Adam R. Travis, PhD, Ag Laboratory Administrator

Adam Travis Headshot2

Dr. Travis has served as Ag Laboratory Administrator in the Tennessee Department of Agriculture since May 2020. In that role, he directs the Division of Technical Services. This division provides analytical services to the regulatory programs of the Division of Consumer and Industry Services. Both chemical and microbiological analyses are performed, and program areas include feed, fertilizer, food, dairy, pesticides, and hemp. Under the banner of the C. E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Technical Services also provides diagnostic services to veterinarians, producers, companion animal owners, and regulators in the Division of Animal Health.

In 2017, Dr. Travis joined the department as a chemist in the Technical Services Laboratory. In that role, he performed many of the analyses described above. This gave him an opportunity to understand the operation of the laboratory at all levels prior to assuming his leadership role. Since that time, he has played an active role in modernizing the laboratory’s operations, including bringing additional state-of-the-art instrumentation online, transitioning to a new laboratory information management system, and expanding the division’s scope of services.

Dr. Travis holds a baccalaureate degree from The University of Tennessee at Martin, where he graduated summa cum laude and as a University Scholar. His doctoral degree was earned at Vanderbilt University, where he was a University Graduate Fellow and a member of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology. His research at Vanderbilt focused on chemical characterization techniques, biological interactions of gold nanoparticles, enzymatic biosensors, and microfluidic devices used for developing model systems.

A lifelong Tennessean, Dr. Travis was born and raised in the mid-state. There are several small farms in his family, so he has been surrounded by agriculture in some way throughout his life. Outside of work, he is passionate about volunteering in his community, particularly with food pantries, and enjoys camping, board games with family and friends, and playing with his two dogs.