcherID

Address: PD Dr. Michael Nickel
Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie mit Phyletischem Museum
Erbertstr. 1
D-07743 Jena
Germany
 Telephone:  +49 3641 949174
 Fax:  +49 3641 949161
 Fax:  e-Mail contact form

 

Research

{mosimage}My research mainly focuses on sponges (Porifera). These animals evolved early during the phylogenesis of multicellular animals (Metazoa). For this reason, sponges allow us to gain insights in to the very early evolution of biological modules which play important roles for all multicellular animals. Such modules may be involved in body formation, cell-cell communication, secretion or development, just to mention a few. Additionally, sponges show interesting biomechanical features like spicule reinforced tissue. We are also interested in sponge systematics and phylogeny which we address morphologically and genetically. This integrative research approach ("How do our sponge models work?") is backed up by a wide methodological repertoire.

A cumulative list of my interests

  • Functional anatomy and physiology of Porifera (sponges)
  • Early co-evolution of contraction and integration in basal multicellular animals (metazoa)
  • Taxonomy and phylogeny of Demosponges
  • Sponges as model organisms
  • Biology & phylogeny of basal metazoa
  • Imaging techniques and virtiual 3D reconstruction in morphology

Read more ...

Vita

Professional experience:

Since 2/2014 Self employed scientific consultant for bionic solutions - biomaterials - functional zoomorphology - marine modelorganisms
Since 8/2013 Associated researcher and Lecturer (Privatdozent) at Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie mit Phyletischem Museum (Head: Prof. M.S. Fischer)
10/2007 - 8/2013: Associate Professor (Akademischer Rat auf Zeit) at Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie mit Phyletischem Museum (Head: Prof. M.S. Fischer)
2/2002 – 3/2010: Co-founder and associate/shareholder of BIOTECmarin GmbH (Start-up company in relation to BMBF-Kompetenzzentrum BIOTECmarin)
2/2001 – 8/2007: Assistant Professor (Wissenschaftlicher Assistent) at Universität Stuttgart, Biologisches Institut, Abteilung Zoologie (Head: Prof. H.-D. Görtz), Stuttgart, Germany
1/1998 – 8/2001: Scientific fellow at the Universität Stuttgart, Biologisches Institut, Abteilung Zoologie (Head: Prof. H.-D. Görtz), Stuttgart, Germany

Academic career:

4/2008: Umhabilitation (venia legendi; speciality Zoology) at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
11/2006: Habilitation (venia legendi; speciality Zoology) at Universität Stuttgart
10/2002 – 10/2003: Teaching  Degree: 'Baden-Württemberg-Zertifikat Hochschullehre'
8/2001: PhD: Dr. rer. nat. (with honors)
5/2001: Certificate: ‚Sicherheit in der Gentechnik’
1/1998 – 8/2001: Doctorate at Universität Stuttgart, Biologisches Institut, Prof. F. Brümmer
12/1997: Diploma ‘Diplom-Biologe (technisch orientiert)’
7/1992 – 12/1997: Study of ‘Technische Biologie’, Universität Stuttgart

Research visits:

3/2012: Station Biologique de Roscoff, France
2/2012: Centre d'Oceanologie de Marseille, France, Group of Alexander Ereskovsky
3/2011: Station Biologique de Roscoff, France
2/2011: Centre d'Oceanologie de Marseille, France, Group of Alexander Ereskovsky
7/2003: Marine Science Station Bamfield, Vancouver Island, Canada, Invited by Sally P. Leys, Edmonton University, BC, Canada
4 – 7/1999: Lab of Prof. B.F. Lang, Biochemistry Department, Université de Montréal, Canada
5 – 7/1997: Marine Biological Station ‘Hydra Institut für Meereswissenschaften’, Fetovaia, Isola d'Elba, Italy
8 – 11/1995: Lab of Prof. L. Rasmussen, Institute of Medical Biology, Odense University, Denmark

 
Academic management activities:

since 2012 Member of the Editorial Board of Zoomorphology
9/2008 - 9/2010 Spokesman of the Division for Morphology of the Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft
9/2008:  Executive organizer of the 101. Anual Meeting of the Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft in Jena
Since 2008: Project manager according to German genetic engineering law (Projektleiter nach Gentechnikgesetz) at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie
2003 – 2007: Deputy project manager according to German genetic engineering law (Projektleiter nach Gentechnikgesetz) at Universität Stuttgart, Biologisches Institut, Abteilung Zoologie
2001 – 2007: Elected member of faculty council “Bio- und Geowissenschaften” at Universität Stuttgart, Biologisches Institut
 

