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 dog 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

Shelby Fettig

Macee Mitchell

Krista Dodd

Current Undergraduate Students

Jonah Cwik (Turnbull Scholar 2020)

Thomas Trusky

Gabriela Maycumber

Angela Denton

Sam Gilson

Former Students

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

Jennifer Horwith

Jesse Steele

Kyle Kramer

TianaJoy Kind

Daniel Franzese

Shane Lucht

Taylor Morales

Doug Gourley

Katie Dinon

Hayden Jones

Kaytlyn Turner

Elizabeth Peoples

Mark Grigoryan

Rebekah Russel

Erin Ford