Nicholas Phelps, PhD

Associate Professor
A man with short ginger hair and glasses sites and smiles towards the camera






B.S. Aquatic Biology, Bemidji State University

M.S. Fish Pathology, University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff

Ph.D. Veterinary Medicine, Comparative Medicine and Pathology - University of Minnesota

Academic Interests


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Dr. Nick Phelps studies emerging threats to aquatic systems at both the macro and microbial scales in the fields of fish health and aquatic invasive species, which lie at the intersection of animals, humans and the environment. His goal is to identify threats, understand risks, and ultimately develop long-term evidence-based management solutions to balance the needs of all relevant stakeholders.

External affiliations

Nick serves as both the Director of MAISRC and as a MAISRC research fellow. The review and administration of Nick's research proposals and projects with MAISRC are guided by the Managing Director Conflict of Interest in MAISRC Proposal Funding policy. Questions about this policy can be directed to MAISRC Associate Director, Cori Mattke at [email protected].


  • Lessons Learned From the Stakeholder Engagement in Research: Application of Spatial Analytical Tools in One Health Problems. Front Vet Sci, 2020
  • An expert‐based risk ranking framework for assessing potential pathogens in the live baitfish trade. Wiley Online Library, 2020
  • Network connectivity patterns of Minnesota waterbodies and implications for aquatic invasive species prevention. University of Minnesota Data Repository, 2020
  • KHV disease data from wild Cyprinus carpio from Lake Elysian (Le Seuer, MN) and cohabitation disease trial of Cyprinus carpio, Pimephales promelas and Carassius auratus. University of Minnesota Data Repository, 2020
  • Koi herpesvirus and carp oedema virus: Infections and coinfections during mortality events of wild common carp in the United States. Journal of Fish Diseases, 2019
  • Network analysis to inform invasive species spread among lakes. Journal of Oceanology and Limnology, 2018
  • The prevalence and potential fisheries consequences of Heterosporis sutherlandae in a Minnesota lake. PLoS One, 2018
  • Infectious disease in fish: global risk of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 2018
  • Zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil reporting patterns in Minnesota. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 2018
  • Forecasting distributions of an aquatic invasive species (Nitellopsis obtusa) under future climate scenarios. PLoS One, 2017
  • Novel methods in disease biogeography: A case study with Heterosporosis. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 2017
  • Realized niche shift associated with the Eurasian charophyte Nitellopsis obtusa becoming invasive in North America. Scientific Reports, 2016
  • Potential distribution of the Viral Haemorrhagic Septicaemia virus in the Great Lakes region. Journal of Fish Diseases, 2016
  • Risk‐based management of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus in Minnesota. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 2014
  • Description of the Microsporidian Parasite, Heterosporis sutherlandae n. sp., Infecting Fish in the Great Lakes Region, USA. PLoS One, 2015
  • Comparison of treatments to inactivate viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV-IVb) in frozen baitfish. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 2013
  • The use of a one-step real-time Reverse transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) for the surveillance of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia cirus (VHSV) in Minnesota. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, 2012
  • Molecular detection of a novel totivirus from golden shiner (Notemigonus crysoleucas) baitfish in the USA. Archives of Virology, 2016
  • Genomic characterization of a novel calicivirus, FHMCV-2012, from baitfish in the USA. Archives of Virology, 2017
  • Detection and molecular characterization of a novel piscine-myocarditis-like virus from baitfish in the USA. Archives of Virology, 2016
  • A multiplex RT-PCR assay for the detection of fish picornaviruses. Journal of Virological Methods, 2015
  • Characterization of the novel fathead minnow picornavirus.  PLoS One, 2014
  • A probability co-kriging model to account for reporting bias and recognize areas at high risk for zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil invasions in Minnesota. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 2018
  • Aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes region: An overview. Reviews in Fisheries Science and Aquaculture, 2017