2019 AMR Workshop Participant Information

Valyn Bodensteiner 
National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education | 515-294-3104 

Valyn Bodensteiner is the Marketing & Communications Specialist for the National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE), based at Iowa State University. She is responsible for creating and executing a comprehensive communications and marketing strategy for the institute. Through her role, she strategically communicates highly technical, scientific information from researchers, to the public and other stakeholders through various digital and print media. NIAMRRE’s efforts have the potential to impact humans, animals, and the environment on a global scale by educating diverse audiences on evidence-based solutions to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) challenges.

Her areas of expertise are in graphic design, content development, website management, social media marketing, and project coordination. Previously Bodensteiner held similar positions in marketing and advertising at the University of Northern Iowa Center for Business Growth and Development and at Innovative Software Engineering in Coralville, IA.

Bodensteiner is a Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) by the American Marketing Association, and a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) by Scrum Alliance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in digital media from the University of Northern Iowa and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in strategic communication from the University of Iowa. She is eager to apply her newly learned skills to current efforts in AMR.

Kate Brooks

Associate Professor
Department of Agricultural Economics
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
304C Filley Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583 | 402-472-1749

I received my undergraduate degree from Kansas State University in Agribusiness, M.S. from Illinois State University in Agribusiness, and my Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University in Agricultural Economics.  My research interests have primarily dealt with meat and livestock economics with topics ranging from livestock production economics to the analysis of forage and livestock insurance to consumer preferences.  I have studied consumer decision making and differences between consumers stated (survey and choice experiments) differs from revealed (scanner data) preferences.  I have also studied the inconsistencies between consumers’ food buying behavior and their voting behavior.

Currently, as part of a grant, we have been investigating the public’s knowledge of, attitudes towards, and acceptance of the use of antimicrobials in livestock production as well as their understanding of, and attitudes towards antimicrobial resistance (AMR).  Further the research assess how subjective (self-assessed) and objective (measured knowledge of AMR and the use of antimicrobials in livestock production relate to information avoidance behavior.  This work utilizes a nationwide survey to U.S. consumers.  Preliminary results reveal that differences exist between consumers with high and low levels of objective knowledge and their willingness to accept antibiotic use to treat, control, or prevent disease or as a growth promotant. Preliminary results also reveal that respondents with little or no knowledge of AMR were more likely to avoid AMR information compared to respondents with more knowledge. Of the participants who chose to obtain more information on AMR, those that changed their views the most were participants with little or no knowledge of AMR.  Findings of this study that individuals with little or no knowledge are more likely to avoid AMR information but are the ones that could benefit the most from accessing this information raise important questions about how to encourage willfully uninformed individuals to access information about AMR.

Halden Clark DVM, MS
Health Stewardship Veterinarian
University of Nebraska - Lincoln | 970-396-2393

I grew up on a farm in Colorado.  It is still in operation- we grow corn and raise beef cattle.  I spent two years as a veterinarian working with large western dairies in Weld County, Colorado.  Mainly family-owned, these dairies have from 800 to 5000 cows.  Farms like these do not use antimicrobials in feed for the cows (some use ionophores), and they are quite limited in which antimicrobials they can use for animals that get sick.  Milk testing for antimicrobial residues is extremely sensitive, and penalties for violations start at about $7,000.  When this occurs an entire tanker load of milk must be discarded.  These dairies are extremely efficient and generally take excellent care of their cows, paying extra attention to cow comfort and reducing environmental stressors throughout the farm.

I then worked in the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service for two years as a Public Health Veterinarian in a beef slaughter plant (abattoir).  In that role I frequently tested beef carcasses for antimicrobial residues using the Kidney Inhibition Swab screening test, the more comprehensive Residue Test, and performed National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) testing of cecal contents. 

Next, I spent three years working in a beef cattle veterinary practice in Nebraska.  I spent about half my time serving cow/calf producers and about half working with feedlots.  In that role, I worked to judiciously prescribe and use antimicrobials (both in feed and injectable) when needed.  I wrote VFD’s when appropriate.

In these situations, I felt first-hand some of the forces that pull a veterinarian in different directions.  For example, clients often have the perception that antimicrobials are essential in cases of calf diarrhea.  The cornerstone of therapy in the veterinarian’s mind is usually oral or intravenous fluids, but without an antibiotic, the client may feel their animals have received insufficient care.  In another example, “custom” feedlots, which don’t own the cattle themselves, must navigate not only what they and their veterinarian feel is appropriate, but also what the (sometimes geographically distant) cattle owner wants.  I believe that producers and veterinarians want to do the very best they can in preventing any untoward consequences from our beef production systems, but there are real and perceived barriers that can sometimes separate individuals whose actions would otherwise be working in tandem.

I am planning to attend the workshop to learn about research efforts to curtail the unwanted effects of these drugs, which themselves are powerful tools in managing animal health.  I want to be able to advise veterinarians and producers to the best of my ability in my new role with UNL. I am interested in helping this group to understand the structure of the cattle industries and the role of the veterinarian in order to try to focus energy on points of leverage.

Michael Dahlstrom
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication                  
101B Hamilton Hall 613 Wallace Road, Ames, Iowa 50011 | 515-294-3822

Michael Dahlstrom is the Associate Director of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and holds a Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Professorship at Iowa State University. His research explores how storytelling impacts the communication of science to non-expert audiences and the ethical considerations involved. His work extends across diverse scientific contexts, including risk, health, agricultural and environmental communication.

Dahlstrom’s research has been published in leading journals, such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PLOS Biology, Communication Research and Science Communication, and he is co-editor of Ethics and Practice in Science Communication, an edited volume focusing on the often-overlooked ethical challenges underlying science communication. Dahlstrom received a B.S. in biophysics, a B.A. in journalism, and a M.S. in biophysics from Iowa State University and a joint Ph.D. in journalism and mass communication and environmental resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a past head of the Communicating Science, Health, Environment and Risk Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. 

