Allen F. Mensinger

Dr. Allen Mensinger

My laboratory is interested in the neural mechanisms of behavior. We are interested in how fish detect, integrate and respond to external cues in the environment.

At the University of Minnesota Duluth, my lab works on the visual and auditory sensitivity of both marine and freshwater fishes, using both electrophysiology and behavioral studies. We have work closely with the Department for Natural Resources and the USGS to apply our understanding of fish sensory physiology to the management of invasive species, such as round goby, Neogobius melanostomsus, bighead, Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and silver carp, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix .

During the summer months, research is also conducted at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA using the oyster toadfish, Opsanus tau as our model organism. For example, we have developed an implantable electrode and telemetry system to record physiological signals from free swimming fish. In addition to neurophysiology, we also conduct behavioral studies to investigate the effect of anthropogenic sound on a resident population of oyster toadfish in Eel Pond (just outside the lab).


B.S., 1983, Duke University

Ph.D., 1991, University of California Santa Barbara​


(218) 726-7259

Dr. Allen Mensinger

UMD Professor

REU Program Coordinator

Recent News

August 2020

  • Mensinger Lab welcomed Jackie Culotta as a new MSc student at the University of Minnesota Duluth and Noland Michels as a PhD student

June 2020 (above)

  • Hydrophones and underwater cameras were deployed in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area to test the effects of noise on fish activity.

  • In the lab we are testing the hearing ability of lake sturgeon and largemouth bass

July 2020

  • Cavefishes arrived in the Mensinger Lab! Maya Enriquez will be testing for a difference between the hearing abilities of surface and cave populations with the collaboration of Dr Suzanne McGaugh for the Twin Cities campus