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

Office: Hagen Building 407 R

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 2013
Organismal Biology
Research in Biology

Spring 2014
Cell Biology
Research in Biology
Tropical Field Biology
(Costa Rica)

Summer 2014
June: Animal Behavior field course at the Itasca Biological Field Station, University of Minnesota
August: 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 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 2013-2014 (so far): working on convict cichlid evo-devo: Olivia Hanson, Cal Flander (co-advised by Shireen Alemadi), Avi Oczachowski, Katie Robinson and Heather North; working on behavioral syndromes in zebrafish: Evangeline Holley, Kayla Kenney, Hermella Alemneh and Mikaela Hanson (co-advised by Shawn Garrett); proximate mechanisms of goldfish olfaction: Steve Redding, Vincent Anani, Dina Bosch, Frantz Joseph and Molly Kraemer; odor tracking by juvenile convict cichlids: Emily Mammenga, Rachel Walsh; parasite-host interactions in fathead minnows: Sabrina Boit,Molly Dziekan and Ashley Eder (with Sara Anderson); hatching cues in zebrafish: Tessa Swanson.
- 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, Shireen Alemadi on the ontogeny of anti-predator competence in larval cichlids, Sara Anderson on molecular ecology of parasites, Shawn Garrett, MSUM Chemistry Department, on effects of cortisol in zebrafish and Sara Schultz, MSUM Physics and Astronomy Department, on physics of water flow.

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 and Tony Stumbo, University of Lethbridge
3. Proximate mechanisms of olfaction in goldfish with Greg Pyle, University of Lethbridge
4. Chemical ecology of fish with Peter Sorensen, University of Minnesota
5. Reproductive ecology of convict cichlids in Costa Rica with Jean-Guy Godin and Stacey Lee Jenkins, Carleton University
6. Chemical ecology of predator-prey interactions with Doug Chivers and Maud Ferrari, University of Saskatchewan
7. Behavioral ecology of fish with Mark Clark, Environmental and Conservation Sciences, North Dakota State University

updated April 2014