Joe Giersch

Aquatic Entomologist
West Glacier


Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Glacier Field Station, Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936

Phone 406-888-9880
Fax 406-888-7923

M.S. 2002. Entomology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

B.S. 1994. The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA


  • Taxonomy and systematics of Rhyacophila (Trichoptera: Rhyacophilidae)
  • Aquatic macroinvertebrate taxonomy
  • Functional morphology of invertebrates

Research interests:
Joe Giersch is an aquatic entomologist for the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey. He is stationed at Glacier National Park, Montana. Joe’s research interests have focused on the taxonomy, systematics, ecology and biogeography of alpine aquatic insects, and stem from an interest in invertebrate morphology and field biology. This work has resulted in the association and description of unknown life stages of rarely studied alpine caddisflies, as well as investigations into the factors contributing to the isolation and speciation of rare macroinvertebrates in alpine stream and spring habitats.

Current Research:


J. Joseph Giersch, Steve Jordan, Gordon Luikart, Leslie A. Jones, F. Richard Hauer and Clint C. Muhlfeld. 2014. Climate-induced range contraction of a rare alpine aquatic invertebrate. Freshwater Science.

Treanor, Hilary B, J. Joseph Giersch, Kevin M. Kappenman, Clint C. Muhlfeld, and Molly A. H. Webb. 2013. Thermal tolerance of meltwater stonefly Lednia tumana nymphs from an alpine stream in Waterton–Glacier International Peace Park, Montana, USA. Freshwater Science, 2013, 32(2):597–605.

Muhlfeld, Clint C., B. Marotz, and J. Joseph Giersch. 2012. Seasonal movements of introduced lake trout within a connected lake and river system. Fisheries Management and Ecology. (19)224–232. DOI: 10.1111/j1365-2400-2011-00821

Muhlfeld, Clint C, J. Joseph Giersch, F. Richard Hauer, Gregory T. Pederson, Gordon Luikart, Douglas P. Peterson, Christopher C. Downs, and Daniel B. Fagre. 2011. Climate change links fate of glaciers and an endemic alpine invertebrate. Climatic Change Letters. DOI 10.1007/s10584-011-0057-1

Philips, T. K., M. A. Ivie, and J. J. Giersch. 2002. Jacobsoniidae. pages 219-220 in American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

CoBabe, E. A., K. R. Chamberlain, M. A. Ivie, and J. J. Giersch. 2002. A New Insect and Plant Lagerstätten from a Tertiary Lake Deposit along the Canyon Ferry Reservoir, SW Montana. Rocky Mountain Geology, 37(1): 13-30.

Hauer, F. R., J. A. Stanford, J. J. Giersch, and W. H. Lowe. 2000. Distribution and abundance patterns of macroinvertebrates in a mountain stream: An analysis along multiple environmental gradients. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 27:1485-1488.