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

Office: Hagen Building 407 O

Chair, Biosciences Department, Minnesota State University Moorhead, 1104 7th Ave S, Moorhead, MN, 56563
Personal office land line: 218-477-5001
Department Office: 218-477-2572 (Melissa)


Fall 2016
Organismal Biology
Research in Biology

Spring 2017
Quantitative Biology
Animal Behavior
Research in Biology
Tropical Field Biology
(Costa Rica)

Summer 2017
June 2017: Animal Behavior field course at the Itasca Biological Field Station, University of Minnesota
Itasca student evaluations from summer 2014

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 projects for 2016-2017:
1. Convict cichlid evo-devo
2. Behavioral syndromes in zebrafish (all co-advised by Shawn Garrett)
3. Tide pool project, including chemical ecology of octopus

Prairie Restoration Project (web site under development) - funded by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund  

- see the results and download pdfs of previous research
- google scholar profile


I have active collaborations within MSUM with Shawn Garrett, MSUM Chemistry Department, on effects of cortisol in zebrafish, and Ananda Shastri, MSUM Physics and Astonomy Department, on remote monitoriing of heart rates in zebrafish.

I also enjoy the stimulating benefits of collaborations with labs at other institutions.
1. Conservation biology with Craig Stockwell, North Dakota State University
2. Reproductive behavioral ecology of pupfish and convict cichlids Murray Itzkowitz, Lehigh University
3. Parasite-host interactions between Ornithodiplostomum and fathead minnows with Cam Goater, University of Lethbridge, Sehoya Cotner and Jim Cotner, University of Minnesota Itasca Biological Field Station


updated Jan 2017