I am part of the Plant Sciences Food Safety Group in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. The aim of our integrated research and extension program is to assist Maryland farmers in reaching their food safety goals efficiently and effectively under a "one-health" lens, whether they be preparing for a third party audit or aligning with the federal standards of the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule.
Our educational programs include one-on-one food safety coaching, Basic and Advanced GAP trainings, webinars, and Produce Safety Alliance Trainings. We collaborate with state experts to execute many of these educational programs, working through the newly created Maryland Food Safety Network to assure our farmers we are providing them the most up to date food safety regulatory information and technical assistance. The Network members include University of Maryland Extension, the Agricultural Law Education Initiative, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Maryland Department of Agriculture. and the Maryland Food Safety Network.
Currently, my research interests encompass optimization of fruit and vegetable post harvest handling surfaces for safety and quality. I received my PhD from the University of Maryland, where I researched Salmonella enterica interactions with the tomato immune system and persistence in surface and reclaimed water.