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Nicholas Gidmark


Nicholas Gidmark

Assistant Professor of Biology

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


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Assistant Professor of Biology

Nicholas Gidmark

Years at Knox: 2016 to present

Ph.D., 2012, Brown University
B.A., 2006, University of Minnesota.

General Interests

I am broadly interested in examining animal form & function using the lenses of comparative anatomy, muscle physiology, and biomechanics. My research centers around two comparative themes: 1) exploring the diversity of vertebrate musculoskeletal systems; and 2) linking physiological properties of muscles to whole-organism performance. Both themes are ideally suited to collaborative studies with student researchers because they involve tangible interactions ("How wide must a predator open its mouth to eat a given prey?") and intrinsically relate to how one's own body moves and functions. I've spent the majority of my career studying fishes (though I'm an equal opportunity zoologist), and I'm particularly interested in how organisms obtain and process their food. Methods and tools employed in the Gidmark lab include CT scanning, 3D printing, Animal surgery, 3D biomechanical modelling, electromyography (muscle activity), High-speed videography (light and x-ray), Muscle stimulation & force measurement, Xray Reconstruction Of Moving Morphology (, and Clearing & staining -- come by my office (SMC B220) or lab (SMC B010) and take a look!

Teaching Interests

Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Animal Physiology, Fish Biology

Selected Professional Accomplishments


Ellen Brown Scripps Foundation grant, PI: Build your imagination: a maker space for the sciences. June 2016. $31,230.

Mentor to undergraduate awardee of Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology's Best student poster prize, Division of Comparative Biomechanics (2016)

Mentor to undergraduate awardee of Society for Northwest Vertebrate Biology Best Student Presentation Prize (2015)

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Best Student Presentation prize (2012)

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists E.C. Raney Award (2010)

Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research, muscle mechanics of cyprinid pharyngeal jaws (2010)

Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research, trophic morphology in North American minnows (2005)

Sigma Xi Best Student Presentation, top prize (2005)

Ludden Scholarship, College of Natural Resources, University of Minnesota (2005)

American Fisheries Society undergraduate scholarship, 1st place winner  (2004)



Daniel L. Geldof and Nicholas J. Gidmark. 2016. Heterochrony in Two Sculpins of the Genus Psychrolutes: Growth Outpaces Skeletal Development in an Apex Predator among Ichthyoplankton. Copeia: September 2016, Vol. 104, No. 3, pp. 683-690.

Arellano, CJ, NJ Gidmark, N Konow, E Azizi, and TJ Roberts. 2016. Determinants of aponeurosis shape change during muscle contraction. Journal of Biomechanics 49(9): 1812-1817.

Gidmark, NJ, E LoPresti, CJ Taylor and EL Brainerd.  2015.  Functional morphology of durophagy in black carp, Mylopharyngodon piceus. Journal of Morphology. doi:10.1002/jmor.20430

Gidmark, NJ and AM Simons. 2014. Chapter 12: Cyprinidae: Minnows, Shiners & Carps. In: BM Burr and M Warren (eds). North American Freshwater Fishes, Volume I. The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Gidmark, NJ, J Tarrant and EL Brainerd. 2014. Convergence  function and masticatory between the pharyngeal jaws of grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella, and oral jaws of amniote herbivores. Journal of Experimental Biology.

Gidmark, NJ, E LoPresti, N Konow and EL Brainerd. 2013. Bite force is limited by the force- length relationship of skeletal muscle in black carp, Mylopharyngodon piceus. Biology Letters 9(2). doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.1181. Coverage:,,,,,,,,

Gidmark, NJ, KL Staab, EL Brainerd and LP Hernandez. 2012. Flexibility in starting posture drives flexibility in kinematic behavior of the kinethmoid-mediated premaxillary protrusion mechanism in a cyprinid fish, Cyprinus carpio. Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 2262-2272.

Laulicht, B, NJ Gidmark, A Tripathi and E Mathiowitz. 2011. Localized drug delivery from magnetic pills. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(6): 2252-2257.

Gidmark, NJ, JA Strother, JM Horton, AP Summers and EL Brainerd. 2011. Locomotory transition from water to sand and its effects on undulatory kinematics in sand lances (Ammodytidae). Journal of Experimental Biology 214: 657-664.

Simons, AM and NJ Gidmark. 2010. Systematics and Phylogenetic Relationships of Cypriniformes. In: Grande, T. (ed). Gonorynchiformes and of Ostariophysan Relationships A Comprehensive Review. Science Publishers Press.

A women's tennis match.
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Printed on Tuesday, November 21, 2017

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