Shelby CagleGraduate Assistant Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology
Shelby is co-advised in the Kading and Kelp Laboratories. Shelby is using her passion for virology, ecology, and science communication to tackle societally-relevant issues in emerging infectious disease research. Specifically, she studies the transmittance of Rift Valley fever virus. RVFV is classified as a Select Agent and is an emerging zoonotic, mosquito-borne virus that threatens global public health and the economy due to its encephalitic, neurological and/or hemorrhagic disease in sheep, cattle and humans. Furthermore, Shelby studies science communication and education, with an emphasis on community-based science approaches. In an ongoing multidisciplinary Stop the Spread project, surveys were deployed to determine the prevalence and attitudes surrounding misinformation within the scientific community, and these findings were supported with a focus group of Colorado public health workers to develop best-practices for scientific engagement. She earned dual bachelors in Microbiology and Journalism from the University of Tennessee in 2021. Past experiences include an internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and field research in Bermuda, aboard a ship equipped to gather community-scale data on host-virus systems in the Sargasso Sea. During her four years of research in the Wilhelm Aquatic Microbial Ecology Lab, she researched Chlorella and its associated giant virus, PBCV-1. She spends her free time with her husband, family, and friends, and she enjoys shopping at thrift stores, traveling, drinking coffee, and being in the mountains.