Ciaran A. S. Shaughnessy

Ciaran A. S. Shaughnessy

Ph.D. Candidate

B.Sc. Chemistry, The Illinois Institute of Technology, 2012
M.Sc. Biological Sciences, Depaul University, 2015

Advisor: Stephen D. McCormick

Research Interests

Many animals are adapted to survive changes to their environment. As an environmental physiologist, I am interested in understanding how animals are physiologically adapted to survive changes to their environment, such as in temperature, salinity, or dissolved gasses (O2 and CO2), that can occur as a result of tidal, diurnal, and seasonal variation, or as a result of migration between two different environments. In my research, I use euryhaline fish (fish that can acclimate to a large range of environmental salinity) to study the organismal, cellular, and molecular mechanisms for osmoregulation (ion and water balance) and thermal tolerance, and the endocrine pathways which regulate them. The primary topic of my doctoral dissertation is elucidating the mechanism for Cl- secretion and its regulation by endocrine signaling in a basal vertebrate, the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus).


Shaughnessy, C. A., McCormick, S. D. (2018) Reduced thermal tolerance during salinity acclimation in brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) can be rescued by prior treatment with cortisol. J. Exp. Biol. (2018:jeb.169557).

Shaughnessy, C. A., Anderson, E. C., Kasparian, M., Lamontagne, J. M., Bystriansky, J. S. (2017). Survival and osmoregulation of the purple marsh crab (Sesarma reticulatum) at varying salinity and pH. Can. J. Zool. 95: 985–989.

Shaughnessy, C. A., Baker, D. W., Brauner, C. J., Morgan, J. D., Bystriansky, J. S. (2015). Interaction of osmoregulatory and acid-base compensation in white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus) during exposure to aquatic hypercarbia and elevated salinity. J Exp Biol. 218: 2712-2719.