Jodi Enos-Berlage has been a professor in the biology department since the Fall of 2000. Her primary teaching responsibilities include Microbiology, Immunology, and Principles of Biology. She uses a variety of active learning strategies in the classroom and laboratory to engage students and enhance learning. As the coordinator for Biology department internships, Enos-Berlage facilitates and evaluates over 40 student internships/year in the health care, research, and environmental areas.
Enos-Berlage has strong interests in improving science communication for all audiences, and she has co-developed a seminar course focused on this subject. Enos-Berlage also collaborates with colleagues in the Luther Visual and Performing Arts Department, exploring opportunities for interdisciplinary work. In particular, Enos-Berlage is interested in combining science and the arts to more effectively express ideas.
Enos-Berlage maintains a dually-focused research program that actively involves undergraduate students. One area focuses on agricultural and urban water quality monitoring and land use. Local projects include both the agricultural and urban Dry Run Creek Watershed in Decorah. Enos-Berlage’s watershed work and participation and leadership in the annual Iowa Water Conference have resulted in a passion for attention to and care of our water resources. A second, longstanding research area that is also of high interest investigates how marine bacteria sense and respond to environmental signals. Specifically, Enos-Berlage is interested in how the bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus senses and responds to varying levels of metals in its environment by altering gene activity. Over 50 Luther undergraduate students have performed directed research projects with Enos-Berlage, resulting in over 40 research publications and presentations.
Enos-Berlage developed her interest in science and care for the natural world by growing up on a 300-acre beef farm in Northwestern Illinois. Together with her husband John, she owns and operates a small farm in the Dry Run Creek Watershed outside of Decorah. Their three children—Josephine, Jackson, and Justin—help raise cattle, pigs, chickens, and a large garden. Playing and running in the outdoors are favorite engagements. Enos-Berlage’s most treasured daily activity is reading out loud to her family after dinner each evening.