Meghan F. Davis, DVM PhD MPH
Department of Environmental Health & Engineering
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
615 N. Wolfe St. Baltimore, MD 21205 | 410-614-8283

Meghan F. Davis, DVM PhD MPH, is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Health and Engineering at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with a joint appointment to the Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Prior to her current position, she worked in companion- and food-animal general practice as a full-time Associate Veterinarian, including three years in dairy-predominant mixed-animal practice in southeastern Pennsylvania. She received her D.V.M. from the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2000, and her M.P.H. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

As a veterinarian-scientist and molecular epidemiologist, she studies the interface of bacteria and hosts to reduce microbe-mediated disease in humans and animals. A major goal of her career is to design and test One Health interventions to combat the rise of bacterial antimicrobial resistance on local and global scales. Her work applies the principles of One Health and microbial ecology, evaluating target microbes and bacterial genes specifically and the larger microbial community (microbiome and resistome) broadly. She also evaluates non-infection outcomes, specifically respiratory disease, from exposure to biotic agents in household, school, and agricultural settings. She also has been actively involved in methods development for One Health studies, and she led an international expert group that produced the COHERE guidelines (Checklist for One Health Epidemiological Reporting of Evidence) in 2017.

Her work at the intersection of antimicrobial resistance and food animal production spans field epidemiology, food and food animal microbiology, laboratory assessment using molecular techniques (sequencing and targeted analysis), secondary data analysis of large datasets, occupational health, qualitative research, and policy analysis.

Lisa Durso
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Agroecosystem Management Research Unit
251 Filley Hall, UNL East Campus, Lincoln | 402-472-9622

Lisa Durso is a Research Microbiologist working with the Agricultural Research Service in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Her current program focuses on solving applied problems related to pathogens and antibiotic resistance in agroecosystems and characterizing the role of manure-borne microbes in soil health.  Dr. Durso began her scientific career working for state and federal public health agencies and served as an Emerging Infectious Disease Training Fellow in the Foodborne and Diarrheal Disease branch at the CDC in the early days of the One Health idea. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Durso moved from human public health to an animal health unit with USDA-ARS, and for the past ten years she has been working in the Natural Resources National Program Area.  Her areas of expertise include microbial ecology of agricultural production systems, environmental antibiotic resistance, water quality, and environmental outbreak investigations of zoonotic foodborne pathogens.  She has been invited to discuss environmental and agricultural antibiotic resistance with The National Academy of Science and the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.  She has over 15 years of experience in agriculture, finding ways to use animal manures to improve soil health while minimizing adverse environmental impacts.

Selected Publications:

Emma B. Gorenberg, MFA, VMD, DACVIM (LA)
Science and Technology Policy Fellow
American Association for the Advancement of Science
1200 New York Avenue NW Washington, DC 20005 |

Emma Gorenberg is a veterinarian specializing in equine and livestock internal medicine, with a particular focus on large animal infectious disease. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine within the Large Animal subspecialty. Emma completed her veterinary degree at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a concentrated education in large animal medicine at New Bolton Center. She continued at Tufts University for an internship in large animal internal medicine and field service, followed by Cornell University for a three-year residency in large animal internal medicine. There she completed focused training in farm animal and equine medicine while performing clinical research in large animal endocrinology and infectious disease diagnostics. While a resident she lectured on the management of disease in dairy cattle and taught a broad range of clinical skills to students, including antimicrobial decision-making, compliance with AMDUCA regulations, engagement with FARAD, and proper use and documentation of withdrawal intervals in food animals. 

Emma is currently a Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., where she provides scientific input to the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s financial assistance programs in Africa. There she focuses on the intersection between environmental protection and human/animal health, including emergent and transboundary infectious disease and the effects of the wildlife-livestock disease interface on the conservation of threatened wildlife populations and landscapes.

Prior to her veterinary education, Emma earned a BA in Political Science and English from Amherst College and an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan, where she taught composition and creative writing to undergraduates. As a writer and educator, she is passionate about developing innovative science communication in order to improve transdisciplinary collaboration, integrate One Health priorities into veterinary and medical curricula, foster antimicrobial stewardship across the health professions, and promote responsible natural resource conservation in response to increasing global demands.

Amelia Greiner Safi

Master of Public Health Program and Department of Communication College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Cornell University                                            

Dr. Amelia Greiner Safi holds PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and an MS in Communication from Cornell. She is Core Faculty in the new Master of Public Health Program at Cornell and holds a joint appointment as senior research associate faculty in the Dept of Communication in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. As an applied social scientist, she has an interest in the intersection of public health, multilevel interventions, social determinants, environmental/ecological health, policy and communication. Her work is often interdisciplinary, involves qualitative and mixed methods, and whenever possible has a translational element in terms of informing practice or policy. She has helped lead research in a variety of domains: the health implications of land use and zoning policy, means of increasing routine HIV screening among primary care providers, opportunities and barriers to preventing and mitigating riverine flooding and impacts of graphic warning labels on cigarettes for low SES adults and youth. As a social scientist on multidisciplinary teams, her role is often to bring not only relevant theory but also methodologic expertise, particularly in qualitative methods, to diverse topics & research questions.

For the past two years, she has been the lead social scientist of a team of researchers at Cornell who are working to understand how organic and conventional dairy farmers and veterinarians in New York perceive antibiotic use, their concern (if any) about antibiotic resistance and the opportunities and barriers these findings present for efforts to further reduce antibiotic use. This research has also involved two related national surveys with consumers to understand knowledge about antibiotic use in dairy, level of concern about antibiotic resistance, drivers of dairy purchases and understanding of organic dairy production. Dr. Greiner Safi recently presented this work at the 2019 AAAS symposium, “Dairy Consumers, Farmers and Antibiotic Stewardship: Competing Perspectives” in a session organized by colleague Dr. Renata Ivanek dedicated to the roles social science can play in responding to antibiotic use in humans and animals.

AAAS Abstract: Antibiotic use in animal agriculture is an area of growing interest among researchers, legislators, and consumers. This formative research about dairy farming is one lens to understanding the viewpoints and concerns that drive the behavior of farmers, veterinarians and consumers as it relates to antibiotic use and resistance. We aim to gain insight into existing practices and perceptions to ultimately identify possible effective levers for motivating behavior change that could help prevent the spread of resistant microbes. This work takes place against a backdrop of evolving regulations and consumer-driven requirements influencing antibiotic use in animal agriculture, escalating economic challenges for conventional farms and a rise in the sale of meat and dairy products marketed as organic and “antibiotic-free.” In this fast-changing landscape, what do dairy farmers think about antibiotic resistance and the changing regulations and requirements? What, if anything, motivates them to use or avoid antibiotics in their farming practices? What are consumers’ perceptions of antibiotic use, animal welfare, and organic dairy farming and does this correspond with their purchasing behavior? Where do farmers’ views, regulations, veterinarian guidance and public perception merge and conflict? This presentation will begin to address these questions by drawing on several threads of ongoing research, involving conventional and organic dairy farmers, veterinarians, and the general US public. Preliminary findings will cover farmers’ perceptions of antimicrobial resistance, their own antibiotic use and the threats and benefits of changing these practices. We will also discuss how the US public conceptualizes antibiotic use as it relates to dairy farming, purchasing and organic products. These findings can inform further research of antibiotic stewardship, direct goals of such efforts, provide insight into strategies that may drive behavior change among each of these groups (farmers, consumers, veterinarians) and highlight areas for additional policy or legislative intervention.

