Jessica Orlofske, Ph.D.

Jessica Orlofske


  • Invertebrate Ecology and Conservation
  • Aquatic Ecology
  • Wildlife Parasitology
  • Biostatistics
My childhood experiences exploring the natural environments of southeastern Wisconsin inspired me to study biology. I spent the summers of my undergraduate years studying dragonflies in local wetlands before graduating with my B.Sc. from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a double major in Biology and Wildlife Ecology and Management in 2005. My interest in insects motivated me to continue my education at Iowa State University. Insect and spider communities of remnant and restored tallgrass prairies were the focus of my M.Sc. research, which I completed in 2008. An opportunity to study internationally compelled me to pursue my Ph.D. at the University of New Brunswick in New Brunswick, Canada. In New Brunswick, I was able to investigate the aquatic insect communities of a pristine, unregulated river system, the Miramichi River. I completed my Ph.D. in 2014 and spent a short time as a post doctoral fellow with the Canadian Rivers Institute examining the insect communities of the other major river system in New Brunswick, the St. John River, before joining the faculty at UW-Parkside. I plan to continue my work on aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates both at home in Wisconsin and abroad.

Teaching Interests

My primary teaching interests encompass organismal biology, specifically invertebrate zoology, ecology, aquatic ecology, conservation biology and biostatistics. I often incorporate outdoor laboratory and field experiences into my teaching and focus on practical skills and professional training.

Research Interests

The two complementary aspects of my research program are invertebrate biodiversity & conservation and biomonitoring & assessment of ecological integrity. Each of these research areas emphasizes the ecological value and diversity of invertebrates. Specifically, I investigate 1.) traits-based invertebrate community ecology, with a focus on insect form and function, 2.) the science and practice of biomonitoring for stressor identification and environmental risk assessment, and 3.) life history strategies and environmental requirements of threatened and endangered invertebrate species.

Consulting Interests

My students and I are often involved in sampling and identifying terrestrial or aquatic insects for management and conservation projects with local, state, and federal (US and Canadian) agencies as well as other natural resource and conservation organizations.

Selected Publications

: Extensive regional variation in the phenology of insects and their response to temperature across North America, Ecology

2019: Enhancing bioassessment of river health: linking ecosystem services to benthic indicators. , Freshwater Science

2017: Flow velocity-ecology thresholds in Canadian rivers: A comparison of trait and taxonomy-based approaches., Freshwater Biology (15 pp.)

AHS 410 - Clncl Myclgy/Parasitlgy/Virlgy
BIOS 125 - Fundamentals of Freshwater
BIOS 210 - Biostatistics
BIOS 305 - Principles of Ecology
BIOS 310 - Freshwater Ecology
BIOS 311 - Parasitology
BIOS 313 - Invertebrate Zoology
BIOS 490 - Adv Topics-Biological Sci:
BIOS 499 - Independent Study:
BIOS 505 - Principles of Ecology
BIOS 510 - Freshwater Ecology
BIOS 690 - Adv Topics-Molecular Biology:
BIOS 699 - Independent Study:
BIOS 711 - Thesis
ENVS 499 - Independent Study:
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