Aeriel Belk

Assistant Professor

Animal Sciences

(334) 844-1505 


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232 Upchurch
Auburn Univ, AL 36832



  • 2021 – Ph.D. in Animal Science, Cert. Data Analysis, Colorado State University.
  • 2017 – MS in Animal Science, Cert. Food Safety, Meat Science, Texas A&M University.
  • 2015 – BS in Animal Science, Colorado State University.


  • August 2022 to Present – Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Science, Auburn University
  • August 2021 to Present – Postdoctoral Researcher, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Supervisor: Dr. Jianghong Meng
  • July 2017 to Present – Graduate Research Assistant, Metcalf Lab, Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
  • August 2015 to June 2017 – Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant, Food Microbiology Laboratory and Meat Science Quality Laboratory, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX


  • American Meat Science Association
  • American Society for Microbiology


Dissertation – The microbiome surrounding death and decay: microbial ecology of food processing, meat spoilage, and human decomposition environments

Thesis – Comparison of Salmonella presence in bovine lymph nodes across feeding stages


ANSC 3700 – Muscle Foods


  • Belk, A.D., A.N. Frazier, L.K. Fuerniss, R. Delmore, K.E. Belk, B. Borlee, I. Geornaras, J.N. Martin, J.L. Metcalf. 2022. A Pilot Study: The development of a facility-associated microbiome and its association with the presence of Listeria spp. in one small meat processing facility. Microbiology Spectrum. e02045-22 . DOI: 10.1128/spectrum.02045-22.
  • Weinroth, M.D., A. D. Belk, C. Dean, N. Noyes, D.K. Dittoe, M.J. Rothrock, Jr., S.C. Ricke, P.R. Myer, M.T. Henniger, G.A. Ramírez, B.B. Oakley, K.L. Summers, A.M. Miles, T.B. Ault-Seay, Z. Yu, J.L. Metcalf, J. Wells. 2022. Considerations and best practices in animal science 16S rRNA gene sequencing microbiome studies. Journal of Animal Sciences. 100(2). DOI:
  • Belk, A.D., T. Duarte, C. Quinn, D.A. Coil, K.E. Belk, J.A. Eisen, J.C. Quinn, J.N. Martin, X. Yang, J.L. Metcalf. 2021. Air versus water chilling of chicken: a pilot study of quality, shelf-life, microbial ecology, and economics. mSystems. 6(2) e00912-20. DOI: 10.1128/mSystems.00912-20.
  • Dillon MR, Bolyen E, Adamov A, A.D. Belk, Borsom E, Burcham Z, Debelius JW, Deel H, Emmons A, Estaki M, Herman C, Keefe CR, Morton JT, Oliveira RM, Sanchez A, Simard A, Vázquez-Baeza Y, Ziemski M, Miwa, HE, Kerere TA, Coote C, Bonneau R, Knight R, Oliveira G, Gopalasingam P, Kaehler PD, Cope EK, Metcalf JL, Robeson MS, Bokulich NA, Caporaso JG. 2021. Experience and lessons learned from two virtual, hands-on microbiome bioinformatics workshops. PLOS Comp Bio.

View CV (PDF)