Greg Habing
Associate Professor
Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine 
The Ohio State University | 614-292-7205

I am a veterinary epidemiologist at the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University, and I have experience/expertise in antimicrobial resistance, preharvest food safety, dairy production systems, and molecular epidemiology. I was previously a mixed animal veterinarian focusing primarily on dairy practice in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. After leaving practice, I completed a dairy production medicine residency and PhD at Michigan State University. I joined the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine in 2012.

Since coming to OSU, our research at the “One HERD” (One Health Epidemiologic Research on Farms) lab has focused on antimicrobial stewardship and the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance and foodborne pathogens in livestock production systems. Our team is currently focused on 1) understanding and improving antimicrobial use decision making among livestock caretakers, and 2) characterizing and interrupting transmission pathways for multidrug resistant Salmonella. Our prior work includes a survey of Midwestern dairy farmers that showed substantial opportunities to reduce unnecessary antimicrobial use through more selective disease identification and application of antimicrobials for the treatment of calf diseases. Currently, we’re working with collaborators at UC Davis to conduct a hierarchical survey of dairy veterinarians and caretakers to describe the case definitions used for the initiation of antimicrobial therapy. Information from these surveys will be used to construct educational interventions to improve diagnostic accuracy among livestock caretakers. Future work will include measurements of the impact of the interventions on caretaker knowledge and quantified on-farm antimicrobial use. Similarly, we’re working with caretakers and veterinarians to characterize antimicrobial use and create educational interventions and antimicrobial stewardship plans among veal calf raisers. 

We’re also working to characterize the transmission of MDR Salmonella within dairy production systems, with a focus on the male calf production chain. We previously described extraordinarily high levels of MDR Salmonella and antimicrobial resistant bacteria within veal calf barns and veal carcasses, including a high prevalence of Salmonella serotypes and strains commonly associated with human disease.  Currently, we’re collaborating with the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to measure the environmental prevalence of Salmonella Heidelberg and other MDR Salmonella at a network of livestock auctions. Additionally, we’re working with a vertically integrated calf production system to measure the impact of enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfection to mitigate transmission of MDR Salmonella.

Lastly, I teach within the professional program at the College of Veterinary Medicine, including lectures for veterinary students in epidemiology, zoonotic diseases, and food safety. Additionally, I lead a core Food Safety course within the Master of Public Health (VPH specialization) taught within our Department.

Dr. Renata Ivanek Miojevic

Associate Professor

Cornell University | 607-253-4343

Dr. Ivanek holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb (Croatia); an MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology jointly granted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Royal Veterinary College (UK); and a PhD in Comparative Biomedical Sciences from Cornell University.

Dr. Renata Ivanek is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. She joined the Department in 2015 after being on the epidemiology faculty at Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on identifying new and improved approaches to protect animal and public health from infectious and foodborne diseases. Towards that goal her lab applies a number of epidemiologic approaches, including mathematical modeling of infectious diseases, spatial epidemiology, risk assessments, as well as qualitative, observational and experimental studies of risk factors in animal husbandry and fresh produce growing environments. Her most recent research projects include: (i) investigating antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animal agriculture to identify novel strategies to control the spread of AMR and improve understanding of the social dimensions of antimicrobial use behaviors; (ii) modeling microbial contamination in complex indoor environments, including hospitals and food processing environments, to respectively reduce nosocomial infections in healthcare and food contamination with foodborne pathogens; (iii) modeling the effect of repeated foodborne exposure to genetically diverse Listeria monocytogens and immune boosting on incidence of listeriosis in the US human population; (iv) modeling microbial dynamics along the food (milk and vegetables) production chain to reduce food waste; and (v) controlled intervention trials in growing of fruits and vegetables to improve microbial safety of fresh produce. Dr. Ivanek teaches epidemiology in the DVM and graduate programs. 

Antimicrobial Resistance in Agriculture Research: Sustainable use of antimicrobials requires a systems approach and consideration of social, economic and environmental factors. Supported by the USDA-NIFA (Multistate Research Project and Hatch funds), Dr. Ivanek’s laboratory has recently initiated two research directions: (i) a mathematical modeling study to determine why a reduction in antimicrobial use in livestock does not always result in reduced levels of AMR, and (ii) a mixed (qualitative and quantitative) methods study of perceptions about antimicrobial use and AMR in dairy farming among farmers, veterinarians and the general public. Preliminary results of the modeling study (Beauvais et al., in preparation) identified the importance of manure management and environmental factors on the dynamics of AMR in a cattle pen. As part of the second research direction, Dr. Ivanek’s team has conducted in-person interviews with dairy farmers and bovine veterinarians in New York State, a pilot survey with an international population of dairy veterinarians, and two national level surveys of the US general public. A synthesis of the preliminary results of the above investigations indicate that beliefs and attitudes about antimicrobial use in dairy cattle held by farmers, veterinarians and consumers are different and often conflicting. Their different views of what the optimal use of antimicrobials is, could present a major obstacle to developing an effective and broadly accepted program for antibiotic stewardship in dairy farming unless these conflicts are understood, addressed and resolved. The ultimate goal of Dr. Ivanek’s AMR research efforts is to identify sustainable strategies to reduce the burden of AMR in animal agriculture, as well as to improve understanding of the barriers to changing the antimicrobial use practices and aid identification of populations for targeted educational, communication and research efforts.

David Lansing

Geography and Environmental Systems

University of Maryland Baltimore County
1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250 | 410-455-2971

I have a PhD in Geography from Ohio State University. My research interests are on the intersection of conservation policy and rural livelihoods. Drawing on subfields of political ecology, science and technology studies, and theories of agrarian change I seek to explain how conservation policy is formed and implemented, and the effects it has on land use and the livelihoods of farmers. Since 2005 I have conducted work on these themes by studying the relationship between climate change policy and smallholding farmers in Costa Rica. My work on environmental governance and rural livelihoods in Costa Rica remains ongoing, however, since 2013 I have been conducting work on these issues with farmers in the United States. Broadly, my work in the United States investigates how various land use stakeholders conceive of the environment, how this affects their approach toward sustainable farming practices, and their relationship toward environmental regulations. I employ a wide variety of methods, and throughout my career I have used a combination of quantitative surveys, qualitative interviews, archival work, textual analysis, remote sensing, and ethnography.