Honours and awards:

2005: Nominated for ‘Landeslehrpreis 2005’ (teaching price)
2000: ‘Preis der Haereus-Stiftung’
1991: ‘Scheffel-Preis’

Scientific Memberships:
Deutscher Hochschulverband e.V. (DHV), Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft e.V. (DZG),  Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB), American Microscopical Society (AMS)

Certificates

4/2008: Venia legendi; speciality Zoology; Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
11/2006: Venia legendi; speciality Zoology; Universität Stuttgart
10/2003: Teaching  Certificate: 'Baden-Württemberg-Zertifikat Hochschullehre'
8/2001: PhD: Dr. rer. nat. (with honors)
5/2001: Certificate: ‚Sicherheit in der Gentechnik’
12/1997: Diploma ‘Diplom-Biologe (technisch orientiert)’

Projects & Scholarships

3/2012: ASSEMBLE (EU): On site access Station Biologique Roscoff
1 - 12/2012: DESY Grant I-2011915 “Hydrodynamics of leucon-type sponge aquiferous systems”
1 - 12/2012: DESY-Grant I-20110898 “Contractile spiculated soft-tissues in marine animals as design templates for dynamically self-stiffening biomimetic materials”
1 - 12/2012: DESY-Grant I-20110895 “SR uCT in sponge taxonomy: characterizing type material using modern morphological and molecular methods”
6/2011: DAAD Travel grant: Congress journey
3/2011: ASSEMBLE (EU): On site access Station Biologique Roscoff
2 - 3/2011: DFG Grant: Förderung zur Initiierung und Intensivierung einer bilateralen Kooperation mit dem Centre d'Oceanologie, Marseille (NI 686/7-1)
1 - 12/2011: DESY-Grant I-20100327 “Topology and functional anatomy of sponge aquiferous systems analysed by corrosion casting and synchrotron radiation based x-ray micro tomography"
1 - 12/2011: DESY-Grant I-20100320 “Contractile spiculated soft-tissues in marine animals as design templates for dynamically self-stiffening biomimetic materials”
1 - 12/2011: DESY-Grant I-20100318 “SR uCT in sponge taxonomy: characterizing type material using modern morphological and molecular methods”
1 – 12/2010: DESY-Grant I-20090175 „SR uCT in sponge taxonomy: integrating modern morphological and molecular methods“
7/2009 – 6/2010: DESY-Grant I-20090019 “Functional analysis of morphogenesis in sponges by x-ray microtomography”
7/2008 – 6/2009: DESY-Grant I-20080067 “Micromorphology of sponge development based on tissue specific labelling for x-ray microtomography”
1/2008 DFG-Travel Grant: Visit of the Anual Meeting of the Society for Integrative Biology (NI686/5-1)
11/2007 – 10/2008: FSU-Grant: Förderprogramm der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena für Nachwuchswissenschaftler „Funktionelle Morphologie und Molekularbiologie von Koordinations- und Effektorsystemen in früh evolvierten nerven- und muskellosen vielzelligen Tieren“
1/2007 DFG-Travel Grant: Visit of the Anual Meeting of the Society for Integrative Biology (NI686/4-1)
1 – 12/2007: DESY-Grant I-20060252 " Functional micromorphology and in vivo skeletal dynamics in sponges"
1 – 12/2006: DESY- Grant I-05-083 "Sponge Functional Micro-Morphology"
1 – 12/2005: DESY- Grant I-04-062 "Sponge Functional Micro-Morphology"
1 – 12/2004: DESY- Grant I-03-059 "Sponge Functional Micro-Morphology"
5 – 7/1999: Scholarship of ‘Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds’
3 – 10/1997: Scholarship of ‘Dr. Eugen Ebert-Stiftung’
7 – 10/1995: Scholarship of ‘Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds’

Publications

Please consult my Publication database for a full list of references!

