Peter Sorensen, Professor
- B.A. Bates College
- Ph. D. University of Rhode Island
AIS Area of Interest
Dr. Sorensen's interests are focused on understanding the mechanisms that drive the behavior of fishes with an emphasis on using this information to control of aquatic invasive species. He is known for his work on sea lamprey control, pheromones in fish (chemical signals that pass between of the same species) as well as his work on invasive carp biology and control. He is currently focused on:
- Solving the root causes of AIS
- Biology and control of invasive fishes
- Behavior of fish
- Fish reproductive biology
- Fish migration
AIS Species of Study
Current MAISRC projects
- Ascertaining whether an enhanced bubble curtain could deter Asian carp movement into small tributaries in a practical manner; immediate installation of sound deterrents in the Mississippi River
- Developing solutions to address weaknesses in Lock and Dam #4 and then optimize its gate operation
- Adult Common Carp Movement in Rice Creek Watershed (collaboration with Rice Creek Watershed District)
- Determining the ability of two approaches to measure environmental DNA (eDNA) to reliably quantify the abundance of invasive common carp in Minnesota lakes
- Establishing and implementing eDNA as a molecular technique to assess the presence of Asian carp in large Minnesota rivers
- Testing whether carp can be located using Judas fish: a new behavioral tool to locate aggregating invasive fish so they might be tracked and/or removed
- Six Mile Creek Carp Assessment (contract with Minnehaha Creek Watershed District)
- Blocking bighead, silver, and other invasive carp by optimizing lock and dams
- Developing and implementing a sustainable program to control common carp (contract with Riley-Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District)
Select AIS Publications
- Hoover, J.J, Zielinski, D.P, and P.W. Sorensen 2016. Swimming performance of adult bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (Richardson, 1845) and silver carp H. molitrix (Valenciennes, 1844). Applied Ichthyology 206: 1-9.
- Bajer, P. G., Beck, M. W., Cross, T. K., Koch, J. D., Bartodziej, W. M. and Sorensen, P. W. (2016), Biological invasion by a benthivorous fish reduced the cover and species richness of aquatic plants in most lakes of a large North American ecoregion. Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.13377
- Sorensen, P.W. and N.S. Johnson 2016. Theory and application of semiochemicals in invasive fish control. Journal of Chemical Ecology 42: 692-715.
- Chizinski, C.J., Bajer, P.G., Headrick, M, and P.W. Sorensen. 2016. Different migratory behaviors of invasive adult Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and native Northern Pike (Esox lucius) allow for selective blocking. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 36.4: 769-779.
- Eichmiller, J.J., Hamilton, M.J., Staley, C., Sadowsky, M.J. and P.W. Sorensen. 2016. Environment shapes the fecal microbiome of invasive carp species. Microbiome 4: 44. DOI 10.1186/s40168-016-0190-1.
- Huser, B.J., Bajer, P.G., C.J. Chizinski and P.W. Sorensen. 2016. Effects of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) on sediment mixing and phosphorous availability in a shallow lake. Hydrobiologia 763 (1): 22-23
- Ghosal R, Xiong PX, Sorensen PW (2016) Invasive Bighead and Silver Carps Form Different Sized Shoals that Readily Intermix. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0157174. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157174
- Ghosal, R., Sorensen, P.W. (2016) Male-typical courtship, spawning behavior, and olfactory sensitivity are induced to different extents by androgens in the goldfish suggesting they are controlled by different neuroendocrine mechanisms, Journal of General and Comparative Endocrinology, doi:10.1016/j.ygcen.2016.04.028
- Zielinski, D.P., and Sorensen, P.W. (2016) Bubble curtain deflection screen diverts the movement of both Asian and Common Carps, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 36, 267-276.
