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Emeritus Professor David Wharton


Professor David Wharton

Research Interests

Antarctic nematode that survives intracellular ice formation, photographed while freezing

  • Environmental physiology: desiccation survival (anhydrobiosis) and cold tolerance
  • Nematode biology
  • Ultrastructural and microscopical techniques
  • Ice-active proteins

Current Students

Haoyu Xiong (PhD) Ice active proteins from NZ alpine plants

Recent and Significant Publications

Journal Articles

Seybold, A.,C. Wharton, D.A., Thorne, M.A.S. and Marshall, C.J. Investigating trehalose synthesis genes in the Antarctic nematode Panagrolaimus sp. DAW1. Biology Open 6, 1953-1959 doi:10.1242/bio.023341 (2017)

Ali, F. &Wharton, D.A. A survey of entomopathogenic nematodes from Otago, New Zealand, with the first record of Steinernema kraussei (Steiner, 1923) (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) from the Southern Hemisphere. New Zealand Journal of Zoology (2017)

Wharton, D.A., Marshall, C.J. & Egeter, B. Comparisons between the Antarctic nematodes: cultured Panagrolaimus sp. DAW1 and field-sourced Panagrolaimus davidi. published online Nematology DOI 10.1163/15685411-00003066 (2017)

Thorne, M.A.S., Seybold, A., Marshall, C., Wharton, D. Molecular snapshot of an intracellular freezing event in an Antarctic nematode. Cryobiology 75, 117-124 (2017)

Raymond, M.R. & Wharton, D.A. The ability to survive intracellular freezing in nematodes is related to the pattern and distribution of ice formed. Journal of Experimental Biology 219, 2060-2065. doi:10.1242/jeb.137190 (2016)

Ali, F. & Wharton, D.A. Ice-active substances from the infective juveniles of the freeze tolerant entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema feltiae. PLoS One 11(5): e0156502. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156502 (2016)

Ali, F. & Wharton, D.A. Infective juveniles of the entomopathogenic nematode, Steinernema feltiae produce cryoprotectants in response to freezing and cold acclimation. PLoS One 10(10): e0141810. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0141810 (2015).

Wharton, D.A. Quick guide: anhydrobiosis. Current Biology 25, R1114–R1116 (2015).

Rexer-Huber, K., Bishop, P.J. & Wharton, D.A. Field ecology of freezing: Linking microhabitat use with freezing tolerance in Litoria ewingii. Austral Ecology 40, 933-940. doi:10.1111/aec.12275 (2015).

McGill, L.M., Shannon, A.J., Pisani, D. Félix, M-A., Ramløv, H., Dix, I., Wharton, D.A. & Burnell, A.M. Anhydrobiosis and freezing-tolerance: adaptations that facilitate the establishment of Panagrolaimus nematodes in polar habitats. PLoS One 10(3): e0116084. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116084 (2015).

Wharton, D. A. & Raymond, M. R. Cold tolerance of the Antarctic nematodes Plectus murrayi and Scottnema lindsayae. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 185, 281-289. doi: 10.1007/s00360-014-0884-2 (2015)

Thorne, M.A.S., Kagoshima, H., Clark, M., Marshall, C.J. & Wharton, D.A. Molecular analysis of the cold tolerant Antarctic nematode, Panagrolaimus davidi. PLoS One 9(8), e104526. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0104526 (2014)

Hawes, T.C., Marshall, C.J. & Wharton, D.A. A 9kDa AFP from the Antarctic springtail, Gomphiocephalus hodgsoni. Cryobiology 69, 181-183 (2014). http:/

Ali, F. & Wharton, D.A. Freezing in Steinernema feltiae infective juveniles visualized using cold stage microscopy and freeze substitution techniques. PLoS One 9(4), e94179 (2014) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094179

Wharton, D.A. Ionic regulation in the Antarctic nematode Panagrolaimus davidi, measured using Electron Probe X-ray Microanalysis. Journal of Comparative Physiology B (2014). doi: 10.1007/s00360-014-0818-z

Raymond, M. R., Wharton, D. A. and Marshall, C. J. Nematodes from the Victoria Land coast, Antarctica and comparisons with cultured Panagrolaimus davidi. Antarctic Science 26, 15-21 (2014) doi:10.1017/S0954102013000230

Wharton, D.A. The environmental physiology of Antarctic terrestrial nematodes: a review. Journal of Comparative Physiology B 173: 621-628 (2003)

Wharton, D.A. and Ferns, D.J. Survival of intracellular freezing by the Antarctic nematode Panagrolaimus davidi. Journal of Experimental Biology 198: 1381-1387 (1995)

Wharton, D.A. Cold tolerance strategies in nematodes. Biological Reviews 70: 161-185 (1995)

Wharton, D. Nematode egg-shells. Parasitology 81: 447-463 (1980)


Perry, R.N. and Wharton, D.A. (eds.) Molecular and Physiological Basis of Nematode Survival. CABI Publishing, Wallingford (2011)

Wharton, D.A. Life at the Limits: Organisms in Extreme Environments, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2002) 320 pp.

Wharton, D.A. A Functional Biology of Nematodes. Croom Helm, London and Sydney (1986) 192pp.

Book Chapters

Wharton, D.A. Cold tolerance. In Molecular and Physiological Basis of Nematode Survival (eds. R.N. Perry & D.A. Wharton). CABI Publishing, Wallingford (2011) 182-204.

Wharton, D.A. and Perry, R.N. Osmotic and ionic regulation. In Molecular and Physiological Basis of Nematode Survival (eds. R.N. Perry & D.A. Wharton). CABI Publishing, Wallingford (2011) 256-281.

Wharton, D.A. Anhydrobiosis. In Encyclopedia of the Antarctic (ed. B. Riffenburgh), Taylor & Francis, New York. Vol. 1. pp. 37-40 (2007)

Wharton, D.A. Nematode survival strategies. In The Biology of Nematodes (D.L. Lee ed.) Taylor and Francis, London (2002). 389-411.