Dr Shelagh Malham

Photograph of Dr Shelagh Malham


I am a reader in the School of Ocean Sciences and work for the Centre for Applied Marine Sciences in Bangor University. I completed my BSc (Jt. Hons. Marine Biology and Zoology) and PhD at UWB in Octopus immunology. Following a Marie Curie fellowship (on oyster immune function) in Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) station in Roscoff, France and a Return Marie Curie (immunology and genetics of oysters) I have been successful in obtaining a number of research council, EU and commercial funding.

Research Interests

My research has focused on a number of topics with a common theme, that of environmental interactions in relation to shellfish. This interdisciplinary interest takes a holistic approach and encompasses such wide ranging themes as catchment to coast processes, ecosystem health, estuarine functioning, pathogens and human health, macronutrient processing, pollution, climate change (temperature, acidification, sea level rise), shellfish mortality/disease, larval connectivity and shellfish sustainability. The work tends to be very applied with the direct impact required for commercial enterprises in catchment, coastal and oceanographic areas. The investigations and experiments into these areas has however led to new areas and understandings of science.

My early research characterised the immune response of certain advanced invertebrates (cephalopods). This has led to more applied research on shellfish which includes developing monitoring procedures for the aquaculture industry based on immunological assays to provide advanced warning of stress; and developing techniques for boosting the immune status through controlled exposure to a range of chemicals. Further development established direct links between environmental stresses and physiological effects on organisms and the use of novel molecular techniques such as metabolomics to develop indices of ecosystem health. I have a strong interest in the response of whole communities to environmental stresses, and the wider effects on biodiversity.

Research Groups

Research Themes

Research Grants Awarded

European Fisheries Fund (2012 - 2015) Human pathogens and shellfish in the Conwy, Menai Strait and Burry Inlet. Lead PI. Understanding pathogen interactions with various shellfish.

NERC (2012 - 2015): Climate change and the costs of survival in two species of marine crabs with contrasting abilities to compensate for environmental change. Nia Whiteley lead PI. To examine the combined effects of two important climate change variables: pCO2 and salinity, on the survival and performance of two species of marine brachyuran crabs with differing abilities to compensate for environmental change

SURF 2 Turf: NERC consortium grant (2012 - 2016). The Multi-Scale Response of Water Quality, Biodiversity and C sequestration to Coupled Macronutrient Cycling from Source to Sea. Leading a Workpackage. To quantify the fluxes, transformations and coupling of the C, N, and P cycles through key processes including quantifying the links to pathogen transfer

Welsh Water contract between Bangor University and Welsh Water. Bacterial and viral dynamics. (Oct '11 - April '13). Lead PI. Project involves stakeholders in Conwy previously established in the KTP. Project aims to look at pathogen dynamics and persistence from treatment works to estuaries.

KTP (NERC, STB) and Conwy Council award to Bangor University. Microbial pollution in the Conwy. (Jan '10 - July '11). Lead PI and involves Conwy County Brough Council, Welsh Water, Environment Agency, RSPB and a number of other stakeholders. The project aims to determine the source of microbial contamination in the Conwy.

Territorial Cooperation Ireland Wales. Sustainable fisheries in the Irish Sea (SUSFISH) ('09 - '12). I am the lead PI. Project which involves partners in Aberystwyth and Swansea in Wales and Cork in Ireland. The project will use the worst case IPCC scenario for 60 years times and determine the possible conditions over particular shellfish beds.

EU-FP7. REPROSEED. REsearch to improve PROduction of SEED of established and emerging bivalve species in European hatcheries ('10-'13). To undertaking qPCR work on immune candidate genes for mussels and clams at the metamorphosis stage.

BBSRC research grant (2005-2008) - Defra GPA award co-funded. Joint collaborative project with CEH - Bangor and University of Wales, Aberystwyth. (UWB lead partner, Ray Seed). Marine biodiversity and agriculture: integrating metabolomics and traditional assessment of ecosystem health.

EU- FP 5 CEPHSTOCK Concerted Action (2002-2005). (UWB work package leader. John Latchford) Cephalopod Stocks in European Waters: Review, Analysis, Assessment and Sustainable Management.

INTERREG IIIa (2002-2005). (UWB is lead partner, Andy Beaumont). Shellfish Aquaculture in the Irish Sea - detection and prevention of diseases in C. gigas. Looking at the effect of environmental parameters on oyster mortality.