My recent work on antimicrobial resistance examines how actors along the dairy and beef cattle commodity chain are responding to increasing public concern over antibiotic use. Specifically, I am working on a project that examines how and why antimicrobial regulations, best use practices, and standards have emerged across distinct governmental domains, and how this matrix of regulations and guidelines become translated into agricultural practices among dairy cow and beef cattle farmers in the United States. This work utilizes surveys, interviews, and ethnographic techniques to understand the different ways that farmers encounter bacteria and how they negotiate the twin demands of treating animals as both subjects of medical treatment and agricultural production.

A related project of mine examines the different ways that antimicrobial resistance comes to be conceptualized and acted upon across diverse scientific fields. This work uses bibliometric techniques to characterize the vast landscape of antimicrobial research into grouped domains of common understanding across the veterinary, environmental, and medical sciences. We are currently using textual analysis to understand the different ways that core terms such as “environment” are used across scientific disciplines. Our goal is to examine points of overlap and divergence in how different intellectual domains conceive of bacteria in the world, and how this might shape cross-disciplinary communication about antimicrobial resistance.

Stephanie A. Lansing
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Science and Technology
1429 Animal Science/Agricultural Engineering Building
University of Maryland, College Park, MD  20742 | Phone: (301) 405-1197 | Fax: (301) 314-9023

Dr. Stephanie Lansing is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland’s Department of Environmental Science and Technology. She earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the Ohio State University and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science at the University of Oklahoma. Her research interests include antimicrobial resistance (AMR), anaerobic digestion, microbial fuel cells, composting, gasification, nutrient capture, modeling, and lifecycle assessment (LCA). Her focus on AMR includes investigating the transformations in solids, nutrients, antibiotic residuals and antimicrobial resistance genes through the dairy manure trail (manure pit, solid-liquid separation, composting, digestion, and lagoon storage). Additionally, her team has investigated how anaerobic digestion and composting of manure and wastewater affect antimicrobial resistance, both at mesophilic and thermophilic temperatures, with and without pre-processing. In 2018, she received a $1.2 million AFRI grant involving six institutions to conduct AMR research and an AFRI conference grant to bring together leading AMR researchers to enhance understanding of the social, economic and communication efforts taking place in AMR in agriculture. She also is serving as co-PI on a $3 million NSF Global Stewards grant focused on bringing food, water and energy nexus education to graduate students. In 2018, Dr. Lansing received a DAAD Fellowship to perform collaborative research on food waste digestion in Germany. She also received the NABEC Young Engineer of the Year Award in 2017.

Her waste to energy research projects include using dairy, swine and poultry manure, food waste, algae, and wastewater in the US, Germany, Haiti, China, and Costa Rica, and post-digestion nutrient capture systems to extract nutrients from complex substrates. In addition to her digestion and AMR extension work, she currently teaches classes in Renewable Energy, Ecological Design, and Sustainable Technologies for Developing Countries.

Selected Publications:

  • Arikan, O., Mulbry, W., Rice, C., Lansing, S., 2018. The fate and effect of monensin during anaerobic digestion of dairy manure under mesophilic conditions. PLoS One 13(2): e0192080.
  • Arikan, O., Mulbry, W., Rice, C., Lansing, S., 2018. Anaerobic digestion reduces veterinary ionophore lasalocid in dairy manure. Desalination and Water Treatment. Desalination and Water Treatment 108: 183-188.
  • Hurst, J.J., Oliver, J., Schueler, J., Gooch, C.A., Lansing, S., Crossette, E., Wiggington, K.R., Raskin, L., Aga, D.S., Sassoubre, L.M., 2019. Trends in antimicrobial resistance genes in manure blend pits and long-term storage across dairy farms with comparisons to antimicrobial usage and residual concentrations. Env. Science & Technology 53: 2405-2415

Kari Nixon 
Whitworth University | 972-876-8141
Twitter: @halfsickshadows

Kari Nixon is an assistant professor at Whitworth University. Her research focuses on the confluence of microbiology, germ theory, and social norms in the late nineteenth century, and expands into the present day, considering the risk aversions that motivate antibiotic usage and aversion to vaccines.  Her co-edited collections, Endemic: Essays in Contagion Theory and Syphilis and Subjectivity were published with Palgrave in 2016 and ’17, respectively. Her first book, Kept From All Contagion: Germ Theory, Disease, and the Dilemma of Human Contact comes out in May 2020, and she was recently featured in HuffPo for her article on anti-vaxx culture and motherhood norms. 

Kristen Obbink, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, CCRT
Associate Director
National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education
2901 S. Loop Drive, Suite 3300 Iowa State University Research Park
Ames, IA 50010 | (515) 294-4049

Dr. Obbink completed her BS degree in Zoology in 2006 and her DVM in 2011 from Iowa State University. She then completed her MPH in 2012 from the University of Minnesota while practicing companion animal medicine in both Iowa and Minnesota. From 2012-2015, she served as the Coordinator for the Iowa Food Emergency Rapid Response Team and the Enteric Disease Epidemiologist for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and the Iowa Department of Public Health. She then returned to clinical practice and became certified in canine rehabilitation. In 2015, she joined the team at the Center for Food Security and Public Health at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine where she co-managed the development and delivery of materials for the USDA’s National Veterinary Accreditation Program (NVAP), including three modules on the topic of antimicrobial resistance. She also developed educational resources to aide in the recognition, prevention, and containment of foreign, emerging, zoonotic, and reportable animal diseases. In January 2019, she assumed her current role as Associate Director for the National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE) where she leads the Institute’s operational management and coordinates stakeholder engagement activities. She received Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine in 2017.

Dr. Obbink is actively involved in organized veterinary medicine and serves as an Executive Board member to the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association, the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association Public Health Committee Chair, and the Delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association representing the American Association of Food Safety and Public Health Veterinarians. She previously served as the Vice Chair for the Story County Board of Health in Central Iowa and on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Wildlife Center.

