Scott Meschke, PhD, MS, JD

Assistant Chair, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences
Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences (Primary department)
Adjunct Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Meschke is an environmental and occupational health microbiologist, specializing in the fate, transport, detection, and control of pathogens in environmental media (Air, Water, Food, and Surfaces). Dr. Meschke is a member of several professional organizations including: the American Society for Microbiology, the International Water Association, the American Water Works Association, the International Association for Food Protection, and the International Society of Exposure Science.

Contact Information

Box: 354695
4225 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98195-
Tel: 206-221-5470

Research Interests

  • Development of methods for detection of viruses and bacteria in water and food. Environmental surveillance for viruses. Market prevalence of foodborne pathogens. Recovery of bacterial and viruses from surfaces. Freshwater toxic cyanobacteria blooms. Viruses of anaerobic digesters. Microbiological quality of produce. Irrigation and produce wash water quality. Bioaerosol sampling. Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA). Health and environmental co-benefits of adaptive responses to climate impacts. Infection control. Indicators of fecal contamination. Comparative adsorption of enteric viruses in soil and groundwater. Phage ecology. Survival and persistence of pathogenic microorganisms. Impact of CAFOs on microbiological quality of water, soil, and vegetation. Alternative methods of water and wastewater disinfection. Surface disinfection. Biosafety. Mathematical models for exposure assessment. Policy implications of infectious agents. Poliovirus eradication.

  • Other research interests include: Endotoxin, Agricultural safety and health, Antibiotic resistant bacteria, Bioaerosols, Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), Drinking water, Environmental microbiology Fecal contamination, Food contaminants, microbial, Gram-negative bacteria, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Microbial risk assessment, Mold, Molecular methods for infectious virus-detection, Norwalk-like virus, Pathogen detection techniques, Public health microbiology, Soil sampling, Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), Water quality, Wastewater disinfection, Solidwastes, Waste disposal onsite, Waterborne pathogenic microorganisms

Teaching interests

ENVH 440/545 Water, Wastewater, & Health

ENVH 451/541 Ecology of Environmentally Transmitted Microbiological Hazards

ENV H 452 Detection and Control of Environmentally Transmitted Microbiological Hazards

ENV H 543 Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment


PhD, Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina, 2001
MS, Environmental Science, Indiana University, 1996
JD, Law, University of Kansas, 1993
Selected Publications

Refereed Research Articles

(* thesis advisee, # mentored graduate student, ++ mentored undergraduate, ** lab staff)

