Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area
Jerald J. Dosch
Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology
9550 Inver Grove Trail
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
Laboratory Instructor and Technician
Associate Director, Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area
651-455-6204 Ordway field station (home)
I am the lab instructor for physiology and ecology classes for the Macalester Biology Department. My regular course assignments are Biodiversity and Evolution Lab (BIOL270L) and Ecology Lab (BIOL285L), but I have also helped with Cell Biology and Genetics discussion and lab sections, Human Physiology lab, and Plant and Animal Physiology lab. Until May 2009 I was also the resident naturalist at Macalester's field station -- the Katharine Ordway Natural History Study Area (Ordway field station). I'm still very involved with the field station, and like to work it into my labs whenever I can. In addition to the field station, I also help out with a number of other departmental resources including the greenhouse and the new flow cytometer, which I also like to work into the curriculum whenever possible.
I am also a PhD student at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. My dissertation research centers on symbiotic interactions between alder plants (Alnus spp.) and nitrogen-fixing Frankia bacteria on the 100-mile-wide floodplain of the Tanana River near Fairbanks. In this area the symbiosis with Frankia allows alder to colonize newly-formed river terraces, which are very low in soil nitrogen (N). The competitive edge provided to alder by Frankia during this process is short-lived, however, because the alders quickly enhance the availability of N in the soil, which helps other plant species colonize these sites. Large changes in the community and ecosystem follow over the next ~150 years, which changes the environmental context of the relationship between alder and Frankia. How this relationship responds to these changes is the subject of my dissertation research.