Baneshwar Singh, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor

Dr. Singh received bachelor and master degrees with gold medals in life sciences from India. He then began his PhD study in biology at West Virginia University, Morgantown, where he conducted his dissertation research on molecular systematics of the Oestroidea (a fly superfamily that includes many large and common flies of forensic, medical, veterinary, and agricultural importance) under the supervision of Dr. Jeffrey D. Wells.

Professional Experience
At Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Singh serves as an assistant professor in the department of forensic science, teaches survey of forensic science and forensic molecular biology courses to senior undergraduate students, and manages forensic genomics research laboratory. Prior to VCU appointment, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate in Drs. Jeffery Tomberlin and Aaron Tarone’s laboratories at Texas A&M University, College Station, and in Dr. Tawni Crippen’s laboratory at Southern Plain Agricultural Research Centre of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA-SPARC), on National Institute of Justice (NIJ) funded project on development of novel methods for estimation of a postmortem interval (PMI). Along with the postdoctoral research work, Dr. Singh also conducted several forensic entomology workshops for law enforcement personnel’s, and also worked on several forensic entomology cases from Texas and other parts of the USA. During doctoral study, Dr. Singh also worked as a laboratory manager for West Virginia University’s Genomics Core Facility, and taught several biology laboratory courses to undergraduate and graduate students.

Professional Accomplishments
Dr. Singh has received board certification for lectureship in life sciences from UGC-CSIR, New Delhi, India. He is an associate member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), has authored several peer review articles, and presented his research at many national and international conferences, including invited presentations at annual meetings of Entomological Society of America (ESA), AAFS, and The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).

Research Interests
At VCU, Dr. Singh’s research is mainly focused on development of improved methods for recovery of human DNA from maggot gut contents, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics of microbial populations associated with carrions and insects, and on molecular systematics of carrion associated flies and microbes.


1. Singh, B., Crippen T., Zheng, L., Fields A., Yu, Z., Ma, Q., Wood, T.K., Dow, S., Flores, M., Tomberlin, J.K., and Tarone, A.M. (Accepted: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology) A metagenomic assessment of the bacteria associated with Lucilia sericata and Lucilia cuprina (Diptera: Calliphoridae).

2. Zheng, L., Crippen, T.L., Holmes, L., Singh, B., Pimsler, M.L., Benbow, M.E., Tarone, A.M., Dowd, S., Yu, Z., Vanlaerhoven, S., Wood, T. K., and Tomberlin, J.K. (2013) Bacteria mediate oviposition by the black soldier flies, Hermetia illucens (L.)  (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), NATURE Scientific Reports, DOI: 10.1038/srep02563.

3. Zheng, L., Crippen, T. L., Singh, B., Tarone, A. M., Dowd, S., Yu, Z., and Tomberlin, J. K. (2013)Bacterial diversity from successive life stages of black soldier fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) using 16S rDNA pyrosequencing. Journal of Medical Entomology, 50, 647-658.

4. Singh, B. and Wells, J.D. (2013) Calliphoridae (Diptera: Oestroidea) is polyphyletic: Evidence from one mitochondrial and three nuclear genes. Journal of Medical Entomology, 50, 15-23.

5. Tomberlin, J.K., Crippen, T.L., Tarone, A.M., Singh, al.(2012) Interkingdom responses of flies to bacteria mediated by fly physiology and bacterial quorum sensing. Animal Behaviour, 84, 1449-1456.

6. Singh, B. and Wells, J.D. (2011) Chrysomyinae (Diptera: Calliphoridae) is monophyletic: a molecular systematic analysis. Systematic Entomology, 36, 415-420.

7. Singh, B., Kurahashi, H., and Wells, J.D. (2011) Molecular phylogeny of the blowfly genus Chrysomya (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 25, 126-134.