  1. Meschke, J.S., and M.D. Sobsey.  1998.  Comparative Adsorption of Norwalk Virus, Poliovirus 1, and F+ RNA Coliphage MS2 to Soils Suspended in Treated Wastewater.  Water Science and Technology. 38 (12): 187-189.
  2. Brion, G.M., J. S. Meschke, and M D. Sobsey.  2002.  Male-Specific Coliphage: Prevalence, Types, and Survival in Natural Waters.  Water Research.  36:2419-2425.
  3. Meschke, J.S., and M. D. Sobsey.  2003.  Comparative Reduction of Norwalk Virus, Poliovirus Type 1, F+ RNA Coliphage MS2, and Escherichia coli In Miniature Soil Columns.  Water Science and Technology.  47(3):85-90.
  4. Longstreth, W.T. Jr, J.S. Meschke, S.K. Davidson, L.M. Smoot, J.C. Smoot, T.D. Koepsell.  2005. Hypothesis: A Motor Neuron Toxin Produced by a Clostridial Species Residing in Gut Causes ALS.  Medical Hypotheses.  64:1153-1156.
  5. Pecoraro, H.L.++, H. L. Day*, R. Reineke, N. Stevens, J. C. Withey, J. M. Marzluff, J. S. Meschke. 2007. Climatic and Landscape Correlates for Potential West Nile Virus Mosquito Vectors in the Seattle Region. J Vector Ecol. 32(1):22-8.
  6. Pearson, A. L.#, V. Long, M. C. Roberts, J. D. Mayer, and J. S. Meschke. 2008. Utility of EC 3MTM petrifilmsTM and sanitary surveys for source water assessment in southwestern Uganda. Water SA. 34(2):270-284.
  7. Love, D. C., M. J. Casteel, J. S. Meschke, and M. D. Sobsey. 2008. Recovery and TaqMan and Nested RT-PCR Detection of Hepatitis A Virus in Internally Contaminated Processed Foods. International Journal of Food Microbiology 126:221-226.
  8. Norman, S. A.#, R. F. DiGiacomo, F. M. D. Gulland, J. S. Meschke, and M. S. Lowry. 2008. Risk Factors For An Outbreak Of Leptospirosis In California Sea Lions (Zalophus Californianus) Stranded In California In 2004. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 44(4):837-844.
  9. Stewart, J.R., R. J. Gast, R.S. Fujioka, H. M. Solo-Gabriele, J. S. Meschke, L. A. Amaral-Zettler, E. Del Castillo, M. F. Polz, T. K. Collier, M.S. Strom, C. D. Sinigalliano, P. D. R. Moeller, and A. F. Holland. 2008. The coastal environment and human health: Microbial indicators, pathogens, sentinels and reservoirs. Environmental Health (Biomed central) 7(Suppl):S3.
  10. Soge, O.O., L. Tivoli*, J. S. Meschke, and M.C. Roberts.  2009. A Conjugative Macrolide Resistance Gene mef(A) in Environmental Clostridium perfringens Carrying Multiple Macrolide and/or Tetracycline Resistance Genes.  Journal of Applied Microbiology. 106:34-40.
  11. McLaughlin, L.A.*, K. Levy, N. K. Beck**, G-A. Shin, J. S. Meschke, J. N. Eisenberg.  2009. An Observational Study on the Effectiveness of Point-Of-Use Chlorination in Rural Ecuador. Journal of Environmental Health. 71(8): 48-53.
  12. Meschke J. S.,  B. Smith*,  M. Yost,  Miksch, R.R., P. Gefter, S. Gehlke, and H. A. Halpin. 2009. The Effect of Surface Charge, Negative and Biopolar Ionization on the Deposition of Airborne Bacteria.  Journal of Applied Microbiology. 106: 1133-1139.
  13. Soge, O. O., I. Ivanova, M. Giardino, A. L. Pearson#, J. S. Meschke, and M.C. Roberts.  2009. Low Prevalence of Antibiotic-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria Isolated from Rural South-Western Ugandan Groundwater. Water SA. 35(3): 343-347.
  14. Roberts, M.C., O.O. Soge, M.A. Giardino, E. Mazengia*, Gregory Ma, and J. S. Meschke.  2009. Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus spp. and Staphylococcus epidermidis in Marine Environments from the West Coast of the USA.  Journal of Applied Microbiology. Early View date: February 2009.
  15. Miksch, R.R., P. Gefter, S. Gehlke, H. A. Halpin, J. S. Meschke, B. Smith* and M. Yost.  2009. Relationship between surface electrostatic potential and deposition of airborne bacteria.  IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications.  45(3):1068-1073.
  16. Beck, N. K.*, S. P. Nappier, M.D. Sobsey, J. S. Meschke.  Development of a Spot Titer Assay for Quantifying Viral Indicators.  Journal of Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology 17(4):455-464.
  17. Cangelosi, G. A., K. Weigel, C. Lefthand*, and J. S. Meschke.  2010. Molecular Detection of Viable Bacterial Pathogens in Water by Ratiometric Pre-rRNA Analysis. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 76(3):960-2.
  18. Bennett, H.B.*, H.D. O’Dell++, G. Norton++, G. Shin, F-C. Hsu, and J. S. Meschke.  2010. Evaluation of a novel electropositive filter for the concentration of viruses from diverse water matrices.  Water Science & Technology.  61(2): 317-322.
  19. Bennett, H.B.*, A. Shantz, G. Shin, M.L. Sampson, and J. S. Meschke. 2010. Characterization of the water quality from open and rope-pump shallow wells in rural Cambodia.  Water Science & Technology.  61(2): 473-479.
  20. Roberts, M.C., O. O. Soge, and J. S. Meschke. 2009 Characterization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin resistant coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp. isolated from US West Coast public marine beaches. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 64(6):1148-1155
  21. Plummer, L. E., K. E. Pinkerton, S. Reynolds, J. S. Meschke, F. Mittloehner, D. Bennett, M. B. Schenker. 2009. Air Quality and Pulmonary Pathways to Disease: A Summary Report. Journal of Agromedicine.  14:413–416.
  22. Callahan, K. L.*, N. K. Beck**, E. A. Duffield*, G. Shin, and J. S. Meschke.  2010. Inactivation of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) on Various Environmental Surfaces by Spray Application of a Stabilized Chlorine Dioxide and Quaternary Ammonium Compound-based Disinfectant (Cryocide20™). Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene.  7(9): 529-534.
  23. Nanassy, O. Z., P. Haydock, N. Beck**, L. M. Barker, P. Hargrave, D. Gestwick, W. C. Lindsey, M. W. Reed, and J. S. Meschke.  2011. Extraction of MS2 Phage RNA from Upper Respiratory Specimens Using Flat Glass Devices.  Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 49(3):1010-6.
  24. Levin-Edens, E.#, J. S. Meschke, and M. C. Roberts. 2011. Quantification of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA] using Most Probable Number (MPN) in Marine and Fresh Water Samples. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 77(10):3541-3. Epub 2011 Mar 25.
  25. Roberts M. C., O. O. Soge, D. No, N. K. Beck**, J. S. Meschke. 2011. Isolation and characterization of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from fire stations in two northwest fire districts. American Journal of Infection Control. 39(5):382-9. Epub 2011 Feb 16.
  26. Parker, J. K.*, T.-Y. Chang++, and J. S. Meschke. 2011. Amplification of viral RNA from Drinking Water using TransplexÔ Whole Transcriptome Amplification. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 111(1):216-23. Epub 2011 May 5.
  27. Roberts, M.C.,O. O. Soge, D. No, S. Helgeson, and J. S. Meschke. 2011. Characterization of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolated from public surfaces on a University Campus, Students’ Homes and Local Community.  Journal of Applied Microbiology. 110(6):1531-7. Epub 2011 Apr 20.
  28. Levin-Edens, E.#, N. Bonilla, J.S. Meschke, and M.C. Roberts.  2011. Survival of Environmental and Clinical Strains of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Water Res. 45(17):5681-6. Epub 2011 Aug 31.
  29. Levin-Edens, E.#, O. O. Soge, D. No, A. Stiffarm, J. S. Meschke, M. C. Roberts.  2012. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from Northwest marine and freshwater recreational beaches. FEMS Microbiol Ecol. 79(2):412-20. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

