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Current main research areas:

Control of infectious diseases

  • Antimicrobial use in food animals 
  • Control of COVID-19 in the food industry

Improving food safety and optimizing food production systems

  • Food safety
  • Decision support tools for the food industry

Recent papers

Responsible antibiotic use labeling and consumers’ willingness to buy and pay for fluid milk

A new milk label was proposed, indicating the responsible (minimized) use – not complete elimination – of antibiotics on conventional dairy farms. We conducted a survey and an experimental auction with real money and real milk to investigate consumers’ preference for a hypothetical responsible antibiotic use labeled milk. Findings indicate that half of the surveyed consumers would be willing to buy the labeled milk, however, auction participants were not willing to pay a significant premium for it compared to the unlabeled (conventional) milk.

Press: Limiting antibiotics for cows may create a new dairy market

In Silico Models for Design and Optimization of Science-Based Listeria Environmental Monitoring Programs in Fresh-Cut Produce Facilities

Two agent-based models of two fresh-cut produce facilities reported here demonstrate a novel way to evaluate how different sampling schemes can be rapidly evaluated across multiple time points as a way to understand how sampling can be optimized in an effort to locate the presence of Listeria in a food facility.

Press: Sim City for food science takes on Listeria outbreaks

EnABLe: An agent-based model to understand Listeria dynamics in food processing facilities

We developed EnABLe, a detailed and customizable agent-based simulation of a built environment and used it to trace Listeria spp. on equipment and environment surfaces in a cold-smoked salmon facility. Simulations revealed different contamination dynamics and risks among equipment surfaces in terms of the presence, level, and persistence of Listeria spp. 

Press: Computer program aids food safety experts with pathogen testing

Examples of ongoing projects:

  • Epidemiology and modeling of antimicrobial resistance in livestock
  • Quantifying antimicrobial use in food animals
  • Mixed methods studies of perceptions of the general public, farmers, and veterinarians about antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use in food animals 
  • Modeling pathogen dynamics in complex, built environments (digital twins)
  • Decision support tools to reduce food waste and improve food safety
  • Epidemiology and modeling of infectious diseases (COVID-19, avian influenza)
  • Modeling and risk assessment of human exposure to foodborne pathogens
  • Intervention and experimental trials to control infectious diseases
  • Digital tools for improved detection, prediction, and assessment of pathogen contamination
  • Data privacy in food production and animal health
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