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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

EMFSL Scientists' Research Areas


Environmental
Fate and Transport
Parasites Dairy Pathogens
Daniel Shelton (RL)
Yakov Pachepsky
Ronald Fayer
Mónica Santín-Durán
Jeffrey S. Karns
Jo Ann S. Van Kessel

Produce Contamination Sensing Technologies
for Food Safety
Arvind Bhagwat
Yaguang (Sunny) Luo
Patricia A. Millner
Xiangwu Nou
Manan Sharma
Jitendra (Jitu) Patel
Moon S. Kim
Kuanglin (Kevin) Chao
Alan M. Lefcourt
Walter F. Schmidt

Click here to see list of postdocs currently working with EMFSL

Dr. Daniel Shelton, Research Leader
Research Microbiologist
Bldg. 173 BARC-East, Rm. 103
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
301.504.5760
dan.shelton@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/shelton

Includes developing new methods for rapid, quantitative detection of human pathogens, elucidating environmental parameters controlling pathogen transport to surface and ground waters, assessing pathogen dispersal and survival in water, soil, manure, and produce, and developing strategies to minimize transport and dissemination of pathogens from animal manures to potable waters and fresh produce.


Dr. Arvind A. Bhagwat
Research Microbiologist
Bldg. 002 BARC-West, Rm. 210
10300 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, MD 20705
301.504.5106
arvind.bhagwat@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/bhagwat

Develop rapid and sensitive methods for detection of enteric human pathogens from fresh produce, and examines the efficacy of current postharvest sanitizing procedures for survival of human pathogens. Molecular biology and genetics of survival mechanisms of human pathogens.


Dr. Kuanglin (Kevin) Chao
Research Agricultural Engineer
Bldg. 303 BARC-East
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705-2350
301.504.8450, Ext. 260
kevin.chao@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/kevinchao

Hyperspectral and multispectral imaging technologies to assess safety and quality of agricultural produce and poultry carcasses. Development of nondestructive high-speed line scan imaging inspection systems using multispectral reflectance and Raman chemical imaging technologies.


Dr. Ronald Fayer
Research Zoologist
Bldg. 173 BARC-East, Rm. 100
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
301.504.8750
ronald.fayer@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/fayer

To develop and test novel methods to identify and characterize the parasites Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Microsporidia, and Blastocystis. Determine the presence of these organisms in livestock, associated domesticated and wild animal, as well as in edible foods, soil and water impacted by agriculture. Develop methods to reduce the number and virulence of these organisms in domesticated animals, food, and the environment.


Dr. Jeffrey S. Karns
Research Microbiologist
Bldg. 173 BARC-East, Room 201
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
301.504.6493
jeffrey.karns@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/karns

Develop methods for the specific detection and enumeration of pathogenic forms of microorganisms in foods, soil, manure and water. Use those methods to describe the fate of pathogens on the farm and the routes for their transmission to foods.


Dr. Moon S. Kim
Research Physicist
Bldg. 303 BARC-East
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705-2350
301.504.8450, Ext. 245
moon.kim@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/moonkim

Hyperspectral and multispectral imaging technologies to assess safety and quality of agricultural produce and animal carcasses. Development of rapid on-line inspection systems and portable devices using multispectral laser-induced fluorescence and multispectral reflectance imaging technologies.


Dr. Alan M. Lefcourt
Research Biomedical Engineer
Bldg. 303 BARC-East
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705-2350
301.504.8450, Ext. 258
alan.lefcourt@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/alanlefcourt

Hyperspectral and multispectral imaging technologies to assess safety and quality of apples and other fruits and vegetables. Development of on-line systems for inspection of apples for contaminants.


Dr. Yaguang (Sunny) Luo
Research Food Technologist
Bldg. 002 BARC-West, Room 12
10300 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, MD 20705
301.504.6186
yaguang.luo@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/sunnyluo

Develop rapid and sensitive methods for detection of enteric human pathogens and spoilage bacteria from conventional and organically grown produce, and develop effective postharvest sanitizing procedures providing improved antimicrobial activity while maintaining produce quality and shelf-life, and understand the ecology and mechanisms that allow specific human and spoilage microorganisms to persist on fresh produce and develop control agents to reduce food safety risks.