In Press


  1. Jones, K. L.*, I. E. Prise++, and J. S. Meschke.  Development of a strand-specific assay for detection of infectious Human Enterovirus-B (HEV-B) species in environmental samples.  Under review.

Manuscripts in Preparation

  1. Kocian, J.*, J. Shirai, J. C. Kissel, J. S. Meschke. Quantitative microbial risk assessment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococccus aureus colonization of workers in swine confined animal feeding operations.
  2. Parker, J. K.*, T.-Y. Chang++, G. A. Cangelosi, and J. S. Meschke.  Whole Genome Amplification as a Pre-PCR Step to Improve Detection of Pathogens in Drinking Water.
  3. Meschke, J. S., J. K. Lee**, C. Rohlik*, L. Ray++, A. Gounder++, and N. K. Beck**. Evaluation of Various Sampling Methods for Bacterial Recovery from Surfaces.
  4. Beck, N. K.**, O. O. Soge, M. C. Roberts, and J. S. Meschke.  The evaluation of four disinfection methods against S. aureus on hard surfaces found in fire stations and medic trucks.
  5. Meschke, J. S., Wischmeier, B.*, L. Dunbar*, R. Gorder, J. Sheng++, M.G. Yost, and I. Novosselov. Chamber Evaluation of Sampling Methods for Viable Detection of Eschericha coli in Bioaerosols.
  6. Rohlik, C.*, J. K. Lee**, and J. S. Meschke. Characterization of Bioaerosols and Bacterial Surface Contamination at a Large Washington Dairy Operation.
  7. J. Minick++, N. K. Beck**, E. Levin-Edens#, D. No, M. C. Roberts, and J. S. Meschke. An Evaluation of the Presence and Source of Fecal Contamination at an Urban Park Beach.
  8. M. Ashworth Dirac, K. L. Horan, D. R. Doody, J. S. Meschke, D. R. Park, L. A. Jackson, N. S. Weiss, K. L. Winthrop, and G. A. Cangelosi.  Environment or Host?: A case-control study of Mycobacterium avium complex lung disease.
Review date: