Our Team | Jessica Metcalf

Jessica Metcalf - Headshot

Jessica Metcalf


Associate Professor, Department of Animal Sciences


Dr. Jessica L. Metcalf is an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences. She is a microbiome scientist who leads highly interdisciplinary, innovative research projects that span the fields of animal science, health, and forensics by combining experimental ecology, large genomic datasets, and bioinformatics tools. She studies the microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, etc) of the gastrointestinal tract of vertebrate animals with a focus on the effects of captivity and domestication on animal health. In a similar vein, she also studies the loss of microbial diversity in the human gastrointestinal tract associated with the industrialization/urbanization of human populations. Finally, she is a leader in developing microbiome tools for forensic science. Her work on decomposition microbial ecology is currently being applied to better understand and predict meat shelf life and spoilage.