Stephen D. McCormick

Photograph of First Last

Adjunct Professor

Contact Info



B.S., Bates College, 1977

Ph.D., MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1983
Joint Program in Oceanography


St. Andrews Biological Station, New Brunswick, Canada, 1983-1986

University of California, Berkeley 1986-1990

Research Interests

Environmental and endocrine control of osmoregulation, growth, migration, development and reproduction in teleosts, primarily anadromous fishes.

Understanding how environmental factors affect animal performance (survival, growth and reproductive success) is important to our understanding of the natural world and how human activity affects it. My laboratory is interested in the environmental and endocrine control of osmoregulation, growth, migration, development and reproduction in teleosts, primarily anadromous fishes. Our current research focuses on physiological and environmental factors that affect conservation, restoration and enhancement of Atlantic salmon, American shad, blueback herring, alewife and Atlantic sturgeon. This includes laboratory and field work on underlying physiological principles and capacities, and applied work on contaminants, hatcheries, dams and with wild populations. Some of our current projects include the following:

Gill transport proteins involved in ion regulation of anadromous fishes and their hormonal control.

Environmental factors that affect the parr-smolt transformation of Atlantic salmon, including: endocrine disrupters, acidification and climate change.

Endocrine disruption in Atlantic sturgeon and shortnose sturgeon.

Temperature effects on growth and stress of Atlantic salmon and brook trout.

Impacts of evolutionary loss of anadromy (‘landlocking’) on physiology of Atlantic salmon, alewives, shad and lamprey.

Representative Publications

Breves, J.P., Serizier, S.B., Goffin, V., McCormick, S.D. and Karlstrom, R.O. 2013. Prolactin regulates transcription of the ion uptake Na+/Cl- cotransporter (ncc) gene in zebrafish gill. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology, 369: 98-106.

McCormick, S.D. 2013. Smolt Physiology and Endocrinology. In: Fish Physiology vol. 32 Euryhaline Fishes, edited by S. D. McCormick, C. J. Brauner, and A. P. Farrell, Amsterdam. Academic Press. Pp 199-251.

McCormick, S.D., A. M. Regish, A. K. Christensen, and B. Th. Björnsson. 2013. Differential regulation of sodium-potassium pump isoforms during smolt development and seawater exposure of Atlantic salmon. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216: 1142-1151.

McCormick, S.D., T. Sheehan, B. Th. Björnsson, C. Lipsky, J. Kocik, A. M. Regish, and M. F. O'Dea. 2013. Physiological and endocrine changes in Atlantic salmon smolts during hatchery rearing, downstream migration and ocean entry. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 70: 105-118.

Hiroi, J. and McCormick, S.D. 2012. New insights into gill ionocyte and ion transporter function in euryhaline and diadromous fish. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, 184: 257-268.

Christensen, A.K., Hiroi,J., Schultz, E.T. and McCormick, S.D. 2012. Branchial ionocyte organization and ion-transport protein expression in juvenile alewives acclimated to freshwater or seawater. Journal of Experimental Biology, 215: 642-652.

Iwanowicz, L.R., Blazer, V.S., Hitt, N.P., McCormick, S.D., DeVault, D.S., Ottinger, C.A. 2012. Histologic, immunologic and endocrine biomarkers indicate contaminant effects in fishes of the Ashtabula River. Ecotoxicology, 21: 165-182.

Robertson, L.S. and McCormick, S.D. 2012. Transcriptional profiling of the parr-smolt transformation in Atlantic salmon. Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology D-Genomics and Proteomics, 7: 351-360.

McCormick, S.D. 2011. The Hormonal Control of Osmoregulation in Teleost Fish. In: Farrell A.P., (ed.), Encyclopedia of Fish Physiology: From Genome to Environment, Volume 2, pp. 1466-1473. San Diego: Academic Press.

Close, D., Yun, S.-S., McCormick, S.D., Wildbill, A.J., Li, W. 2010. 11-deoxycortisol is a corticosteroid hormone in lamprey. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107: 13942-13947.

Reis-Santos, P., McCormick, S.D. and Wilson, J.M. 2008. Ionoregulatory changes during metamorphosis and salinity exposure of juvenile sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus L.). Journal of Experimental Biology, 211: 978-988.

Monette, M.Y. and McCormick, S.D. 2008. Impacts of short-term acid and aluminum exposure on Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) physiology: a direct comparison of parr and smolts. Aquatic Toxicology, 86: 216-226.

McCormick, S.D., Shrimpton, J.M., Moriyama, S., Bjˆrnsson, B.Th. 2007. Differential hormonal responses of Atlantic salmon parr and smolt to increased daylength: a possible developmental basis for smolting. Aquaculture, 273: 337-344.

Lerner, D.T., Bjˆrnsson, B.Th., McCormick, S.D. 2007. Larval exposure to 4-nonylphenol and 17β-estradiol affects physiological and behavioral development of seawater adaptation in Atlantic salmon smolts. Environmental Science & Technology, 41: 4479-4485.

McCormick, S.D. and Bradshaw, D. 2006. Hormonal control of salt and water balance in vertebrates. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 147: 3-8.

McCormick, S.D., O'Dea, M.F., Moeckel, A.M., Lerner, D.T. and Bjˆrnsson, B.Th. 2005. Endocrine disruption of parr-smolt transformation and seawater tolerance of Atlantic salmon by 4-nonylphenol and 17β-estradiol. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 142: 280-288.

McCormick, S.D., Sundell, K., Bjˆrnsson, B.Th, Brown, C.L. and Hiroi, J. 2003. Influence of salinity on the localization of Na+,K+-ATPase, Na+,K+,2Cl- cotransporter (NKCC) and CFTR anion channel in chloride cells of the Hawaiian goby (Stenogobius hawaiiensis). Journal of Experimental Biology 206: 4575-4583.