Antibiotic Alternatives Working Group

Members of the Antibiotic Alternatives Working Group are interested in identifying alternatives to the nontherapeutic use of antibioticsin the raising of food animals such as cattle, poultry and swine. Low doses of antibiotics are commonly used to promote the growth of food-producing animals in addition to the therapeutic doses used to prevent, control and treat disease. Overuse of antibiotics is believed to be related to the appearance of antibioticresistant bacteria in the food supply, with the resistant pathogens ultimately cause resistant infections in humans. For example, one possibility to be used as an antibiotic alternative is a probiotic.


Leanne Dillard


Leanne is an assistant professor/extension specialist in the Dept. of Animal Sciences and the Dept. of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences. Her research focus is economically and environmentally sustainable pasture-based livestock systems, including soil-plant-animal interactions and water quality.

Dr. Ken Macklin

Member / 334-844-4225

Ken Macklin, PhD, is a professor and extension specialist in avian diseases in the Auburn University College of Agriculture Department of Poultry Science. One of his areas of research involves trying to develop methods to control or preferably eliminate Salmonella in poultry production. At Auburn, he has been involved with developing and testing mitigation techniques to prevent bacterial, viral, and protozoal illness in poultry. As an extension specialist it is his responsibility to work with industry in troubleshooting problems and to deliver practical solutions.

Emefa Monu

Member / 334-844-2599

Dr. Emefa Monu is an assistant professor in poultry science and studies food microbiology. Specifically, she conducts research on alternatives to reduce pathogenic and spoilage bacteria and fungi in food. This includes natural antimicrobials derived from plants and bacteria. She has an ongoing collaboration with the Food and Drug Authority in Ghana to provide training/workshops for their Food Enforcement Officers and help develop food safety training for food entrepreneurs.

Dr. Benjamin Newcomer

Member / 334-844-4490

Dr. Benjamin Newcomer is an assistant professor and food animal clinician in the College of Veterinary Medicine. His research focuses on infectious diseases of cattle and small ruminants.




Dr. Robert A. Norton, PhD, is a professor at Auburn University and currently serves as coordinator of National Security Initiatives in the Auburn University Open Source Intelligence Laboratory and program director of the Futures Laboratory, a collaborative effort between Auburn University, Auburn University at Montgomery and Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base. A long-time consultant to multiple federal agencies and the Department of Defense, Dr. Norton’s research interests include public health/one health, intelligence analysis, chemical and biological weapons defense, medical and technical intelligence, military-related science and technology, biosecurity/biodefense, and veterinary infectious diseases.

Dr. Stephanie Ostrowski


Stephanie Ostrowski, DVM, is an associate professor of public health in the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. She teaches classes on environmental health and food safety (from farm to fork).  She is program lead for the DVM + MPH dual degree, and co-coordinates and team-teaches three of the four courses in Auburn’s interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in public health along with Dr. James Wright. Dr. Ostrowski’s clinical academic training includes two residencies at the University of California-Davis, one in herd health and food animal production medicine (1984-87) and a second in food safety (2010-2012), where she evaluated sample submission logistics for rapid threat identification and response for the California dairy industry. In 2010, Dr. Ostrowski retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after 20 years of service, having achieved the rank of captain in the U.S. Public Health Service. During her CDC career, she served as senior emergency response coordinator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and for the National Center for Environmental Health with participation in federal public health emergency preparedness and response for CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives) as well as natural disaster events. These incidents ranged from anthrax attacks and Twin Towers/9-11, and from hurricanes and tsunamis to the British Foot and Mouth Disease emergency. Dr. Ostrowski’s current research interests include public health/one health, global sustainability of livestock agriculture, food safety and security, toxicology, and veterinary infectious diseases.

Dr. Stuart Price

Member / 334-844-2673

Dr. Stuart Price is a bacteriologist in the College of Veterinary Medicine who works with the zoonotic foodborne pathogen Salmonella.  His lab investigates the use of pathogen-targeted bacteriophages as living antimicrobials for use as alternatives to antibiotic use in food animals. The goal is to utilize bacteriophages along with other natural antimicrobials to inhibit pathogen growth in animals, without concomitantly increasing the selection of antibiotic resistant pathogens in the food animal microbiome.

Dr. Soren Rodning


Soren Rodning, DVM, MS, DACT, provides statewide food animal agricultural support as an associate professor and Extension veterinarian in the Auburn University Department of Animal Sciences and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Current Extension efforts primarily involve promoting herd health and reproductive management for beef cattle, with a minor emphasis on dairy cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, and horses. Dr. Rodning is the coordinator for Alabama’s Beef Quality Assurance and Pork Quality Assurance programs and serves in the Alabama Army National Guard.

Julie Gard Schnuelle



Julie Gard Schnuelle, DVM, is a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and is boarded in theriogenology (reproduction). Her interest areas include reproduction and alternate therapies to antimicrobials in disease management.

Elizabeth Schwartz

Member / 334-844-1631

Dr. Elizabeth Schwartz is an assistant professor in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. Schwartz has a longstanding interest in the foodborne bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes and in the innate immune responses elicited by this organism. 

Sarah Zohdy


Sarah Zohdy is an assistant professor of disease ecology in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. Her lab focuses on the ecological and evolutionary drivers of disease dynamics. She is interested in how host ecology, behavior, and physiology influence heterogeneity in parasitism at the population level. In order to effectively evaluate disease dynamics at the ecosystem level, her lab takes an interdisciplinary approach and combines methodologies to better understand how land-use change affects the ecology of infectious diseases.