Dr. Obbink’s work in food safety and foodborne outbreak response has been recognized with multiple awards from the Food and Drug Administration. She was also named by the American Veterinary Medical Association as an Emerging Leader Scholar in 2015 and received the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association’s Rising Star Award in 2018.

Dr. Obbink resides on an acreage outside of Ames, IA, with her husband and their furry, fibered, and feathered menagerie. She is the proud owner of the Happy Bottom Homestead LLC and in her free time enjoys beekeeping, running, camping, and cheering on the Iowa State Cyclones.

Kenichi W. Okamoto, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology University of St. Thomas
2115 Summit Ave St. Paul MN 55105 | 651-962-5226

I aim to leverage insights from evolutionary biology and ecology to guide public health interventions. Elucidating the mutual interplay between ecological and evolutionary forces is critical for effectively managing infectious diseases. For instance, constraining pathogen evolution (e.g., by limiting antimicrobial resistance) requires altering the ecological context (e.g., the prevailing level of antimicrobial use in the agricultural landscape) in which evolution occurs. However, predicting how further evolutionary change unfolds requires understanding how this evolutionary change shifts the ecological context. Whether antimicrobial susceptibility can be restored in pathogens depends, in part, on whether individual farms can be incentivized to adopt AMR mitigation regimes in response to elevated levels of antimicrobial resistance.

Currently, my research focuses on how varying the spatial pattern of antimicrobial use affects our ability to control and suppress the evolution of resistance genes in pathogen populations. I am fascinated by questions such as whether targeting certain locations in the supply chain for reduced antimicrobial resistance can halt the spread of AMR genes, and how such evolution affects disease prevalence across space. The critical next step is to link these socioeconomic drivers to the underlying biological systems - that is, to make the human role in the interplay between resistance evolution and pathogen agroecology  explicit.

Selected Publications:

  • Okamoto K.W., D. Post, D. Vasseur and P.E. Turner. 2018. Managing the emergence of pathogen resistance via spatially targeted antimicrobial use. Evolutionary Applications. In press.
  • Okamoto K.W. and P. Amarasekare. 2018. A framework for high-throughput eco-evolutionary simulations integrating multilocus, forward-time population genetics and community ecology. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 9:525-534.
  • Okamoto, K.W., F. Gould and A.L. Lloyd. 2016. Integrating Transgenic Vector Manipulation with Clinical Interventions to Manage Vector-Borne Diseases. PLoS Computational Biology 12 e1004695.
  • Ma, S., M. Murphy, K.W. Okamoto, P.E. Turner and B. Chan. Developing optimal phage therapy cocktails using a computational heuristic. In revision.
  • Hollingworth, B.D., K.W. Okamoto, F. Gould and A. Lloyd. After the Honeymoon, the Divorce: Unexpected Outcomes of Disease Control Measures Against Endemic Infections. In Review.

Emmanuel Okello

University of California Davis

Emmanuel Okello is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Antimicrobial Stewardship at University of California Davis. His ongoing research program is focused on surveillance for antimicrobial resistance on California dairies, validation of rapid mastitis diagnostic tests, and the development of decision tools to facilitate selective dry cow therapy practice on dairies. Other areas of research interest include the use of alternatives to antibiotics, vaccine development and general animal management practices for disease prevention and improved production. The goal of his research program is to develop antimicrobial stewardship guidelines and best management practices that reduce antimicrobial resistance while maintaining the health and welfare of the herds and flocks. Okello holds a veterinary degree from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, a Master of Molecular Biology from Katholieke University Leuven, Leuven, Belgium and a PhD in Bio-Engineering Sciences from Vrije University Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

Paul J. Plummer, DVM PhD Dipomate ACVIM (LAIM) Diplomate ECSRHM
Executive Director, National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education
Associate Professor, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine
2901 S. Loop Dr, Bldg #3, Suite 3300, ISU Research Park, Ames, IA 50010 | 515-294-3352

Dr. Paul Plummer is the executive director of the National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE), housed at the Iowa State University Research Park. The National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education’s mission is to drive collaborative and integrative research, education and engagement to solve AMR challenges and benefit society using a One Health approach. NIAMRRE will also provide local, national, and international leadership in combating antimicrobial resistance; generating evidence-based solutions for antimicrobial stewardship; contributing to improvements in the health of animals, humans, and the environment (One Health); and facilitating economically and socially sound policy development and implementation. NIAMRRE was developed in 2018 as a result of a national search process led by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) and the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) to identify a collaborative center to lead One-Health efforts in AMR. One of the key focuses of NIAMRRE is on improving science communication of AMR by applying the science of science communication.      

Dr. Plummer is also an associate professor in the Departments of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine and Veterinary Microbiology and Preventative Medicine at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Plummer is part of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee of Antimicrobials, as an alternate representative and sub-committee member representing the American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners. This position allows him direct interaction with organized veterinary medicine policy development and outreach associated with veterinary antibiotic use. Dr. Plummer’s diverse experiences as a veterinary clinician, molecular microbiologist, professional student educator, extension specialist and active livestock producer combine to provide him with a unique perspective that bridges a multitude of antimicrobial resistance issues and needs. Dr. Plummer’s clinical specialty is internal medicine and infectious disease of ruminants. He has been board certified in Large Animal Internal Medicine since 2004. He is also the only individual in the United States (and one of only two in North America) that is board certified by the European College of Small Ruminant Health Management (the only specialty board for sheep and goats in the world). He is currently the instructor-in-charge for the core food animal medicine course in the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine professional program (one of the largest veterinary professional programs in the country with the largest number of graduates that end up practicing food animal medicine). He also has an extension appointment as the small ruminant veterinary extension specialist for the state. As an veterinary infectious disease clinician he interacts with the realities of antimicrobial resistance on a daily basis. By necessity he is on the front lines of treating infections due to antimicrobial resistant bacteria, while modeling antimicrobial stewardship practices to the 145 veterinary students he teaches each year.

Dr. Plummer is the principal investigator leading an independent extramurally funded research laboratory with a significant focus on antimicrobial resistant bacteria. His laboratory currently consists of 13 members with 4 PhD students (3 of these are DVMs), 4 MS students (1 DVM and 1 DVM student), 1 laboratory manager, and 4 veterinary student hourly workers. He is currently serving as PI or Co-PI on over $3,000,000 in research funding related to antimicrobial resistance or antibiotic alternatives. His work focuses on the ecology, transmission and mitigation of resistant organisms in livestock systems.

