Food Safety, Quality, and Integrated Health

The Food Safety, Quality, and Integrated Health research team falls under the Integrated Food and Human Health System in the College of Agriculture. Our research focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to improving the safety and quality of food, beginning with the growth and production of food to processing, packaging, and selling it. Team members also look at how practices and interventions within all these areas of the food system ultimately impact human health.

Arthur Appel is a professor of entomology and a plant pathology extension specialist. He is interested in urban entomology, structural pests, and insect physiology and behavior.

Cova Arias is a professor in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences. Her research focus is oyster safety, and she has designed a new oyster-purification system that aims to eliminate Vibrio vulnificus by using a provisionally patented, novel cleansing system—making Gulf oysters safe year-round.

Werner Bergen is a professor in the Department of Animal Sciences. His research is focused on animal nutrition and growth studies; in recent years, he has specifically focused on composition of growth, rates of protein and lipid synthesis and turnover, the mechanism of beta-agonist action, and genomic regulation of lean and fat deposition in cattle and pigs.

Leonard Bell is a professor of poultry science in the College of Agriculture. His primary research focus is in the area of food physical chemistry.

Kira Bowen is a professor of entomology and plant pathology. Her research interests include plant disease epidemiology; peanut disease management, including minimization of aflatoxin contamination; and disease management in roses, turf, and small grains.

Dianna Bourassa is an extension specialist and assistant professor in the Department of Poultry Science. Her research focuses on poultry processing, microbiology, and food safety. Specifically, Dianna’s poultry processing research has included stunning and animal welfare, the effects of primary processing parameters on carcass microbiology, carcass sampling methods for foodborne pathogens, as well as the effects of farm interventions on fully processed carcasses.

Christy Bratcher is a professor of meat science in the Department of Animal Sciences and director of the AU Food Systems Institute. Her research interests include food safety among local and regional animal producers/processors, and niche markets for beef and goat meat.

Charles Chen is a professor in the Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences. His primary research is in peanut breeding and genomics, with his major objectives being to develop cultivars with desirable improved traits adapted to all U.S. peanut producing regions and enhance elite peanut germ plasm through conventional and genomic approaches.

Lee Chiba is a professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, focusing on nutrition. He is specficially interested in dietary manipulations to improve leanness and efficiency of growing pigs as well as nutritional management to improve
reproductive performance of sows.

David Cline is an extension specialist in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences. His areas of expertise are catfish aquaculture, caged fish production, recreational pond management, small-scale marketing, aquatic plant management, aquaculture (other species), freshwater shrimp, crawfish, koi and aquatic plants.

Donald Conner is a professor and head of the Department of Poultry Science. His research interests include microbiological safety and quality of poultry and other foods, and intervention strategies for foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria.

Oladiran Fasina is an alumni professor and head of the Department of Biosystems Engineering. His research interests include biological materials preparation and processing, food engineering, postharvest technology, and renewable energy.

Wayne Greene is a professor and head of the Department of Animal Sciences. His research has focused on mineral nutrition of beef cattle in grazing and fed environments. He has also studied the site and extent of magnesium absorption in ruminants as well as developed feeding management strategies to reduce the incidence of grass tetan – a significant metabolic
disease affecting beef cattle immediately after calving.

Joseph Hess is an extension specialist and professor of poultry science. His specialty areas of research include poultry nutrition, poultry husbandry, backyard poultry, and poultry food safety.

Xingping Hu is a professor and extension specialist in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Her research includes arthropods’ biology, behavior, physiological/chemical ecology, toxicology, molecular immunology, and disease transmission.

Tung-Shi Huang is a food science professor in the Department of Poultry Science. His primary research interest is food safety, including the development of biosensors to detect food borne pathogens and the development of antimicrobial surface coatings for use in food processing facilities.

Ken Macklin is an associate professor in the Department of Poultry Science. Dr. Macklin’s research interests include the reduction of foodborne bacteria through the use of feed additives and the safe handling and disposal of poultry litter.

Amit Morey is an assistant professor in the Department of Poultry Science. His research interests include food safety and quality (“woody breast”), shelf-life, post harvest processing techniques, product development and storage, and spoilage

Emefa Monu is an assistant professor of microbiology in the Department of Poultry Science. Her goal as a researcher is to improve food security through increasing the microbiological safety and shelf life of food.

Luke Roy is an extension specialist and associate professor in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences. He is heavily involved in the transfer of emerging technology to fish producers and research demonstrations on commercial farms. Aquaculture production using traditional and alternative production technology, water quality, and aquatic animal nutrition are his primary research focus areas.

Charles Starkey is an assistant professor in the Department of Poultry Science. His research focuses on connecting all aspects of animal food ingredient characteristics, dietary formulations, animal food manufacturing techniques, live animal performance, and gastrointestinal tract physiology and

Jessica Starkey is an assistant professor of poultry science in the Department of Poultry Science. Her research is centered around exploring the impact of nutrition and management strategies on the cellular and molecular regulation of skeletal muscle development and growth.

Yi Wang is an assistant professor in biosystems engineering. His research interests include value-added biochemical and bioenergy production, environmental molecular biology, microbial genomics, waste management and water pollution control, and bioremediation (biodegradation and biotransformation of emerging environmental contaminants).

Yifen Wang is a professor of biosystems engineering. His research interests are food engineering and food safety; specifically, extraction of the bioactive element fucoxanthine from algae and, after extraction, utilizing the rest of the algae
in a sustainable way (control of obesity and diabetes).

PJ Waters is an aquaculture extension specialist in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences. His specialties include oyster restoration (oyster gardening in Mississippi and Alabama), aquaculture, mariculture, and recreational pond and
lake management.

Michelle Worosz is a professor of agricultural economics and rural sociology. She is primarily interested in economic viability in rural settings; barriers and constraints to increasing production; and consumption of local and regional products.

Jean Weese is a professor of food science in the Department of Poultry Science and food safety specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Her areas of interest include food safety in processing and food service.

Floyd Woods is an associate professor of horticulture. He investigates the effects of pathogen reduction and quality assessment methods on ripening and senescing fruit and