Rebecca Metzler

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Rebecca Metzler

Professor of Physics

Department/Office Information

Physics and Astronomy
230 Ho Science Center
  • M 1:20pm - 2:20pm (411 Ho Science Center)
  • R 10:30am - 11:30am (411 Ho Science Center)
  • R 1:20pm - 2:20pm (411 Ho Science Center)

BS Denison University 2004; PhD University of Wisconsin at Madison 2010

Introductory Physics

Cass and lab

Introduction to Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity


Molecules, Cells, and Genes

Class and lab

CORE - Foodwise

Scientific Perspective

Biophysics with a focus on biomineralization.

Biomineralization, the interaction between organic and inorganic materials, and barnacles

*Colgate University student

1. S. D. Doty, Rebecca A. Metzler, M. L. Palotti. "Effects of clumping on temperature- I. Externally heated clouds." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 362, 737 (2005).

2. Rebecca A. Metzler, Mike Abrecht, Ronke M. Olabisi, Daniel Ariosa, Christopher J. Johnson, Bradley H. Frazer, Susan N. Coppersmith, P.U.P.A. Gilbert. "Columnar Nacre Architecture and Possible Formation Mechanism." Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 268102-1/4 (2007). Also featured in Science 317, 175 (2007).

3. Rebecca A. Metzler, Dong Zhou, Mike Abrecht, Jau-Wern Chiou, Jinghua Guo, Daniel Ariosa, Susan N. Coppersmith, P.U.P.A. Gilbert. "Polarization-dependent imaging contrast in abalone shells." Phys. Rev. B 77, 064110-1/9 (2008).

4. Rebecca A. Metzler, Il Won Kim, Katya Delak, John Spencer Evans, Dong Zhou, Elia Beniash, Fred Wilt, Mike Abrecht, Jau-Wern Chiou, Jinghua Guo, Susan N. Coppersmith, P.U.P.A. Gilbert. "Probing the Organic-Mineral Interface at the Molecular Level in Model Biominerals." Langmuir 24, 2680-2687 (2008).

5. Dong Zhou, Rebecca A. Metzler, Tolek Tyliszczak, Jinghua Guo, Mike Abrecht, Susan N. Coppersmith, P.U.P.A. Gilbert. "Assignment of polarization-dependent peaks in carbon K-edge spectra from biogenic and geologic aragonite." J. Phys. Chem. B 112, 13128-13135, 2008.

6. Yael Politi, Rebecca A. Metzler, Mike Abrecht, Benjamin Gilbert, Fred Wilt, Irit Sagi, Lia Addadi, Steve Weiner, and P.U.P.A. Gilbert. "Mechanism of transformation of amorphous calcium carbonate into calcite in the sea urchin larval spicule." Procs. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 17362-17366, 2008.

7. P.U.P.A. Gilbert, Rebecca A. Metzler, Dong Zhou, Andreas Scholl, Andrew Doran, Anthony Young, Martin Kunz, Nobumichi Tamura, Susan N. Coppersmith. "Gradual Ordering in Red Abalone Nacre." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130, 17519-17527, 2008.

8. Susan N. Coppersmith, P. U. P. A. Gilbert and Rebecca A. Metzler. "Theoretical characterization of a model of aragonite crystal orientation in red abalone nacre." J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 42 (2009) 125101.

9. Yurong Ma, Barbara Aichmayer, Oskar Paris, Peter Fratzl, Anders Meibom, Rebecca A. Metzler, Yael Politi, Lia Addadi, P.U.P.A. Gilbert and Steve Weiner. "The grinding tip of the sea urchin tooth: exquisite control over calcite crystal orientation and Mg distribution." Procs. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 6048-6053 (2009). Also featured in the New York Times (

10. Elia Beniash, Rebecca A. Metzler, Raymond S. K. Lam, and P.U.P.A. Gilbert. "Transient amorphous calcium phosphate in forming enamel." J. Struct. Biol. 166, 133-143 (2009). COVER IMAGE.

11. CE Killian, RA Metzler, YUT Gong, IC Olson, J Aizenberg, Y Politi, FH Wilt, A Scholl, A Young, A Doran, N Tamura, M Kunz, SN Coppersmith, and PUPA Gilbert. "Mechanism of calcite co-orientation in the sea urchin tooth." J. Am. Chem. Soc., 131, 18404-18409 (2010).

