Jacobs is one of 15 new tenure-track faculty members hired in the college. New positions were identified to bring new talent to its focus areas, such as food and health, infectious disease, biodesign and processing, and agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.
Jacobs' research focuses on the welfare of poultry. Her interests include applied measures to improve welfare, pre-slaughter issues, on-farm welfare assessments, effective worker training, and humane slaughter.Her appointment at Virginia Tech includes research and Extension work.
Jacobs' doctoral research aimed at identifying broiler chicken welfare problems during transportation. Besides pinpointing problem
areas, she developed a pre-slaughter welfare monitoring protocol with an integrated welfare-score calculation. Other poultry work includes a project on humane on-farm killing of individual birds and an M.S. thesis on the impact of Northern Fowl mites on night-time behavior of laying hens.