Bighead carp are working their way north in the Mississippi River and are causing enormous ecological damage to many North American river systems. Ratna Ghosal is studying how chemical attractants (pheromones) may work as a control for the invasive fish.
“I am conducting research on reproductive behavior and olfactory physiology of the bighead carps to characterize their pheromones,” she says. “I plan to use these pheromones as baits to attract mature carp, induce aggregations in open water systems and improve detection of the species where possible.”
Throughout her academic career in conservation biology, Ghosal has focused on animal behavior and physiology. “The current topic falls in line with my broad research interests and I am excited to be a part of a larger team—Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center—to provide scientific solutions to control key aquatic invasive species affecting Minnesota’s waters.”