Dr. Plummer is an active livestock producer. His family owns livestock and he is in the barn, milking twice a day when he is not traveling out of town. This “real life” daily experience as a livestock producer allows him to experience the economics and practicalities of producing livestock.

Amy Pruden, PhD
W. Thomas Rice Professor
Charles E. Via, Jr. Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia | phone: (540) 231-3980 | fax: (540) 231-7916

Dr. Pruden's research focuses on bringing a microbial ecological perspective to understanding sources and mechanisms of spread of antibiotic resistance from environmental sources. In particular, her group has worked to advance the use of molecular biological tools, especially metagenomics, for comprehensively tracking sources of antibiotic resistance in the environment and evaluating potential mitigation strategies.  Her research has focused both on agricultural systems, i.e., “farm-to-fork,” as well as wastewater treatment and water reuse.  Most recently her research group is working towards advancing molecular and metagenomic-based tools for the purpose of informing environmental AMR risk assessment.  Current relevant research projects include: a USDA NIFA project, “Developing Computational Tools To Identify Critical Control Points For Mitigating The Spread Of Antibiotic Resistance In Agro-Ecosystems” (PI-Pruden), a Water Research Foundation project, “Project 4813: Critical Evaluation and Assessment of Health and Environmental Risks from Antibiotic Resistance in Reuse and Wastewater” (PI-Hamilton), a US Centers for Disease Control Project, “Critical Barriers to Antibiotic Resistance during Water Reclamation and Reuse” (PI-Pruden), and a National Science Foundation Partnership in International Research and Education project, “Halting Environmental Antibiotic Resistance Dissemination” (PI-Vikesland). 

Example Recent Publications:

  • Chen, C.; Pankow, C.; Oh, M.; Heath, L.; Zhang, L.; Du., P.; Xia, K.; Pruden, A. (2019). Effect of antibiotic use and composting on antibiotic resistance gene abundance and resistome risks of soils receiving manure-derived amendments. Environment International (accepted April 18, 2019).
  • Guron, G., Arango-Argoty, G.; Zhang, L., Ponder, M.; Pruden, A. (2019). Effect of Dairy Manure-Based Amendments and Soil Texture on Lettuce and Radish Associated Microbiota and Resistomes. mSphere (accepted April 14, 2019).
  • Fogler, K.; Guron, G.K.; Wind, L.; Hession, W.C.; Krometis, L-A, Strawn, L.K.; Pruden, A.; Ponder, M.A. Profiling the Resistomes of Bacterial Communities of Field-Grown Lettuce Leaves and Radish Taproots Grown in Soils Receiving Dairy Manure-Based Amendments.  Frontiers in Sustainable Agriculture.   3:22.
  • Oh, M.; Pruden, A.; Chen, C.*; Heath, L.; Xia, K.; Zhang, L. (2018). MetaCompare: A computational pipeline for prioritizing environmental resistome risk. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 94(7): fiy079
  • Arango-Argoty, G.*; Garner, E.*; Pruden, A.; Heath, L.S.; Vikesland, P.J.; Zhang, L. (2018). DeepARG: A deep learning approach for predicting antibiotic resistance genes from metagenomic data. Microbiome. 6(1):23 doi: 10.1186/s40168-018-0401-z.
  • Gillings, M., Gaze, W., Pruden, A., Smalla, K., Tiedje, J., and Y-G Zhu. (2014). Using the class 1 integron-integrase gene as a proxy for anthropogenic pollution.  The ISME Journal. 9(6): 1269-1279.

Laurel Redding, VMD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine | 610-925-6307 
382 West Street Road Kennett Square, PA 19382

I am a veterinarian and an epidemiologist with a strong interest in the intersection of animal, human and environmental health (“One Health”), especially where it relates to the pharmacoepidemiology of antimicrobials in the veterinary setting. I pursued my PhD in epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where I studied the use of antibiotics on small rural farms in the developing world. I then obtained my veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine. I spent several years in small-animal general practice before transitioning to a faculty position in Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine.

I am particularly interested in understanding how and why antimicrobials are used in different veterinary settings, and in quantifying antimicrobial use with a variety of metrics in order to provide information to a broad audience that may include clinicians, public health officials and policy-makers. My first foray into this topic was during my dissertation, when I characterized antimicrobial use on dairy farms in rural Peru, identified factors associated with the contamination of milk with antibiotic residues, and compared different methods of  collecting antimicrobial use data. More recently, I have assessed antimicrobial use – both quantitatively and qualitatively – on dairy farms in Pennsylvania, noting a decline in use over time. I have also examined antimicrobial use within a veterinary hospital and have an ongoing study to understand the pharmacoepidemiology of antimicrobials on equine racetracks. This body of work has enabled me to have a more complete understanding of how antimicrobials are used in different veterinary settings and to have a solid foundation in the methods of describing use. This foundation is critical for investigations geared at describing the effect of antimicrobial use on antimicrobial resistance and on the resistome of environments where these drugs are routinely used.

The other angle I am interested in is the social drivers of antimicrobial use by veterinary clinicians. In ongoing work, I am investigating the perceptions of veterinarians on the overuse of antimicrobials in the clinical and production setting and their reaction to antimicrobial stewardship initiatives. The motivation for this study is, of course, an understanding that stewardship initiatives will only be successful when they have buy-in of the target audience. While mostly focused on a hospital setting, I anticipate that findings from this study will be generalizable to an extent to the production setting.

Amy Millmier Schmidt
Department of Biological Systems Engineering
Department of Animal Science
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
3605 Fair St., Lincoln, NE 68583-0726 | 402-472-0877

Dr. Amy Millmier Schmidt is an Associate Professor and Agricultural Engineer with extension and research appointments in the Biological Systems Engineering and Animal Science Departments at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her program is focused on helping grow Nebraska's agricultural industry by supporting socially and environmentally responsible livestock production to enhance soil, water and air quality. She is particularly devoted to training the next generation of extension professionals and engages all of her graduate students in outreach to transfer their research into practice.

Dr. Schmidt’s research interests include antimicrobial resistance (AMR), manure and mortality management, nutrient management and recovery, and soil health. She is currently a co-PI or collaborator on multiple NIFA- and regionally-funded grants investigating practices in the swine, dairy and beef industries to mitigate risks of AMR through manure management practices. Her AMR-related research efforts include investigating the impacts of manure composting and stockpiling, feedlot surface treatments, manure application methods, tillage practices, manure storage additives, and soil biology on the fate of manure-borne antimicrobial resistant bacteria and resistance genes. In support of her outreach programming efforts, she co-developed a successful AFRI conference grant in 2018 to bring together leading AMR researchers to enhance understanding of the social, economic and communication efforts taking place around AMR in agriculture.

