Brian Wisenden's Home Page
MSUM  Biosciences
Brian D. Wisenden

Office: Hagen Building 103 B

Biosciences Department, Minnesota State University Moorhead, 1104 7th Ave S, Moorhead, MN, 56563
Personal office land line: 218-477-5001 (do not leave messages here)
Department Office: 218-477-2572 (Melissa)

Fall 2014
Organismal Biology
Research in Biology

Spring 2015
Cell Biology
Animal Behavior
Research in Biology
Tropical Field Biology
(Costa Rica)

Summer 2015
June 2015: Animal Behavior field course at the Itasca Biological Field Station, University of Minnesota
Itasca student evaluations from summer 2014

August 2015: Ecology of the North Shore of Lake Superior

Managing Editor, Behaviour


I study the ways fish use behavior to solve ecological problems (behavioral ecology). The main focus of my research is anti-predator competence over ecological and evolutionary time scales. One line of research questions is how chemical cues mediate anti-predator behavior in aquatic habitats. A second set of questions is reproductive behavior of fishes, especially in the evolution of brood defense. Most recently I have been doing research on how parasites compromise the behavioral phenotype of their host to facilitate trophic transmission to their final host. I do lab research during the academic year using MSUM's fabulous aquatic research facility and field work in the summer at sites in Itasca State Park in my other life teaching for the University of Minnesota. This work (MSUM and UMN) is done almost entirely with undergraduate collaborators.  

Fish research team for 2014-2015 (so far): Working on convict cichlid evo-devo: project #1 = Heather North, Janna Gilbertson, Frantz Joseph and Diana Grant; project #2: Stephanie Nobei, Meron Tadesse and Yewande Osunsanya; project #3: Molly Kraemer. Working on behavioral syndromes in zebrafish (all co-advised by Shawn Garrett): project #1 = Mikaela Hanson, Joseph Clayton and Abel Tilahun; project #2 = Alison Barkhymer; project #3 = Evangeline Holley and Kayla Kenney. Plant-fish mutualisms in aquaponics systems: Ashley Eder, Ben LeMay, and (co-advised by Mazz Marry), Jordan Johnson. Learning in C. elegans (co-advised with Ellen Brisch): Nancy Castro Borjas and Ruweyda Mohamed. Tide pool project: Robyn Oster, Ashley Eder, Janna Gilbertson, Ben LeMay, Seth Rockafellow, Heather North, Molly O'Brien, Kari Mrosla, Liz Overbo, Frantz Joseph, Blair Posusta, Phil Larson, et al., and faculty Dan McEwen and Shawn Garrett.
- see the results and download pdfs of previous research 
- google scholar profile


I have active collaborations within the MSUM Biosciences Department with Dan McEwen for all things quantitative, Sara Anderson on molecular ecology of parasites, and Shawn Garrett, MSUM Chemistry Department, on effects of cortisol in zebrafish.

I also enjoy the stimulating benefits of collaborations with labs at other institutions.
1. Reproductive behavioral ecology of pupfish and convict cichlids Murray Itzkowitz, Lehigh University
2. Parasite-host interactions between Ornithodiplostomum and fathead minnows with Cam Goater, University of Lethbridge
3. Chemical ecology of fish with Peter Sorensen, University of Minnesota
4. Reproductive ecology of convict cichlids in Costa Rica with Jean-Guy Godin and Stacey Lee Jenkins, Carleton University
5. Chemical ecology of predator-prey interactions with Doug Chivers and Maud Ferrari, University of Saskatchewan

updated Sep 2015