portrait of Jen ShieldsJennifer Shields, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences Department
North Carolina State University

Jennifer Shields is a postdoctoral research scholar in the Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences department at North Carolina State University. Her background is in environmental microbiology, with research focusing on the development and improvement of molecular methods to detect and quantify viral pathogens and microbial source-tracking microorganisms in surface waters. Shields received her doctoral degree from the School of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Health Science from the University of Georgia. Shields is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the American Public Health Association, and Graduate Women in Sciences, for which she serves as the Vice President of the local chapter.

Her current work in the laboratory of Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus includes managing two projects for identifying sources of human and animal fecal contamination, and associated pathogens, in food production. The first project focuses on incorporating and adapting microbial source-tracking techniques developed in the water quality sector for tracing the source of contaminants on fresh fruits and vegetables. The second project centers on the detection of norovirus in raw molluscan shellfish from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.