Melissa Ingala

Melissa Ingala

Assistant Professor of Biology, Microbiology, Pre-Health Advisor
Department of Biological Sciences



  • Introduction to Molecules, Cells, and Genes
  • Microbiology, Microbiology Lab
  • Research I–IV


The Ingala lab focuses on understanding the dynamic relationships between mammals and their gut bacteria, known as the microbiome. Our lab is highly integrative, uniting principles of ecology and evolutionary biology, metagenomics, and bioinformatics to answer the essential question of how animals depend on their microbes to survive and thrive.

  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Ecology and evolution of bats, and other small mammals


  • PhD, Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History, NY
  • MS, Fordham University, Bronx NY

Academic Profile

Dr. Ingala graduated from Fordham University in 2016 with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and M.S. in Ecology and Systematics. In 2020 she completed her doctoral studies at the American Museum of Natural History, and from 2021-2022 served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

She joined the Department of Biological Sciences at FDU in 2022 where she serves as a Pre-Health advisor. Her current research explores the internal symbionts of bats, including characterizing their gut bacterial communities (as well as their functions) and their endoparasites. She maintains an active fieldwork program in Lamanai, Belize, and trains undergraduate students in fieldwork with small mammals, molecular and microbiological benchwork, and bioinformatics.

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