Joseph Dietrich received a B.S. with Honors in Civil Engineering from Case Western Reserve University (1998), and M.S. (2000) and Ph.D. (2004) degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Washington State University. His thesis and dissertation investigated chemical disinfectants' abilities to inactivate pathogens encapsulated within wastewater particles using biological monitoring and fate and transport modeling. He joined the NWFSC in 2004 as a ORISE Research Associate and University of California, Davis post-doctoral scholar to model the uptake of chemical pollutants in Chinook salmon outmigrating in the Columbia River and estuary and evaluate how different outmigration histories impact salmon pathogen prevalence and disease susceptibility.
Joseph Dietrich is a co-PI and project manager for a number of research projects that the Immunology and Disease Group is pursuing at the NWFSC's Newport Research Station. Current projects focus on the effects of chemical and physical stressors on fish health utilizing different endpoint and exposure methods. For example, acute mortality is used to determine the toxicity of fire-fighting chemicals to salmon of different ages and life-histories, as well as pesticides at different temperatures. Disease challenges, in vitro immune function assays, pathogen prevalence, and disease challenge assays are also used to determine the impacts of sub-lethal levels of the stressors on salmon immune systems. Finally, projects within the Immunology and Disease Group range from laboratory chemical-feeding studies to field surveys with monitoring sites throughout the Pacific Northwest.