1st Student's Major

Biological Sciences

1st Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Students' Professional Biography

Sarah Thomson was born in 1990 in Rochester, Minnesota. In 2008, she graduated from Stewartville High School. She graduated from Minnesota State University Mankato in 2012, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. She hopes to pursue her education with a Master of Science degree in hydrology, fish biology, or a similar field. Sarah has worked at the City of Mankato Wastewater Treatment plant in the laboratory for one year. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree she maintained the role of President in the MSU Field Ecology Club for two consecutive years. During her sophomore and junior years of college she was employed as the Radon Director in the WALTER Weather Laboratory on the Minnesota State University campus. Her areas of interest are water quality analysis, aquatic ecology, and environmental concerns in relation to water quality.

Mentor's Name

John Krenz

Mentor's Email Address


Mentor's Department

Biological Sciences

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology


In some fish, alarm substances are released from skin cells when they are bitten by a predator, signaling nearby fish in potential danger. Such anti-predator defenses have been studied in the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), and some have hypothesized that the response to the alarm substance is not instinctual, but rather fish must learn to associate it with a predation cue such as motion. The purpose of this study is to detect an effect of conditioning (associating alarm substance with predation threat) on minnow responses to alarm substance. We tested the prediction that conditioned fish would react more strongly to the alarm substance cue than the unconditioned fish. This study observed this behavior in solitary minnows, since we are only aware of studies that observed groups. Our study revealed no significant differences in behavior between conditioned and unconditioned fish, whether in groups or solitary, when exposed to alarm substance.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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