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PI: Jenifer B. Walke, Ph.D.

Jeni pic at Priest Lake.jpg

I became interested in microbial and disease ecology as an undergraduate student at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. After working for a few years as a research technician, I started graduate school at Virginia Tech where I studied amphibian skin microbial communities in relation to disease. Following my PhD, I taught at Roanoke College as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Biology. From 2015 to 2017, I worked as a postdoc at Virginia Tech in both the Departments of Biological Sciences and Entomology, where I explored the microbiomes of amphibian skin and honey bee guts. In 2017, I began my lab at Eastern Washington University as an Assistant Professor. It is my hope that my research will contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and that my teaching will inspire others to do the same. In addition to teaching and research, I also enjoy spreading the love of science with elementary-age children, and in particular girls, through educational outreach. When I'm not teaching or doing science, I love spending time with my family and dogs in the outdoors. 

Scientist, microscope, petri dish, computer. Drawing by a participant in the Science Museum of Western Virginia's Girls Science Camp, June 2016.


2015 - 2017  Virginia Tech

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Biological Sciences and Entomology        

Advisors:  Dr. Lisa Belden and Dr. Richard Fell

2008 - 2014  Virginia Tech

Ph.D. in Biological Sciences

Dissertation: “The Structure and Function of Amphibian Skin Bacterial Communities and Their Role in Susceptibility to a Fungal Pathogen.”        

Advisor:  Dr. Lisa Belden

2002 - 2006  James Madison University

B.S. in Biology with Distinction

Honors thesis:  “Symbiosis in Salamanders: The Role of Cutaneous Bacteria in Disease Prevention.”  Advisor:  Dr. Reid Harris

Current Graduate Students

Macee Mitchell (NSF graduate scholar)

Talon Jost (GAANN fellow)

Hannah Kim (GAANN fellow)

Bailee Romaker (GAANN fellow, co-advised with Dr. Bo Idsardi)

Current Undergraduate Students

Marion George

Raegan Laycock

Former Students

Autumn Holley, M.S. 2023 (currently in PhD program at University of Tennessee)

Jennifer Perez, M.S. 2023 (co-advised with Dr. Bo Idsardi, currently teaching middle school)

Jonah Frago (currently in MS program at EWU)

Hanna McCoury

Krista Dodd, M.S. 2022 (currently in vet school at University of Florida)

Shelby Fettig, M.S. 2021

Philip Campos, M.S. 2020 (currently employed as a computational biologist with the USDA)

Allison Hayes (post-bacc)

Brenna Stafford

Louise Waite

Jillian Frampton (currently attending OHSU School of Dentistry)

Jonah Cwik (Turnbull Scholar 2020)

Thomas Trusky (currently attending WSU Pharmacy School)

Gabriela Maycumber

Angela Denton (currently attending University of Washington School of Dentistry)

Sam Gilson

Jesse Steele (earned doctorate in Physical Therapy)

Kyle Kramer

TianaJoy Kind (currently attending optometry school)

Daniel Franzese (currently attending University of Washington School of Medicine)

Shane Lucht

Taylor Morales

Doug Gourley

Katie Dinon (currently attending University of Washington School of Medicine's WWAMI program)

Hayden Jones (currently attending University of Washington School of Dentistry)

Kaytlyn Turner

Elizabeth Peoples

Mark Grigoryan

Rebekah Russel

Erin Ford

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