- D.P. Zielinski, V.R. Voller, J.C. Svendsen, M. Hondzo, A.F. Mensinger, P.W. Sorensen (2014) Laboratory experiments demonstrate that bubble curtains can effectively inhibit movement of common carp, Ecological Engineering Volume 67, June 2014, Pages 95–103, doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2014.03.003
- Zielinski, D. P. and Sorensen, P. W. (2015), Field test of a bubble curtain deterrent system for common carp. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 22: 181–184. doi: 10.1111/fme.12108
- Eichmiller JJ, Bajer PG, Sorensen PW (2014) The Relationship between the Distribution of Common Carp and Their Environmental DNA in a Small Lake. PLoS ONE 9(11): e112611. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112611
- Bajer, P. G., Parker, J. E., Cross, T. K., Venturelli, P. A. and Sorensen, P. W. (2015), Partial migration to seasonally-unstable habitat facilitates biological invasions in a predator-dominated system. Oikos, 124: 1520–1526. doi: 10.1111/oik.01795
- Bajer, P. G., Cross, T. K., Lechelt, J. D., Chizinski, C. J., Weber, M. J. and Sorensen, P. W. (2015), Across-ecoregion analysis suggests a hierarchy of ecological filters that regulate recruitment of a globally invasive fish. Diversity Distrib., 21: 500–510. doi:10.1111/ddi.12315
- Eichmiller, J. J., Miller, L. M. and Sorensen, P. W. (2015), Optimizing techniques to capture and extract environmental DNA for detection and quantification of fish. Molecular Ecology Resources, 16: 56–68. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.12421
- Hansen, A., Ghosal, R., Caprio, J., Claus, A.W., Sorensen, P.W. (2014) Anatomical and physiological studies of bigheaded carps demonstrate that the epibranchial organ functions as a pharyngeal taste organ, Journal of Experimental Biology 2014 217: 3945-3954; doi: 10.1242/jeb.107870
- Bajer, P.G., Sorensen, P.W. (2015) Effects of common carp on phosphorus concentrations, water clarity, and vegetation density: a whole system experiment in a thermally stratified lake, Hydrobiologia Volume 746, Issue 1, pp 303-311, doi: 10.1007/s10750-014-1937-y
- Eichmiller, J.J., Best, Sendrea, and Sorensen, P.W. (2016), Effects of Temperature and Trophic State on Degradation of Environmental DNA in Lake Water. Environmental Science & Technology Article, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b0567
Jean Sebastien Finger is a postdoctoral research associate working with the Sorensen team. He received his master's degree at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and conducted his PhD research and the University of Humboldt in Berlin, Germany. With a strong background in fish behavior and biology, he is particularly interested in using acoustic and radio technology to gain insight into the life of aquatic animals. At MAISRC, he will be working on lock and dam structures to test the effects of sound barriers on native fish and common carp and will be validating the fish passage model using real data.
Ratna Ghosal is a research associate in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology specializing in the study of fish hormones, pheromones, and behaviors. Originally from India, she has been with the University since 2012 after completing her Ph.D. in ecology and wildlife endocrinology on the endangered species, the Asian elephants. She is interested in understanding the proximate/physiological causes of animal behavior and its potential applications in the field of conservation biology. Currently, she is studying the use of chemical attractants (in this case, pheromones) as a control for the Asian carp. By implanting species-specific pheromones in otherwise sterile fish, she plans on tracking these fish, with the idea that these pheromones will lead to an aggregation of conspecifics. Similar experiments in goldfish and the common carp have generated positive results, and the hope is that the same success will translate to managing Asian carp.
Anvar Gilmanov is a research associate working on Asian carp deterrents. He is creating a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model of Lock and Dam #5 using available computational software such as Fluent and Matlab; as well as getting new data from simulation of fish swimming, identify and recommend changes to gate operation to block Asian carp.
Clark Dennis is a PhD Student in the Conservation Biology Graduate Program at the University of Minnesota. Clark obtained his undergraduate and M.S. degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he examined the efficacy of carbon dioxide gas to deter the spread of invasive carps. Clark is now working on the development and full-scale testing of acoustic deterrents meant to deter the movement of invasive carps (i.e., common carp, bigheaded carps) from entering lock chambers, while aiming for minimal impact on native fish movement.
Andy Riesgraf is a researcher working with the Sorensen team. Andy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in fisheries. He will be researching fish movement around lock and dam 2 in Hastings, with the goal of learning how fish migrate through lock and dam structures. Once more is understood about their movement, technologies can be properly deployed in an effort to stop invasive carp from moving further up the Mississippi River.
Reid Swanson is a Junior Scientist and is working on his master's degree in the Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Department at the University of Minnesota. Reid completed his undergraduate work here at the University of Minnesota, with a degree in the fisheries and wildlife and a minor in forest resources. Originally from Wisconsin, Reid is passionate about nature and the outdoors. He is interested in discovering methods that will be successful in managing aquatic invasive species and applying this knowledge for the betterment of our local environment. Reid helps facilitate the research projects at the center, working in the field and in the lab to gather and analyze data for several ongoing experiments involving carp and other invasive species. He also manages the facilities and ensures that all laboratory equipment is maintained and operating efficiently.