12. Rebecca A. Metzler, John S. Evans, Dong Zhou, Narayana P. Appathurai, Susan N. Coppersmith, P.U.P.A. Gilbert.
"Lamellar Self-Assembly and Aragonite Polymorph Selection by a Single Intrinsically Disordered Protein Fragment." J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132, 6329 - 6334 (2010).

13. Rebecca A. Metzler, Gareth A. Tribello, Michele Parrinello,and P.U.P.A. Gilbert. "Asprich peptides are occluded in calcite and permanently disorder biomineral crystals." J. Am. Chem. Soc., 132, 11585-11591 (2010).

14. Christopher E. Killian, Rebecca. A. Metzler, Y.U.T. Gong, Tyler H. Churchill, Ian C. Olson, Vasily Trubetskoy, Matthew B. Christensen, John H. Fournelle, Francesco De Carlo, Sidney Cohen, Julia Mahamid, Andreas School, Anthony Young, Andrew Doran, Fred H. Wilt, Susan N. Coppersmith, and P.U.P.A. Gilbert. "Self-sharpening mechanism of the sea urchin tooth." Adv. Funct. Mater., 21 682-690 (2011).

15. Raymond S.K. Lam, Rebecca A. Metzler, P.U.P.A. Gilbert, and Elia Beniash. "Anisotropy of Chemical Bonds in Collagen Molecules Studied by X-ray Absorption Near-Edge Structure (XANES) Spectroscopy." ACS Chem. Biol., 7, 476-480 (2012).

16. Ian C. Olson, Rebecca A. Metzler, Nobumichi Tamura, Martin Kunz, Christopher E. Killian, P.U.P.A. Gilbert. "Crystal lattice tilting in prismatic calcite." J. Structural Biology, 183, 180-190 (2013).

17. Ross T. DeVol, Rebecca A. Metzler, Lee Kabalah-Amitai, Boaz Pokroy, Yael Politi, Assaf Gal, Lia Addadi, Steve Weiner, Alejandro Fernandez-Martinez, Raffaella Demichelis, Julian D. Gale, Johannes Ihli, Fiona C. Meldrum, Adam Z. Blonsky, Christopher E. Killian, C. B. Salling, Anthony T. Young, Matthew A. Marcus, Andreas Scholl, Andrew Doran, Catherine Jenkins, Hans A. Bechtel, P.U.P.A. Gilbert. “Oxygen Spectroscopy and Polarization-Dependent Imaging Contrast (PIC)- Mapping of Calcium Carbonate Minerals and Biominerals.” Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 118, 8449-8457 (2014).

18. Rebecca A. Metzler and Peter Rez. “Polarization Dependence of Aragonite Calcium L-Edge XANES Spectrum Indicates c and b Axes Orientation.” Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 118, 6758-6766 (2014).

19. Rebecca A. Metzler, Carrie Burgess*, Brian Regan*, Samantha Spano*, and Enrique J. Galvez. “Polarimetry of Nacre in Iridescent Shells.” Proceedings of SPIE, 9187, 1-11 (2014).

20. Rebecca A. Metzler, Rebecca Rist*, Erik Alberts, Paul Kenny, and Jonathan J. Wilker. “Composition and Structure of Oyster Adhesive Reveals Heterogeneous Materials Properties in a Biological Composite.” Advanced Functional Materials, 26, 6814-6821 (2016).

21. Rebecca A. Metzler, Joshua A. Jones, Anthony J. D’Addario, and Enrique J. Galvez. “Polarimetry of Pinctada fucata nacre indicates myostracal layer interrupts nacre structure.” Royal Society Open Science, 4, 160893-1-8 (2017).

22. Joshua A. Jones, Rebecca A. Metzler, Anthony J. D’Addario*, Carrie Burgess*, Brian Regan*, Samantha Spano*, Ben A. Cvarch*, Enrique J. Galvez. “Laser imaging polarimetry of nacre.” Journal of Biophotonics, e201800026 (2018).

23. Jessica A. Nardone, Shrey Patel, Kyle R. Siegel, Dana Tedesco, Conall G. McNicholl, Jessica O’Malley*, Jack Herrick*, Rebecca A. Metzler, Beatriz Orihuela, Daniel Rittschof, and Gary H. Dickinson. “Assessing the Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Adhesion and Shell Formation in the Barnacle Amphibalanus amphitrite.” Frontiers in Marine Science, 5, 369 (2018).


The organic-mineral interaction in mollusk shells.

Aladdin Lamp award winner - SRC User's Meeting 2009