I am interested in understanding the proximate and ultimate causes of fish behavior, its ramifications to fish ecology, application to management, and how /why freshwater fisheries conservation can be achieved. The fundamental roles that chemical cues, and pheromones in particular, play in fish behavior are of special interest as is the neural basis of their discrimination and their sense of hearing. Invasive fish are a focus both because these species tend to fascinating and because chemical cues are useful in their control. Model species presently include the common carp, bigheaded (i.e. ‘Asian’) carps, sea lamprey, and the goldfish although I have long-term interests in marine species including eels and gobies. Finally, I am intensely interested in applying our understanding of these species to their control and management using integrated pest management as well as conservation. We presently control the abundance invasive carps in several watershed districts and the Mississippi River without poisons and look to establishing conservation or protected areas to prevent reinvasions.
I welcome students from all over the world with basic and applied interests in fish and fisheries biology, chemical ecology, neuroscience, animal behavior, and conservation. My laboratory is one of the few in the world devoted to the study and application of fish pheromones and underwater sounds. Ongoing projects include: (1) identifying pheromones in the carps; (2) evaluating environmental DNA for use in measuring carp abundance; (3) evaluating the sensitivity of carp to auditory stimuli and their use as natural deterrents in barriers; (4) evaluating natural movement patterns of carp and other fishes across large aquatic ecosystems; and (5) establishing new approaches to conserving wild fisheries.
We have excellent facilities and field equipment to conduct these studies. These include a large fish holding facility with state-of-the-art video digitization equipment for studies of behavior, a modern HPLC for analysis of hormones and pheromones, qPCR, EIA plate readers, and a well-equipped electrophysiology laboratory. We also have access to field sites for special studies of carp behavior which include radio- acoustic and PIT tag tracking arrays, electrofishing boats, trucks, nets, sonar, etc.
Biology and control of invasive fishes, fish behavior and physiology (olfaction and sound); fish reproductive biology; pheromones; fish migration; aquatic chemical ecology, marine biology.
Claus, A, and P.W. Sorensen, 2017. Chemically-mediated control of the feeding behavior of filter-feeding bigheaded carps. Journal of Chemical Ecology 43(4): 374-384.
Zielinski, D.P., and P.W. Sorensen. 2017. Bigheaded and common carp orient to acoustic particle motion while avoiding complex sound. PLoS ONE 12(6): e0180110. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0180110
Barry, T.P., Denhert, G.K., Hoppe, P.D. and P.W. Sorensen. 2017. Chemicals released by walleye increase the growth rate of yellow perch, Perca flavescens. Journal of Fish Biology 91: 1730-1736.
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.
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.