Dr. Patricia A. Millner
Research Microbiologist
Bldg. 001 BARC-West, Rm. 122
10300 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, MD 20705
301.504.5631
pat.millner@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/patmillner

The long-term research objective of this project is to develop and translate fundamental agroecological knowledge into recommendations and products to improve the economic position of organic farmers and to improve their ability to meet consumer demand for organic products. Objective 1 is to develop component technologies and management strategies that lead to improved productivity, enhanced soil and water conservation, and efficient nutrient cycling on organic farms. Objective 2 is to understand agroecological principles that drive the function of organic cropping systems and quantify ecosystem services.


Dr. Xiangwu Nou
Research Microbiologist
Bldg. 201 BARC-East, Rm. 100A
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
301.504.8991
xiangwu.nou@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/nou

Studies microbial ecology of zoonotic bacterial pathogens in leafy green production systems. Determines the effects of various environmental factors on the survival and dissemination of bacterial pathogens in various leafy green production environments. Develops effective agricultural practices to minimize pathogen contamination of fresh produce at pre-harvest and post-harvest production stages.


Dr. Yakov Pachepsky
Research Hydrologist
Bldg. 173 BARC-East, Rm. 203
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
301.504.7468
yakov.pachepsky@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/pachepsky

Develops functional relationships between environmental parameters and pathogen transport from animal manure; integrates information on pathogen transport and survival to improve and validate pathogen transport and dispersal models for prediction and risk assessment of pathogen transmission from animal manures to potable water and fresh produce.


Dr. Jitendra (Jitu) Patel
Research Food Technologist
Bldg. 201 BARC-East, Rm. 101
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
301.504.7003
jitu.patel@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/patel

Identify mechanisms of attachment, growth and survival of human pathogens on fresh produce. Determine molecular factors involved in the interaction of human pathogens with natural microflora on fresh produce and biofilm formation. Develop rapid, sensitive methods for detection of enteric pathogens in produce and soil.


Dr. Mónica Santín-Durán
Research Microbiologist
Bldg. 173 BARC-East, Rm. 008A
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
301.504.6774
monica.santin-duran@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/santin-duran

To develop molecular methods to detect zoonotic protozoan parasites and apply these methods to specimens obtained from farms, wildlife, and surface waters in order to better understand the complex epidemiology of zoonotic diseases.


Dr. Walter F. Schmidt
Research Chemist
Bldg. 303 BARC-East, Rm. 011
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
301.504.6765
walter.schmidt@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/schmidt


Dr. Manan Sharma
Research Microbiologist
Bldg. 201 BARC-East, Rm. 100B
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
301.504.9198
manan.sharma@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/sharma

Research focuses on the survival, persistence and growth of the bacterial foodborne pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7 in leafy green pre-harvest environments. E. coli O157:H7 has been associated with several high profile outbreaks associated with lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens. This work examines the ability of E. coli to internalize to spinach tissues through root uptake. His research team also examines the ability of E. coli O157:H7 to persist in pre-harvest environments (soil, water). The expression of virulence factors of E. coli O157:H7 on leafy greens stored under various conditions is also evaluated. Bacteriophages, viruses that target and kill E. coli O157:H7, are also being examined as a potential intervention against E. coli O157:H7 on leafy greens.


Dr. Jo Ann S. Van Kessel
Research Animal Scientist
Bldg. 173 BARC-East, Rm. 202
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville, MD 20705
301.504.8287
joann.vankessel@ars.usda.gov
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl/vankessel

Studies the incidence and ecology of zoonotic bacterial pathogens in dairy production systems, to evaluate and develop on-farm control strategies that will minimize pathogen infection of the herd, maintenance in the environment, and subsequent contamination of the bulk milk.


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Environmental Microbial and Food Safety Laboratory
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD 20705
Phone 301.504.5607 | Fax 301.504.6608
www.ars.usda.gov/ba/emfsl



Last Modified: 9/4/2014
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