Dr. Schmidt leads the outreach components of these integrated projects and, in 2018, established the first nationwide team of university extension professionals to develop and deliver consistent, research-based messages about AMR to agricultural producers and consumers. The iAMResponsibleTM Project includes collaborators from multi land grant and private universities with expertise in food safety, livestock production, manure management, veterinary medicine, environmental science and communications. Follow the project on Twitter (@i_AMResponsible) and Facebook (@iAMResponsibleEDU), and watch for the project website,, coming soon!

In 2017, Dr. Schmidt co-authored a book chapter with Dr. Lisa Durso on antimicrobial resistance related to agricultural waste water and biosolids sources in Antimicrobial Resistance in Wastewater Treatment Processes (ISBN-13: 978-1119192435).

Dr. Schmidt received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Engineering from Iowa State University in 1997 and 1999, respectively. She completed her Ph.D. in Biological Engineering at Mississippi State University in 2010. She and her husband, Ty, joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2012. Including her time at UNL, she has spent nearly 20 years helping farmers adopt research-based manure management practices to optimize profitability and minimize potential environmental and social risks.

John W. Schmidt
Research Microbiologist
Meat Safety and Quality Research Unit
U.S. Meat Animal Research Center
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture — Agricultural Research Service
PO Box 166, Clay Center, NE 68933 | (402) 762-4226

Dr. John W. Schmidt is a Research Microbiologist with the Meat Safety and Quality Research Unit at the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, United States Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC) located in Clay Center, Nebraska. He earned a B.S. from Rutgers University (Biotechnology) and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois (Microbiology). Following post-doctoral appointments at the University of Pennsylvania (Virology) and Duke University (Chemistry) he joined USMARC in 2009. 

His current research is focused on addressing the confluence of antimicrobial resistance and food safety concerns that the meat animal production and processing industries are currently facing. Several published and ongoing studies have examined the impacts of antimicrobial use in meat animal production agriculture on the levels of antimicrobial resistant bacteria throughout the beef and pork production continuums. He has severed as lead or co-PI for external grants from the Food and Drug Administration, Nebraska Beef Council, the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He has mentored Ph.D. students through affiliate faculty memberships at Colorado State University and the University of Nebraska. He frequently consults with and presents research results to livestock producers, meat processors, and government officials. Within the last five years he has presented antimicrobial resistance research results at Beef Industry Safety Summits, American Meat Science Association Annual Meetings, Food Safety and Inspection Service Meetings, and National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System Meetings, among others.  

Selected Relevant Publications:

  • Agga, G.E., Schmidt, J.W., and Arthur, T.M. 2016. Effects of in-feed chlortetracycline prophylaxis of beef cattle on animal health and antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 82:7197-7204.
  • Vikram, A., Rovira, P., Agga, G.E., Arthur, T.M., Bosilevac, J.M., Wheeler, T.L., Morley, P.S., Belk, K.E., and Schmidt, J.W. 2017. Impact of "raised without antibiotics" beef cattle production practices on occurrences of antimicrobial resistance. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 83:e01682-17.
  • Vikram, A., Miller, E., Arthur, T.M., Bosilevac, J.M., Wheeler, T.L., and Schmidt, J.W. 2018. Similar levels of antimicrobial resistance in U.S. foodservice ground beef products with and without a "raised without antibiotics" claim. J. Food Prot. 81:2007-2018.

Noelia Silva Del Rí
CE Associate Specialist in Dairy Herd Health 
Production Medicine and Food Safety
UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine
VMTRC, 18830 Rd. 112 Tulare, CA, 93274    | 559-688-1731 x 255 

AMR research experience/interest
One of the goals of my program is to identify antimicrobial use stewardship opportunities on dairies and develop outreach materials promoting best management practices.

Past work:

  • I have described what signs of health disorders cows were screened for and what physical exploratory methods were used during fresh cow evaluations. 
  • I have described what signs of health disorder led to antimicrobial treatment decisions in fresh and mastitic cows.

Current work:

  • I am conducting systematic reviews on the use of antimicrobials for the treatment of diarrhea and bovine respiratory disease on calves.
  • I am developing outreach materials to train workers on good management practices that may improve calf health and postpartum cow health.

Future work:

  • I plan to evaluate management strategies that may reduce antimicrobial use on preweaned calves.

Prashant Singh
Assistant Professor
Department of Nutrition Food and Exercise Science
416 Sandels Building/120 Convocation Way
Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL  32306 | Phone: (805) 644-1829 | Fax: (850) 644-4961

Dr. Prashant Singh is an Assistant Professor at the Florida State University in the Department of Nutrition Food and Exercise Science. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Delhi University and Master’s degree from Vellore Institute of Technology. After completing his Master’s he worked as a research assistant for three years at National Dairy Research Institute. Later on, he received his Ph.D. in Food Science from University of Missouri.  He later on worked as a postdoctoral research associate at University of Georgia, Griffin campus. His research interest includes development of rapid methods for the detection of foodborne pathogens and antibiotic resistant pathogens.

He has previously conducted extensive research in development of robust real-time PCR based assay for the detection of foodborne pathogens. His research specifically focused on development of rapid and cost-effective methods for the detection of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (E. coli O157, non-O157 STEC), Salmonella and pathogenic strains of Bacillus cereus. His prior research in this area of antibiotic resistant pathogens focused on development of rapid TaqMan and melting curve real-time PCR assays for the detection of antibiotic resistant pathogens. In his recent project he developed a robust assay for the detection of ESBL and Carbapenem resistant strains.

Selected Publications:

  • Singh, P., Pfeifer, Y., & Mustapha, A. (2016). Multiplex real-time PCR assay for the detection of extended-spectrum β-lactamase and carbapenemase genes using melting curve analysis. Journal of microbiological methods, 124, 72-78.
  • Singh, P., & Mustapha, A. (2014). Development of a real-time PCR melt curve assay for simultaneous detection of virulent and antibiotic resistant Salmonella. Food microbiology, 44, 6-14.
  • Singh, P., & Mustapha, A. (2013). Multiplex TaqMan® detection of pathogenic and multi-drug resistant Salmonella. International journal of food microbiology, 166(2), 213-218.

