Dr. Richard D. Durtsche
Dr. Durtsche is the Director of the NKU Research and Education Field Station, and is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. He is a physiological ecologist and herpetologist, and has been a faculty member at NKU for the past 24 years. He teaches courses in Herpetology, Vertebrate Zoology, Animal Physiological Ecology, Tropical Ecology, and Northern Temperate Ecology, all of which have a field component where students learn from studying animals in their natural habitats. His research interests focus on understanding how ectotherms (amphibians, reptiles, and fish) respond (physiologically) to varying ecological conditions, both biotic (invasive species) and abiotic (climate change). All of his research activities involve undergraduates collaborators, and current research topics include: 1) monitoring the effects of invasive plant control on native amphibian and reptile populations, 2) testing potential climate change impacts on the metabolism of Kentucky stream fishes, and 3) developing digital imaging tools to determine the nutritional quality of macroinvertebrates for use by amphibians and fish in aquatic ecosystem models.
Jacob is the owner and Senior Ecologist-Botanist for Plum Hill Ecological Services, an ecological consulting firm and native plant farm located in Northern Kentucky. Jacob is an alumni of Northern Kentucky University and has over 16 years of experience managing projects involving applied ecology and natural areas. Jacob’s expertise include botanical inventories, ecological site assessments, vegetation monitoring, vegetation community mapping, floristic quality mapping, invasive species mapping, invasive species management, habitat restoration planning, wetland delineations, and wetland mitigation banking. Jacob is highly experienced in preparing habitat management plans, technical writing reports, and has conducted numerous vegetation monitoring techniques and protocols for wetland and stream mitigation projects.
Jacob has extensive experience in native plant propagation and habitat restoration practices. He currently is the Project Director of Red Stone Farm Wetland Mitigation Bank and provides applied ecological services for organizations in Northern Kentucky and the Cincinnati region such as NKU’s Center for Environmental Restoration, Boone County Parks, The Boone Conservancy, Campbell County Conservation District, and The Hillside Trust. Additionally, Jacob has conducted numerous wetland delineations for private companies.