Honorary Senior Lecturer
T: +44 (0)141 331 8515
F: +44 (0)141 331 3208
I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1972 with a BSc (Hon.) in Zoology. From 1972-75 I was a NERC-funded Research Student at the University Marine Biological Station, Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, where I completed a project on ophiuroid biology under the supervision of Professor Norman Millott. I was awarded a PhD from the University of Glasgow in 1976. From 1975-78 I was a postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Bioengineering Unit, Strathclyde University, from 1972-2005 a Lecturer then Senior Lecturer in Physiology in the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, GCU, and from 2005-08 Head of Department. In 2006 I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology by the University of Milan.
- Collagenous tissues: organisation, biomechanics and comparative physiology
- Functional morphology, biomechanics and physiology of the Echinodermata (starfish, sea-urchins and their relations)
- Autotomy and other detachment mechanisms
Current research projects
Biomedical applications of MCT (mutable collagenous tissue)
I am a member of a multidisciplinary research group involving the Universities of Milan and Porto, that has received a 645,000 euro grant from the Italian Cariplo Foundation. The aims of the project are (1) to fully characterise certain MCTs from the molecular to the biomechanical levels, (2) to devise methods for the extraction of intact collagen fibrils that could be used in the construction of synthetic biomaterials and (3) to develop synthetic materials with adaptable, controllable and physiologically responsive mechanical properties for biomedical applications (e.g. scaffolds for stem cell culture and wound repair) (see Barbaglio et al., 2012; Ribeiro et al., 2011, 2012a,b).
Organisation and development of the ophiuroid juxtaligamental system
This is being investigated in collaboration with Drs I. Dolmatov and N. Charlina, Institute of Marine Biology, Vladivostok, Russia. The juxtaligamental system is unique within the Animal Kingdom and consists of neurosecretory-like effector cells that directly influence the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix and are innervated by the motor nervous system (see Mashanov et al., 2007; Charlina et al., 2009). This work should provide information on the evolutionary origins of the juxtaligamental cells and help to identify homologues and analogues in other phyla.
Functional morphology and control of detachment mechanisms
The mechanisms by which animals rapidly jettison body parts are of great inherent interest. I am currently examining the morphology and physiology of an ophiuroid spine joint that undergoes reversible dislocation or irreversible detachment. I recently completed an investigation of scale autotomy in a marine polychaete worm (see Wilkie, 2011). I also recently published a paper on the pharmacology of autotomy in a crinoid echinoderm, which provides the first convincing evidence of (1) the role of L-glutamate as a neurotransmitter and (2) the presence of AMPA/kainate glutamate receptors, in echinoderms (see Wilkie et al., 2010).
Selected Recent Publications
- Wilkie IC, Barbaglio A, Candia Carnevali MD (2013) The elusive role of L-glutamate as an echinoderm neurotransmitter: evidence for its involvement in the control of crinoid arm muscles. Zoology (IN PRESS)
- Ribeiro AR, Barbaglio A, Oliveira MJ, Ribeiro CC, Wilkie IC, Candia Carnevali MD, Barbosa MA (2012a) Matrix metalloproteinases in a sea urchin ligament with adaptable mechanical properties. PLoS ONE 7(11): e49016. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049016
- Ribeiro AR, Barbaglio A, Oliveira MJ, Santos R, Ribeiro CC, Wilkie IC, Candia Carnevali MD, Barbosa MA (2012b) Correlations between the biochemistry and the mechanical states of the sea-urchin ligament: a mutable collagenous tissue. Biointerphases 7:38 doi 10.1007/s13758-012-0038-6.
- Fassini D, Parma L, Wilkie IC, Bavestrello G, Bonasoro F, Candia Carnevali MD (2012) Ecophysiology of mesohyl creep in the demosponge Chondrosia reniformis. J.Exp.Mar.Biol.Ecol. 428: 24-31.
- Barbaglio A, Tricarico S, Ribeiro A, Sugni M, Wilkie IC, Barbosa M, Bonasoro F, Candia Carnevali MD (2012) The mechanically adaptive connective tissue of echinoderms: their potential for bio-innovation in applied technology and ecology. Marine Environmental Research 76:108-113.
- Ribeiro AR, Barbaglio A, Di Benedetto C, Ribeiro CC, Wilkie IC, Candia Carnevali MD, Barbosa MA (2011) New insights into mutable collagenous tissue: correlations between the microstructure and mechanical state of a sea-urchin ligament. PLoS ONE 6(9): e24822. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024822.
- Wilkie, I.C. (2011) Functional morphology and mechanics of cuticular fracture at the elytrophoral autotomy plane of the scaleworm Alentia gelatinosa (Annelida, Phyllodocida: Polynoidae). Invertebrate Biology 130: 129-147.
- Wilkie, I.C., Barbaglio, A., Maclaren, W.M. and Candia Carnevali, M.D. (2010) Physiological and immunocytochemical evidence that glutamatergic neurotransmission is involved in the activation of arm autotomy in the featherstar Antedon mediterranea (Echinodermata: Crinoidea). J.Exp.Biol. 213: 2104-2115.
- Wilkie, I.C. (2010) Do gulls benefit from the starfish autotomy response? Marine Biodiversity Records 3: 1-4.
- Charlina, N.A., Dolmatov, I.Y. and Wilkie, I.C. (2009) The juxtaligamental system of the disc and oral frame of the ophiuroid Amphipholis kochii Lütken, 1872 (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) and its role in autotomy. Invertebrate Biology 128: 145-156.
- Mashanov, V.S., Dolmatov, I.Yu., Charlina, N.A. and Wilkie, I.C. (2007) Juxtaligamental cells in the arm of the ophiuroid Amphipholis kochii Lütken, 1872 (Ophiuroidea: Ophiurae). Russian J. Mar. Biol. 33: 110-117.
- Professor M.D. Candia Carnevali, Dr A. Barbaglio, Dr D. Fassini, Dr M. Sugni, University of Milan, Italy
- Professor M. Barbosa and Dr A.R. Ribeiro, University of Porto, Portugal
- Drs I. Dolmatov and N. Charlina, Institute of Marine Biology FEB RAS, Vladivostok, Russia