Mickie Powell, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
1300 University Blvd
Birmingham AL 35294-1170
Our laboratory’s research is focused on understanding the physiological outcomes of nutrition as it relates to healthspan and longevity using aquatic model organisms. We work with both invertebrate (sea urchins) and vertebrate models. The laboratory has two teleost fish models for nutrition and aging research: the zebrafish, Danio rerio, and the killifish, Nothobranchius furzeri. N. furzeri is the shortest-lived vertebrate currently held in captivity, it has a lifespan of approximately 20 weeks. During this short livespan it exhibits many of the classic phenotypes associated with aging, including cataract formation, muscle wasting and cognitive degeneration. Working with collaborators at several institutions we are developing standardized protocols for nutrition and husbandry for the application of N. furzeri to relevant questions in aging research.
Current Projects are focused on:
- The refinement and standardization of the husbandry of N. furzeri to reduce variation among laboratories that currently or may potentially utilize this model for aging research.
- The development of a nutritionally complete open formulation diets that can be manipulated to understand the effects of specific micro- and macro- nutrients on animal health and longevity.
- Applying the principles of nutritional geometry to understand how changes in dietary nutrient consumption associated with stress and other environmental factors can affect body condition such as adiposity.
- The effects of aging on whole animal metabolic rates and metabolic enzyme activities associated with specific nutrients.
- pre 2009
- Smith DL, Jr., Barry RJ, Powell ML, Nagy TR, D'Abramo LR, Watts SA. Dietary protein source influence on body size and composition in growing zebrafish. Zebrafish. 2013;10(3):439-46.
- Watts SA, Powell M, D'Abramo LR. Fundamental approaches to the study of zebrafish nutrition. ILAR journal / National Research Council, Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources. 2012;53(2):144-60.
- Jones, W.T., H. Hammer, M.L. Powell, V.K. Gibbs, J.L. Lawrence, A.L. Lawrence and S.A. Watts (2012) The effect of vitamins on weight gain and organ production in the sea urchin Lytechinus variegates (Echinodermata:Echinoidea). Journal of the World Aquaculture Society. 43(1), 39-50.
- Powell ML, Jones WT, Gibbs VK, Hammer HS, Lawrence JM, Fox J, et al. Dietary Copper Affects Survival, Growth, and Reproduction in the Sea Urchin Lytechinus Variegatus. J Shellfish Res. 2010;29(4):1043-9.
- Powell, M.L., W.T. Jones, V.K. Gibbs, H.S. Hammer, J.M. Lawrence, A.L. Lawrence and S.A. Watts. (2010). Effect of dietary calcium, magnesium and phosphorus on growth of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus. Proceedings of the 12th International Echinoderm Conference, Durham, New Hampshire. 391-396.
- Jones, W.J., M.L. Powell, V.K. Gibbs, H.S. Hammer, S.A. Watts, A.L. Lawrence and J.M. Lawrence. (2010). Evaluation of the effect of dietary zinc, iron, and manganese supplementation on growth and survival of the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus. Proceedings of the 12th International Echinoderm Conference, Durham, New Hampshire. 385-390.
- Hammer, H.S., M.L. Powell, V.K. Gibbs, W.T. Jones, S.A. Watts, A.L. Lawrence, J.M. Lawrence, and L.R. D’Abramo. (2010). Effect of dietary menhaden oil and soy oil on consumption, somatic growth and gonad production of the sea urchin, Lytechinus variegatus. Proceedings of the 12th International Echinoderm Conference, Durham, New Hampshire. 377-384.
- Gibbs, V.K., M.L. Powell, H.S. Hammer, W.T. Jones, S.A. Watts, A.L. Lawrence and J.M. Lawrence. (2010). The effects of dietary phospholipids and cholesterol on growth and organ production in the sea urchin, Lytechinus variegatus. Proceedings of the 12th International Echinoderm Conference, Durham, New Hampshire. 369-376.
- Jones, W.T., M. L. Powell, V. K. Gibbs, H. S. Hammer, J. M. Lawrence, J. Fox, A. L. Lawrence & S. A. Watts. (2010) The Effect of Dietary Selenium on Weight Gain and Gonad Production in the Sea Urchin Lytechinus variegatus. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 41(5): 675-686.
- Taylor AM, Powell ML, Watts SA, Lawrence AL. Formulated Feed Supports Weight Gain and Survivorship in Juvenile Sea Urchins Lytechinus variegatus. J World Aquaculture Soc. 2009;40(6):780-7.
- Powell, M.L., Ghanta, V.K., Nelson, A.R., Lawrence, A.L., & Watts, S.A. (2008) The Effect of Diet on Coelomocyte Cell Populations in the Sea Urchin Lytechinus variegates. Gulf of Mexico Science. 26 (2). P.161.
- Etling, J.E., Powell, M.L., Lawrence, A.L., & Watts, S.A. (2008) Evaluating Nutrient Requirements in Newly Metamorphosed Juvenile Lytechinus variegatus (Echinodermata: Echinoidea). 26(2).p.148.
- M.L. Powell, Vithal Ghanta, Amy Nelson, Heath Garris, Natalie Jennings, Addison Lawrence, Stephen A. Watts. 2007. The effect of dietary copper on coelomocyte populations in the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus. Integrative and comparative biology. 47(suppl). e101.
- Powell ML, Watts SA. Effect of temperature acclimation on metabolism and hemocyanin binding affinities in two crayfish, Procambarus clarkii and Procambarus zonangulus. Comp Biochem Phys A. 2006;144(2):211-7.
- Powell, M.L. and S.A Watts (2006). Activities of metabolic enzymes in the hepatopancreas and tail muscle of the crayfish, Procambarus clarkii and Procambarus zonangulus. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society. 36(4). 554-559.
- Powell ML, Kavanaugh S, Sower SA. Identification of a functional corpus luteum in the Atlantic hagfish, Myxine glutinosa. Gen Comp Endocr. 2006;148(1):95-101. [ doi: 10.1016/J.Ygcen.2006.01.003 ]
- Kavanaugh SI, Powell ML, Sower SA. Seasonal changes of gonadotropin-releasing hormone in the Atlantic hagfish Myxine glutinosa. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 2005;140(2):136-43.
- Powell ML, Watts SA. Activities of metabolic enzymes in the hepatopancreas and tail muscle of the crayfish, Procambarus clarkii and Procambarus zonangulus. J World Aquacult Soc. 2005;36(4):554-9.
- Powell ML, Kavanaugh SI, Sower SA. Seasonal concentrations of reproductive steroids in the gonads of the Atlantic hagfish, Myxine glutinosa. J Exp Zool Part A. 2004;301A(4):352-60. [doi: 10.1002/Jez.A.20043 ]