Jim ParejkoFaculty

Visiting Assistant Professor in Biology

Microbes are everywhere: on your skin, in your food and in the air you breath (and elsewhere; spoiler alert: they're probably on Mars). They are not all bad 'germs', in fact most of them have essential functions in our daily lives: our bodies couldn't function very long without the microbes in our guts that produce essential vitamins for our body to properly function, plus they help us digest the food we eat, so eat your fiber to feed your 'bugs'! Other beneficial microbes are involved in nutrient cycling in nature, help plants grow and undergo fermentations that produce some of our favorite foods and beverages. In my PhD program, I studied fluorescent Pseudomonas spp. bacteria associated with cereal crops in the Inland Pacific Northwest of Washington State, Oregon and Idaho. As a Postdoctoral Research Associate I studied Shewanella spp. It is an amazing bacterium that is an important part of iron cycling in sediments and can also be used to produce electricity (in small amounts)! I continue to study and learn about bacterial fermentations as some of my favorite foods and drinks are produced by fermentations. I have always been fascinated by the fundamental roles microbes play in our lives and hope to spark that interest in students through courses like my hands-on Fermented Food Science J-term course (BIO 144) and Fundamentals of Microbiology lab and lecture (BIO 218)!

Beyond the classroom or lab, I love spending time outdoors running, gravel biking or mountain biking down whatever wooded, hilly country roads or trails I can find. You can also find me in the kitchen cooking, baking or at our brewery in Mankato brainstorming new ideas for making craft beer.


B.S. at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Ph.D. at Washington State University, Post-doc at University of Minnesota-St. Paul

Courses Taught

BIO-101 (Principles Lab), BIO-201 (Cell Biology Lab), and BIO-344 (ST:Exploring Microbiomes)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
CHE-255 Biochemistry w/Lab 14 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2019/SP, 2018/FA, 2018/SP, 2017/FA, 2017/SP, and 2016/FA
BIO-102 Organismal Biology Lab 6 2022/SP and 2021/SP
BIO-218 Microbio Lab 5 2023/SP and 2022/SP
BIO-101 Principles Lab 4 2021/FA and 2018/FA
CHE-251 Organic Chemistry II Lab 4 2020/FA, 2019/FA, 2017/FA, and 2016/FA
CHE-141 Organic Chemistry I Lab 4 2020/SP and 2018/SP
BIO-201 Cell Biology Lab 3 2022/FA
CHE-204 Fermented Food Science 3 2020/JN, 2018/JN, and 2017/JN
BIO-380 Microbiology Lab 2 2022/SP
BIO-101 Principles of Biology 2 2021/FA
BIO-144 ST:Fermented Food Science 1 2023/JN
BIO-380 Microbiology 1 2022/SP
CHE-107 Principles of Chemistry Lab 1 2020/FA
CHE-344 ST:Fermentation Science 1 2019/SP
CHE-399 Chemistry Seminar 1 2018/FA
CHE-360 Proteins Lab 1 2017/SP