Todd J. Ward is an evolutionary biologist with interdisciplinary training in molecular evolution and systematics, population genetics, plant-microbe interactions, molecular epidemiology, comparative genomics, and conservation biology. He serves as Research Leader for the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research Unit and as Director of the ARS Culture Collection (NRRL). He received a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Cincinnati (1995) and a Ph.D. in Genetics from Texas A&M University (2000). He conducted postdoctoral research at USDA-ARS on the molecular evolution of mycotoxin diversity and methods for the circumscription and identification of fungal species. Subsequently, Dr. Ward’s research at USDA-ARS focused on subtype-specific niche adaptation in Listeria monocytogenes and methods to improve outbreak detection, source tracking, and risk-based monitoring of this important foodborne pathogen. Currently, Dr. Ward leads several teams of scientists that conduct research to limit mycotoxin contamination of food and feed, improve crop production, and enhance economic development. Dr. Ward’s personal research program utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to determine the distribution and functional significance of genetic and phenotypic variation among fungal species and populations responsible for crop diseases and mycotoxin contamination of cereals.
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Novel Methods for Controlling Trichothecene Contamination of Grain and Improving the Climate Resilience of Food Safety and Security Programs In-House Appropriated (D) Accession Number:430282 Management and Characterization of Agriculturally and Biotechnologically Important Microbial Genetic Resources and Associated Information In-House Appropriated (D) Accession Number:434131 ARTS: A Phylogenetic Revisionary Monograph of the Genus Fusarium Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement (R) Accession Number:434360