Ph.D., Microbiology, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 1987
B.S., Genetics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1981
My research program is focused on the safety and microbial ecology of fermented and acidified vegetable products. The tools we used for these studies include: from high-throughput DNA sequencing and bioinformatics, measurements of internal cell pH and metabolites in bacteria undergoing acid stress, and mathematical models for buffering, pH and the growth and death of microorganisms acidic foods. A common theme in my research is the study of microbial competition. Applications include determining conditions that assure pathogens are killed during commercial processing of fermented and acidified vegetables, and how probiotic lactic acid bacterial cultures can survive in these foods.
As a USDA/ARS Microbiologist I have no formal teaching assignment with NCSU, but I have a strong interest in graduate and undergraduate research in the laboratory. I also guest lecture in graduate and undergraduate food microbiology classes. I have participated for several years in the NCSU Math Science Education Network (MSEN) program to encourage minority high school students to participate in science through summer lab work.