Kevin Fisher, a junior majoring in Environmental Science in the School of Environment and Natural Resources with a focus on water science, is spending his summer conducting research on bighead carp. Kevin is a recipient of a 2015 Ohio State Undergraduate Research Office (URO) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
Bighead carp are present in the United States, but as an invasive species currently established in the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio River systems and many of their tributaries. There has been much debate recently about the ability of bighead carp to propagate within the Great Lakes region and Kevin’s research will help to fill in gaps in knowledge about the growth and tolerance of bighead carp juveniles subjected to overwinter conditions.
Kevin’s interest in this topic grew partly out of growing up in close proximity to Lake Erie and hearing about aquatic invasive species on the news. He notes his research findings will be helpful to wildlife managers in the future as failure of the current containment measures of bighead carp invasions into the Great Lakes are a real possibility.
This summer Kevin is fully immersed in the research process from conducting literature reviews to processing samples that were collected at the end of the first part of his experiment this past winter. He and his advisor, Professor Dabrowski simulated winter conditions and applied different feed regimes with two different species, koi and bighead carp, and two different sizes, small and large juveniles.
About the experience, Kevin shares, “This summer research fellowship has allowed me to experience what it would be like to work full time doing research in the future. I’ve been able to gain real research experience and been able to delve into a new field of interest for myself.” The fellowship support has also enabled Kevin to explore specific directions and options available to him upon completion of his undergraduate degree and he concludes, “What I have learned from my experience so far is that I believe that I would very much like to continue my education in the future by pursuing a graduate degree.”
The URO Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship is a 10-week paid intensive research experience, which seeks to provide highly motivated students in any field of study with the opportunity to carry out an independent research project with an Ohio State University faculty member.
Kevin is part of the school’s honor’s program and is advised by Professor Dabrowski.
Photo caption: Kevin Fisher, a junior in the School of Environment and Natural Resources and recipient of a 2015 Ohio State Undergraduate Research Office (URO) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship spending his summer conducting research on bighead carp in the Aquaculture Laboratory.