Peer reviewed Articles:

Nosenko, T, Schreiber, F, Adamska, M, Adamski, M, Eitel, M, Hammel, J, Maldonado, M, Müller, WEG, Nickel, M, Schierwater, B, Vacelet, J, Wiens, M and Wörheide, G (2013), "Deep metazoan phylogeny: When different genes tell different stories", Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Online first: in press.
Hammel, JU, Filatov, M, Herzen, J, Beckmann, F, Kaandorp, JA and Nickel, M (2012), "The non-hierarchical, non-uniformly branching topology of a leuconoid sponge aquiferous system revealed by 3D reconstruction and morphometrics using corrosion casting and x-ray microtomography", Acta Zoologica, 93: 160-170.
Steinmetz, PRH, Krauss, JEM, Larroux, C, Hammel, JU, Amon-Hassenzahl, A, Houliston, E, Wörheide, G, Nickel, M, Degnan, B and Technau, U (2012), "Independent evolution of striated muscles in cnidarians and bilaterians", NATURE, 487: 231–234.
Martinand-Mari, C., Vacelet, J., Nickel, M., Wörheide, G., Mangeat, P. and Baghdiguian, S. (2012), "Cell death and renewal during prey capture and digestion in the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma hypogea (Porifera: Poecilosclerida) ", Journal of Experimental Biology, 215: 3937-3943.
Nickel, M (2011), "Chapter 5. The Pre-Nervous System and Beyond - Poriferan Milestones in the Early Evolution of the Metazoan Nervous System", Key Transitions in Animal Evolution (Eds.: R. DeSalle & B. Schierwater), Science Publishers: 85-126.
Nickel, M, Scheer, C, Hammel, JU, Herzen, J and Beckmann, F (2011), "The contractile sponge epithelium sensu lato – body contraction of the demosponge Tethya wilhelma is mediated by the pinacoderm ", Journal of Experimental Biology, 214: 1692-1698. 
Rivera, A, Hammel, JU, Haen, KM, Danka, E, Cieniewicz, B, Winters, I, Posfai, Dora, Worheide, G, Lavrov, DV, Knight, S, Hill, M, Hill, A and Nickel, M (2011), "RNA interference in marine and freshwater sponges: actin knockdown in Tethya wilhelma and Ephydatia muelleri by ingested dsRNA expressing bacteria", BMC Biotechnology, 11, 1: 67.

Nickel, M (2010), "Evolutionary emergence of synaptic nervous systems: what can we learn from the non-synaptic, nerveless Porifera?", Invertebrate Biology, 129: 1-16.

