Our Team | Jessica Metcalf

Jessica Metcalf - Headshot

Jessica Metcalf


Associate Professor, Department of Animal Sciences

Areas of expertise: microbiomes, experimental ecology, bioinformatics

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. 

Potential projects to apply to: 

The Metcalf lab works on animal-associated microbiomes, both from live and dead hosts. Our projects range from microbial ecology of postmortem vertebrate and human remains (e.g. for forensics) to mammalian tumor microbiomes. We also specialize in protocol development, including for low microbial biomass samples such as aerosols (which is what we focus on for BROADN).

For the proposed summer REU project, I will partner with faculty member Pankaj Trivedi to guide a student through either plant (Trivedi) or animal (Metcalf) associated aerobiome project, and would include amplicon sequencing of microbial communities, and possibly other techniques such as culturing and microscopy.