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Rebecca Metzler University Portrait 2015

Rebecca Metzler

Associate Professor of Physics
Physics & Astronomy, 230 Ho Science Center
p 315-228-6025


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

Teaching Experience

Introductory Physics - class 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.


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.
JACS, 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).


The organic-mineral interaction in mollusk shells.


Aladdin Lamp award winner - SRC User's Meeting 2009