Return Marie Curie Fellowship (2001-2002). Immunology and genetics of Crassostrea gigas (Andy Beaumont). Work carried out in School of Biological Sciences, UWB

Marie Curie Fellowship (1998-2000). Immuno-stimulation and cytokine expression in the oyster Crassostrea gigas. Work carried out in Station Biologique de Roscoff, France.


Peer Reviewed Journal Papers

McCarthy, I.D. and Nicholls, R. and Malham, S.K. and Whiteley, N.M. (2016).
Validation of the flooding dose technique to determine fractional rates of protein synthesis in a model bivalve species, the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis L.). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A. 191, 166–173. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2015.10.019

Robins, P.E., Skov, M.W., Lewis, M.J., Giménez, L., Davies, A.G., Malham, S.K., Neill, S.P., McDonald, J.E., Whitton, T.A., Jackson, S.E. and Jago, C.F. (2016)
Impact of climate change on UK estuaries: A review of past trends and potential projections. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 169, 119-135.
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Robins, P.E., Lewis, M.J., Simpson, J.H., and Malham, S.K. 2014
Future variability of solute transport in a macrotidal estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 151 88-99
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Rowley, A.F., M E. Cross, S.C. Culloty, S A. Lynch, C.L. Mackenzie, E. Morgan, R.M. O'Riordan, P.E. Robins, A.L. Smith, T.J. Thrupp, C.L. Vogan, E.C. Wootton, and S.K. Malham. 2014.
The potential impact of climate change on the infectious diseases of commercially important shellfish populations in the Irish Sea - a review. ICES J. Mar. Sci. doi:10.1093/icesjms/fst234
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Clements K, Giménez L, Jones D, Wilson J, Malham S (2013)
Epizoic barnacles act as pathogen reservoirs on shellfish beds. J Shellfish Res 32, 533-538

Longshaw, M., Malham. SK. 2013.
A review of the infectious agents, parasites, pathogens and commensals of European cockles (Cerastoderma edule and C. glaucum). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK. 93 227-247

Mackenzie, C.L., Bell, M.C., Birchenough, S.N.R., Culloty, S.C., Sanderson, W.G., Whiteley, N.M. and Malham, S.K. 2013.
Future socio-economic and environmental sustainability of the Irish Sea requires a multi-disciplinary approach with industry and research collaboration, and cross-border partnership, Ocean and Coastal Management, 85(a), 1-6.
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Callaway,R, Shinn, AP., Grenfell, SE., Bron, JE., Burnell, G., Cook, EJ., Crumlish, M., Culloty, S., Davidson, K., Ellis, RP., Flynn, KJ., Fox, C., Green, DM., Hays, GC., Hughes, A., Jhonston, E., Lowe, CD., Lupatsch, I., Malham, S., Mendzil, AF., Nickell, T., Pickerell, T., Rowley, AF., Stanley, MS., Tocher, DR., Turnbull, JF., Webb, G., Wootton, E., Shields, R. (2012)
Climate change and marine aquaculture in the UK. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 22 389-421

Coscia, I., Robins, P.E., Porter, J.S., Malham, S.K. and Ironside, J.E. (2012)
Modelled larval dispersal and measured gene flow: seascape genetics of the common cockle Cerastoderma edule in the southern Irish Sea. Conserv Genet. DOI 10.1007/s10592-012-0404-4
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Malham SK., Hutchinson, TH., Longshaw, M. 2012.
A review of the biology of European cockles (Cerastoderma spp.). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, 39(4) 249-260

Quilliam RS, Clements K, Duce C, Cottrill SB, Malham SK, Jones DL. 2011.
Spatial variation of waterborne Escherichia coli - implications for routine sampling of water quality. Journal of Water and Health 9: 734-737

Quilliam, RS., Williams, PA., Avery, LM., Malham, SK., Jones, DL. 2011.
Unearthing human pathogens at the agricultural-environment interface: A review of current methods for the detection of Escherichia coli O157 in fresh water ecosystems. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 140. 354-360
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Thorn, CE., Quilliam, RS., Williams, AP., Malham, SK., Cooper, D., Reynolds, B., Jones, DL. 2011.
Grazing intensity is a poor indicator of waterborne Escherichia coli O157 activity. Anaerobe. 17: 330-333

Cotter, E., Malham, S.K., O'Keeffe, S., Lynch, S.A., Latchford, J.W., King, J.W., Beaumont, A.R. and Culloty, S.C. (2010)
Summer mortality of the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas in the Irish Sea: The influence of growth, biochemistry and gametogenesis. Aquaculture 303:8-21

Malham, S. K., Cotter, E., O'Keeffe, S., Lynch, S., Culloty, S. C., King, J. W., Latchford, J. W., and Beaumont, A. R. (2009)
Summer mortality of the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, in the Irish Sea: the influence of temperature and nutrients on health and survival. Aquaculture 287: 128-138
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Bussell, J.A., Gidman, E.A., Causton, D.R., Gwynn -Jones, D., Malham, S.K., Jones, L.M., Reynolds, B. and Seed, R.(2008).
Changes in the immune response and metabolic fingerprint of the mussel, Mytilus edulis (Linnaeus) in response to lowered salinity and physical stress. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 385: pp. 78-85.

