AUFSI welcomes new core faculty members

Daniels
Dr. William (Bill) Daniels is an associate professor of marine and freshwater aquaculture for the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences. He previously served as secretariat for the International Association of Astacology, which is dedicated to the study, conservation, and wise utilization of freshwater crayfish; has held a number of leadership positions in the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) and the U.S Aquaculture Society; and is currently a member of the WAS Executive Committee. He also served on the Journal of World Aquaculture editorial board for eight years. Dr. Daniels’ research focuses on catfish aquaculture and alternative production systems and species. Currently, his research involves the use of probiotics for improved growth and disease prevention in catfish and tilapia as model species. He has extensive experience in international development, specifically aquaculture, with current or past work in Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Congo-DRC, Uruguay, Ethiopia, Gabon, Uganda, Namibia, Haiti, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea. For the past five years, he has led study abroad programs in China and Vietnam. Dr. Daniels said that as a core faculty member of AUFSI he hopes to combine his international experience with global food security and safety issues. “Food safety begins with food production and ends at the table,” he says. “Much of our seafood is imported, and it’s important to ensure its safe production and consumption.”

 

Davis
Dr. Allen Davis is an alumni professor of aquatic animal nutrition in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences. He is a member of the American Fisheries Society and the World Aquaculture Society, associate editor of the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, and faculty adviser for the American Fisheries Society-Auburn University chapter. Dr. Davis’ honors include the 2008 and 2012 Dean’s Grantsmanship Awards for his work with the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. He was also presented with the Director’s Research Award in 2010 and 2012 and received an alumni professorship in 2012.He says the primary objective of the aquatic animal nutrition program is to expand our understanding of the nutritional requirements of species of economic importance and to facilitate the continued development of commercial rations for use in supplemental feed systems. In addition to diet-development work, he also conducts research on feeding techniques and intensive culture technologies. “Serving as a core faculty member of AUFSI not only provides easy access for our constituents to experts in food safety, but it also facilitates the interaction of faculty across departments, thus, leveraging resources and ideas to advance the science of food safety,” Dr. Davis says.”

 

Edmondson
Dr. Misty Edmondson is an assistant professor in the food animal section of the College of Veterinary Medicine, where her duties include management of clinical hospital cases, didactic teaching, research, and outreach.  A native of Elmore County, Alabama, she holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine and a bachelor’s degree in microbiology, both from Auburn University. She worked in a mixed animal practice for two years before returning to Auburn to complete a residency in food animal theriogenology (the branch of veterinary medicine concerned with reproduction).  She became a diplomat of the American College of Theriogenologists in 2005.  Dr. Edmondson’s major research interest is theriogenology of cattle, small ruminants, and camelids.  Her current projects involve analysis of diagnostic tests for accurate detection of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) in cattle, methods to control horn flies, effects of BVDV on reproduction in alpacas, and pharmacological studies with alpacas.

 

M20Hakovirta
Dr. Marko Hakovirta is director of the Alabama Center for Paper and Bioresource Engineering (AC-PABE) and a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Dr. Hakovirta was previously associate director of research at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He also worked in industry for 10 years and for the last five years was the chief technology officer of Metso Corporation (corporate vice president for technology, environment and quality). He has also worked as a fellow at CERN (European Center for Particle Physics), in Geneva, Switzerland, and at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Among his many awards is the Outstanding Innovation of the Year from Los Alamos. Dr. Hakovirta’s research interests are in novel forest-based biomaterials, nanomaterials applications, and materials synthesis using plasma techniques. He is especially interested in sustainability related research and how it affects the pulp and paper industry in particular. “This role as an AUFSI core faculty member is extremely important to me and to the Alabama Center for Paper and Bioresource Engineering,” Dr. Hakovirta says. “It enables us to better understand the food industry and the existing opportunities for research related to paper-related solutions. I am looking forward to interacting with the AUFSI core faculty to find opportunities in collaborative research.”

 

Keener_photo
Dr. Kevin Keener is director of the Food Processing Environmental Assistance Center and the Food Technology Development Laboratory at Purdue University. He also leads the food industry assistance response team, which provides technical assistance on food safety, food technology, food regulations, and food labeling to more than 120 food entrepreneurs each year along with many major food companies. In addition, he is a professor in the Department of Food Science with an associate faculty appointment in Agricultural and Biological Engineering and is a licensed professional engineer. In the past 10 years, Dr. Keener has developed and delivered online plant sanitation courses to more than 100 industry professionals and university students.

 

Elizabeth Schwartz
Dr. Elizabeth Schwartz is an assistant professor of Biological Sciences in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. She received her doctorate from Emory University in 1996. Dr. Schwartz’s research interests include host/microbe interaction; antigen presenting cell biology, development, and function; dynamics of dendritic cell gene expression during maturation; and bacterial biofilm impact on foodborne infection. Dr. Schwartz has had a longstanding interest in the foodborne bacterial pathogen Listeria monocytogenes and in the innate immune responses elicited by this organism. She was recently granted an Academic Research Enhancement Award from the NIH to investigate the ontogeny of antigen processing and bactericidal activities in myeloid dendritic cells. More recent areas of research under development in Dr. Schwartz’s lab include delineating the relationship between gut microbiota, obesity, and the innate immune response. Dr. Schwartz is a member of the American Association of Immunologists and the American Society of Microbiology, served on the editorial board of the Journal of Immunology, and serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for several NIH study sections. “I am excited to participate in the AUFSI as a Core Faculty member, not only for the opportunities to collaborate with investigators representing a wide variety of expertise across several colleges, but also to learn from the perspectives of other researchers working on other aspects of foodborne infection. I have much to learn from others in this group, and I look forward to contributing by sharing my background and expertise as well.”