Hammel, J.U., Herzen, J., Beckmann, F. and Nickel, M. (2009), "Sponge budding is a spatiotemporal morphological patterning process: Insights from synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography into the asexual reproduction of Tethya wilhelma", Frontiers in Zoology, 6, 1: 19.
Nickel, M., Hammel, J. U., Herzen, J., Bullinger, E. and Beckmann, F. (2008), "High density resolution synchrotron radiation based x-ray microtomography (SR µCT) for quantitative 3D-morphometrics in zoological sciences", Proceedings of SPIE, 7078: 7078W.
Hammel, J.U. and Nickel, M. (2008), "Pardosa hyperborea (Araneae: Lycosidae) spreading north in Greenland? First report from Disko Island (West Greenland), with remarks on the biogeography of the species. ", Entomologiske Meddelelser, 76: 41-47.
Heim, I., Nickel, M. and Brümmer, F (2007), "Phylogeny of the genus Tethya (Tethyidae: Hadromerida: Porifera): molecular and morphological aspects", Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, 87, 06: 1615-1627.
Heim, I., Nickel, M., Picton, B. and Brümmer, F. (2007), "Description and molecular phylogeny of Tethya hibernica sp. nov. (Porifera, Demospongiae) from Northern Ireland with remarks on the European species of the genus Tethya", Zootaxa, 1595: 1-15.
Heim, I., Nickel, M. and Brümmer, F. (2007), "Molecular markers for species discrimination in poriferans: a case study on species of the genus Aplysina", Porifera Research: Biodiversity, Innovation and Sustainability: 361-371.
Heim, I., Hammel, J. U., Nickel, M. and Brümmer, F. (2007), "Salting sponges: a reliable non-toxic and costeffective method to preserve poriferans in the field for subsequent DNA-work", Porifera Research: Biodiversity, Innovation and Sustainability: 373-377.
Ellwanger, K., Eich, A. and Nickel, M. (2007), "GABA and glutamate specifically induce contractions in the sponge Tethya wilhelma", Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 193, 1: 1-11.
Nickel, M., Donath, T., Schweikert, M. and Beckmann, F. (2006), "Functional morphology of Tethya species (Porifera): 1. Quantitative 3D-analysis of Tethya wilhelma by synchrotron radiation based X-ray microtomography", Zoomorphology, 125, 4: 209-223.
Nickel, M., Bullinger, E. and Beckmann, F. (2006), "Functional morphology of Tethya species (Porifera): 2. Three-dimensional morphometrics on spicules and skeleton superstructures of T. minuta", Zoomorphology, 125, 4: 225-239.
Nickel, M. (2006), "Like a 'rolling stone': quantitative analysis of the body movement and skeletal dynamics of the sponge Tethya wilhelma", Journal of Experimental Biology, 209: 2839-46.
Ellwanger, K. and Nickel, M. (2006), "Neuroactive substances specifically modulate rhythmic body contractions in the nerveless metazoon Tethya wilhelma (Demospongiae, Porifera)", Frontiers in Zoology, 3: 7.
Brümmer, F., Calcinai, B., Götz, M., Leitermann, F., Nickel, M., Sidri, M. and Zucht, W. (2004), "Overview on the sponge fauna of the Limski Kanal, Croatia, Northern Adriatic Sea", Bollettino dei musei e degli istituti biologici dell\' Universita di Genova, 68: 219-227.
Nickel, M. and Brümmer, F. (2004), "Body extension types of Tethya wilhelma: cellular organisation and their function in movement", Bollettino dei musei e degli istituti biologici dell\' Universita di Genova, 68: 483-489.
Nickel, M. (2004), "Kinetics and rhythm of body contractions in the sponge Tethya wilhelma (Porifera: Demospongiae)", Journal of Experimental Biology, 207: 4515-24.
Nickel, M., Sidri, M., Küttner, A., Knopp, A. and Brümmer, F. (2004), "Non-invasive biometric studies on Suberites domuncula by multidetector x-ray computed tomography", Bollettino dei musei e degli istituti biologici dell Universita di Genova, 68: 491-497.
Nickel, M. and Brümmer, F. (2003), "In vitro sponge fragment culture of Chondrosia reniformis (Nardo, 1847)", Journal of Biotechnology, 100, 2: 147-59.
Brümmer, F. and Nickel, M (2003), "Sustainable Use of Marine Resources: Cultivation of Sponges", Sponges (Porifera), Progress in Molecular and Submolecular Biology - Marine Molecular Biotechnology: 143-162.
Nickel, M., Leininger, S., Proll, G. and Brümmer, F. (2001), "Comparative studies on two potential methods for the biotechnological production of sponge biomass", Journal of Biotechnology, 92, 2: 169-78.
Sarà, M., Sarà, A., Nickel, M. and Brümmer, F. (2001), "Three new species of Tethya (Porifera: Demospongiae) from German aquaria", Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde Serie A, 631: 1-15.
Nickel, M, Proll, G. and Brümmer, F (2000), "Natural Products of Marine Sponges - From Ecology to Biomass.", Proceedings of the 4th International Congress on Biochemical Engineering. 17 and 18 February 2000.: 194-198.
Nickel, M, Lott, C. and Brümmer, F (1999), "Röntgen-Computertomographie-Analyse und Faunistik einer mediterranen Coralligene-Struktur [Computerised X-ray-tomography analysis and faunistic of a mediterranean coralligenous structure]", Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft für Ökologie, 29: 481-489.
Custodio, M. R., Prokic, I., Steffen, R., Koziol, C., Borojevic, R., Brümmer, F., Nickel, M. and Mueller, W.E.G. (1998), "Primmorphs generated from dissociated cells of the sponge Suberites domuncula: A model system for studies of cell proliferation and cell death", Mechanisms of Ageing & Development, 105, 1-2: 45-59.

For Abstracts, Academic publications, and reports see the porifera.net lab publication database.

After hours

I love music, arts and photography. I am especially interested in bordune instruments and play the Great Highland Bagpipes, Smallpipes and recently started to learn to play the Hurdy Gurdy. I love to travel and to experience nature on extended hillwalks. I enjoy recreational SCUBA diving in my holidays (Of course, I am also experienced in diving for sampling sponges). I enjoy visiting modern ballet and modern dance performances as well as modern performing, visual and fine arts in general. Recently, I started to practise Vinyasa Yoga which is a great way to train the body and clear the mind.

OM

 

  • 0-spider
  • 1a-KriegerII
  • 1b-Baum
  • 2-Beach
  • 3-Hurdy-Gurdy
  • 4-karlsruhe march 2008 111
  • z-Smile

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