Mark Gaikowski holds a M.A. and a B.S. in Biology from the University of South Dakota.
Mark has served as the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey's Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center since 2014. As Director, Mark is responsible for leading research scientists based in La Crosse, Wisconsin, whose work spans scales from the molecular level to continental modeling. Before becoming Center Director at UMESC, Mark was a supervisory biologist and branch chief of a research branch at UMESC focused primarily on management of aquatic invasive species and the development of drugs and chemicals used in aquaculture and fisheries management. Prior to that, Mark was a research physiologist at UMESC leading studies to assess the efficacy, animal safety, human food safety and environmental safety of aquaculture drugs. Mark's research supported the approval of three new drugs for use in U.S. aquaculture and supported expanded drug labels of two other drugs. His professional interests include understanding the impact and management of biological threats in natural and managed systems and the toxicology and pharmacology of exogenous compounds in fish and other aquatic organisms.
Science and Products
Assessment of carbon dioxide piscicide treatments
Few chemicals are approved to control or eradicate nuisance fish populations in the United States. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is currently being developed and studied as a new piscicide option for nonselective population control. This study evaluated dry ice (solid state CO2) as a simple CO2 delivery method during winter piscicide applications....Cupp, Aaron R.; Smerud, Justin R.; Tix, John A.; Rivera, Jose M.; Kageyama, Stacie A.; Merkes, Christopher M.; Erickson, Richard A.; Amberg, Jon J.; Gaikowski, Mark P.
Effects of formaldehyde on nitrification in biofilters of small‐scale recirculating systems
Florfenicol (Aquaflor®) is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug for treating diseased fish reared in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Treating diseased fish in RAS is challenging because of the potential to damage nitrifying bacteria in the biofilters. Impaired nitrification can lead to concentrations of ammonia...Fredricks, Kim T.; Cupp, Aaron R.; Schleis, Susan M.; Erickson, Richard A.; Gaikowski, Mark P.
Carbon dioxide as an under-ice lethal control for invasive fishes
Resource managers need effective tools to control invasive fish populations. In this study, we tested under-ice carbon dioxide (CO2) injection as a novel piscicide method for non-native Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and...Cupp, Aaron R.; Woiak, Zebadiah; Erickson, Richard A.; Amberg, Jon J.; Gaikowski, Mark P.
Potential implications of acoustic stimuli as a non-physical barrier to silver carp and bighead carp
The effectiveness of an acoustic barrier to deter the movement of silver carp, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Valenciennes) and bighead carp, H. nobilis (Richardson) was evaluated. A pond (10 m × 5 m × 1.2 m) was divided in half by a concrete-block barrier with a channel (1 m across) allowing fish access...Murchy, Kelsie; Cupp, Aaron R.; Amberg, Jon J.; Vetter, Brooke J.; Fredricks, Kim T.; Gaikowski, Mark P.; Mensinger, Allen F.
Not all carp are created equal: Impacts of broadband sound on common carp swimming behavior
Bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), silver carp (H. molitrix) (hereafter: bigheaded carps), and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are invasive fish causing negative impacts throughout their North American range. To control their movements, non-physical barriers are being developed. Broadband sound (0.06 to 10 kHz) has shown potential as an...Murchy, Kelsie; Vetter, Brooke J.; Brey, Marybeth; Amberg, Jon J.; Gaikowski, Mark P.; Mensinger, Allen F.
Digestive physiology comparisons of aquatic invertebrates in the Upper Mississippi River Basin
Limited information is available on the composition of digestive enzymes present in unionid mussels and the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha. Available information is nearly exclusive to species used for culture purposes. A commercially available enzyme assay kit was used to examine the effect of habitat within an ecosystem, season, and...Sauey, Blake W.; Amberg, Jon J.; Cooper, Scott T.; Grunwald, Sandra K.; Haro, Roger J.; Gaikowski, Mark P.
Carbon dioxide as a tool to deter the movement of invasive bigheaded carps
Nonnative bigheaded carps are established in the Mississippi River and there is substantial concern about their potential entry into the interconnected Laurentian Great Lakes. While electrical barriers currently exist as a preventative measure, there is need for additional control mechanisms to promote barrier security through redundancy. We...Michael R. Donaldson; Amberg, Jon J.; Shivani Adhikari; Cupp, Aaron R.; Jensen, Nathan; Romine, Jason G.; Adam Wright; Gaikowski, Mark P.; Cory D. Suski
Effectiveness of eugenol sedation to reduce the metabolic rates of cool and warm water fish at high loading densities
Effects of eugenol (AQUI-S®20E, 10% active eugenol) sedation on cool water, yellow perch Perca flavescens (Mitchill), and warm water, Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus L. fish metabolic rates were assessed. Both species were exposed to 0, 10, 20 and 30 mg L−1 eugenol using static respirometry. In 17°C water and loading densities of...Cupp, Aaron R.; Hartleb, Christopher F.; Fredricks, Kim T.; Gaikowski, Mark P.
Depletion of florfenicol amine in tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) maintained in a recirculating aquaculture system following Aquaflor®-medicated feed therapy
Aquaflor® [50% w w−1 florfenicol (FFC)], is approved for use in freshwater-reared warmwater finfish which include tilapia Oreochromis spp. in the United States to control mortality from Streptococcus iniae. The depletion of florfenicol amine (FFA), the marker residue of FFC, was evaluated after feeding FFC-medicated feed to deliver a...Gaikowski, Mark P.; Whitsel, Melissa K.; Charles, Shawn; Schleis, Susan M.; Crouch, Louis S.; Endris, Richard G.
Persistence of DNA in carcasses, slime and avian feces may affect interpretation of environmental DNA data
The prevention of non-indigenous aquatic invasive species spreading into new areas is a goal of many resource managers. New techniques have been developed to survey for species that are difficult to capture with conventional gears that involve the detection of their DNA in water samples (eDNA). This technique is currently used to track the...Merkes, Christopher M.; McCalla, S. Grace; Jensen, Nathan R.; Gaikowski, Mark P.; Amberg, Jon J.
Florfenicol residues in Rainbow Trout after oral dosing in recirculating and flow-through culture systems
Aquaflor is a feed premix for fish containing the broad spectrum antibacterial agent florfenicol (FFC) incorporated at a ratio of 50% (w/w). To enhance the effectiveness of FFC for salmonids infected with certain isolates of Flavobacterium psychrophilum causing coldwater disease, the FFC dose must be increased from the standard 10 mg·kg−1 body...Meinertz, Jeffery R.; Hess, Karina R.; Bernady, Jeffry A.; Gaikowski, M. P.; Whitsel, Melissa; Endris, R. G.
Depletion of eugenol residues from the skin-on fillet tissue of rainbow trout exposed to 14C-labeled eugenol
The U.S. is lagging in access to an approved immediate-release sedative, i.e. a compound that can be safely and effectively used to sedate fish and has no withdrawal period. AQUI-S® 20E (10% active ingredient, eugenol) is under investigation as an immediate-release sedative for freshwater finfish. Because of its investigational status, data are...Meinertz, Jeffery R.; Schreier, Theresa M.; Porcher, Scott T.; Smerud, Justin R.; Gaikowski, Mark P.