Gidman EA, Jones MLM, Bussell JA, Malham SK, Reynolds B, Seed R, Causton DR, Johnson HE, Gwynn-Jones D (2007)
A methodology for screening haemolymph of intertidal mussels, Mytilus edulis, using FT-IR spectroscopy as a tool for environmental assessment. Metabolomics 3, 465-473.

King, J.W., Malham, S.K., Skov, M.W., Cotter, E., Latchford, J.W., Culloty, S.C. and Beaumont, A.R. (2006)
Growth of Crassostrea gigas spat and juveniles under differing environmental conditions at two sites in Wales. Aquatic Living Resources, 19, 289-297.

Lacoste, A. , Malham, S.K., Cueff, A., Jalabert, F., Gelebart, F. and Poulet, S.A. (2001)
Evidence for a form of adrenergic response to stress in the mollusc Crassostrea gigas. Journal of Experimental Biology, 204, 1247–1255.

Lacoste, A., Jalabert, F., Malham, S., Cueff, A., Gelebart, F., Cordevant, C., Lange, M. and Poulet, S.A. (2001)
A Vibrio splendidus strain is associated with summer mortality of juvenile oysters Crassostrea gigas in the Bay of Morlaix (North Brittany, France). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 46, 139–145.

Lacoste, A., Jalabert, F., Malham, S.K., Cueff, A. and Poulet, S.A. (2001)
Stress and stress–induced neuroendocrine changes increase the susceptibility of juvenile oysters (Crassostrea gigas) to Vibrio splendidus. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 67, 2304–2309.

Lacoste, A., Malham, S.K., Cueff, A. and Poulet, S.A. (2001a)
Noradrenaline modulates hemocyte reactive oxygen species production via beta–adrenergic receptors in the oyster Crassostrea gigas. Developmental and Comparative Immunology, 25, 285–289.

Lacoste, A., Malham, S.K., Cueff, A. and Poulet, S.A. (2001b)
Stress–induced catecholamine changes in the hemolymph of the oyster Crassostrea gigas. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 122, 181–188.

Lacoste, A., Malham, S.K., Cueff, A. and Poulet, S.A. (2001c)
Noradrenaline modulates oyster hemocyte phagocytosis via a beta–adrenergic recepto–cAMP signalling pathway. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 122, 252–259.

Lacoste, A., Malham, S.K., Cueff, A. and Poulet, S.A. (2001d)
Noradrenaline reduces the stimulary effect of interleukin–1 alpha on reactive oxygen species production by oyster immunocytes. Invertebrate Biology, 120, 358–364.

Additional Publications

Forde, J, King, J.W., Malham, S.K., And Beaumont, A.R. (2008)
Growth and Immunology of Cultured European Flat Oysters in the Menai Strait. Shellfish News 26, 11-13.

Malham, S. K., M.W. Walton, J.W. Latchford, J.W. King and H.C. Greenwell (2006)
Testing the response of oysters exposed to chemicals X, Y, and Z. Centre for Applied Marine Sciences. Report 2006-5.

Malham, SK, Cotter, E, O'Keefe, S, Lynch, S, Latchford, J, King, JW, Culloty, SC and Beaumont, AR (2006).
Shellfish Aquaculture in the Irish Sea - detection and prevention of diseases in Crassostrea gigas. Centre for Applied Marine Sciences. Report 2006-06.

Pierce, G., Valavanis, V., Pereira, J., Santurnun, M., Robin, J.P. and Malham, S. (2006)
Fishing for Cephalopods. ICES Newsletter, Issue 43, 13-15.

Cotter, E, Culloty, SC, O'Keeffe, S, Malham, S, Latchford, J, King, J, Beaumont, A (2005)
Mortality of Pacific oysters in the Irish Sea: Biotic and abiotic influences. Journal of Shellfish Research 24, 648

PDF copies of some of these publications are available (as indicated by hyperlinks in the list) for non-commercial research and educational purposes only. You may not use the material for commercial purposes or make multiple copies without requesting permission from the copyright holder (usually the book or journal publisher).