Stacy Sneeringer 
Economic Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Dr. Stacy Sneeringer is a Senior Economist in the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. She also is the Acting Deputy Director for Management, Data, and Staff Analyses of the Resource and Rural Economics Division.  She received a Ph.D. in economics and a Master’s in Demography from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in economics from Wesleyan Univ. 

Currently, Dr. Sneeringer’s work examines agricultural antibiotics. In 2015, she published “The Economics of Antibiotic Use in U.S. Livestock Production.”  This USDA report examined the productivity impacts of antibiotic use for growth promotion, evaluated the literature on the impacts of reducing on-farm antibiotic use, and estimated the impacts on production and prices of a ban on growth-promoting antibiotics.  In a forthcoming USDA report, Dr. Sneeringer examines the animal pharma industry’s supply and demand responses to regulations on antibiotic use in livestock production and increasing consumer demand for products raised with fewer antibiotics. 

Other ongoing studies include the impacts of Food and Drug Administration policies ending the administration of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion, how to incentivize new veterinary pharma products to reduce the use of agricultural antibiotics, the impact of generic competition on innovation in veterinary pharma, and consumer demand for poultry raised without antibiotics.

In addition to her work on antibiotic use in U.S. livestock production, she has published on impacts of air and water pollution from large-scale livestock operations, policies to reduce nutrient pollution from agricultural production, impacts of climate change on livestock production, policies to encourage adoption of methane digesters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and labor market impacts of the concentration of agricultural production. 

Relevant Publications:


Rick Stowell
Associate Professor
Biological Systems Engineering
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
215 L.W. Chase Hall, Lincoln, NE  68583 | 402-472-3912

Rick is an Extension Specialist in Animal Environment with Nebraska Extension, and previously served in the same capacity for Ohio State University Extension. He has a joint appointment with the Department of Animal Science.  His extension and research interests focus on improving environmental quality in and around livestock and poultry facilities, mitigating thermal stress in livestock and poultry, and facility design for optimal environmental management.  Rick earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from Michigan State University.

Rick is a co-leader of the Livestock & Poultry Environmental Learning Community (LPELC), which strives to provide access to the nation’s best science-based resources that are responsive to priority and emerging environmental issues associated with animal agriculture.  He has led national projects to build extension capacity around air quality and climate change issues.  These issues can be contentious and demand non-traditional communication strategies, which also connects his interest in projects studying antimicrobial resistance.

Relevant Publications:

  • Powers, C., R. Stowell, J. Heemstra, J. Harrison, E. Whitefield, D. Smith, S. Mukhtar, J. Risse, P. Knox, G. Hawkins, C. Gooch, J. Pronto, D. Schmidt, and L, Jacobson.  2018.  Building capacity to address animal agriculture in a changing climate.  J. of Extension 56(1): Article # 1FEA8. 
  • Powers, C., and R. Stowell.  2017.  Planning for resilience: Using scenarios to address potential impacts of climate change for the Northern Plains beef system. In: Proceedings of Third International Conference on Livestock & Poultry Environmental Quality.  eXtension.
  • Cortus, E. L., M. R. Al Mamun, M. J. Spiehs, F. Y. Ayadi, B. E. Doran, K. D. Kohl, S. Pohl, S. D. Cortus, R. Stowell, and R. Nicolai.  2015.  Site, environmental, and airflow characteristics for mono-slope beef cattle facilities in the Northern Great Plains.  Transactions of the ASABE 58(1): 123-135.
  • Spiehs, M. J., E. L. Cortus, G. A. Holt, K. D. Kohl, B. E. Doran, F. Y. Ayadi, S. D. Cortus, M. R. Al Mamun, S. Pohl, R. Nicolai, R. Stowell, and D. B. Parker.  2014.  Particulate matter concentrations for mono-slope beef cattle facilities in the Northern Great Plains. Transactions of the ASABE 57(6): 1831-1837.
  • Whitefield, E., R. Stowell, C. Powers, M. Risse, P. Knox, G. Hawkins, J. Harrison, S. Mukhtar, D. Smith, L. Jacobson, D. Schmidt, C. Gooch, and J. Pronto.  2013.  Animal agriculture for a changing climate – using new ways of educating extension agents.  In: Proceedings of the 5th Greenhouse Gases and Animal Agriculture Conference (GGAA 2013), 4(2): 568.  Cambridge University Press.
  • Stowell, R. R, J. Heemstra, D. D. Schulte, R. E. Sheffield, K. Janni, and E. F. Wheeler.  2010.  Using webcasts to highlight air quality research.  In Proc. of International Symposium on Air Quality and Manure Management for Agriculture, Pub # 711P0510cd.  ASABE, St. Joseph, MI.

Nora Wong

Antibiotic Resistance Project
Pew Charitable Trusts

Nora Wong is a researcher and policy analyst working for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Antibiotic Resistance Project. She focuses on antibiotic use and stewardship in animal agriculture.          

Before joining Pew, Wong was a data analyst and laboratory supervisor at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation’s Military HIV Research Program focusing on HIV research, monitoring, and surveillance for active U.S. military members. She was also a research fellow with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center conducting research on the effects of manure from chicken production on environmental nitrate and AMR in the Chesapeake Bay watersheds.

Wong holds a Master of Public Health with a focus on environmental health science and policy from the George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from the University of Maryland. She has authored several peer-reviewed publications and policy papers and presented on the public health impact of antibiotic use in animal agriculture.

AMR research and interests:

Wong has written a policy paper analyzing additional refinements needed on animal antibiotic labels after the 2017 FDA guidance to eliminate growth promotion uses of medically important antibiotics in food animal production. She has also written literature reviews, authored peer-reviewed articles and short policy summaries on alternatives to antibiotics in animal agriculture. She is interested in exploring ways to better understand publicly available antibiotic use data and the use of a biomass denominator to understand on-farm antibiotic use trends. She is also interested in the sociological and behavioral components of what drives farmers and veterinarians to use antibiotics.

Selected Publications:





Guillaume Lhermie, DVM, MSc, PHD

Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostics Science      
Cornell University

I am a graduate veterinarian holding a MSc in Economics, a PhD in pharmacology and innovation and with post-doctoral training in public health and epidemiology. In addition to private veterinary practice, I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry, as R&D project manager and medical director. I am currently Research Associate in the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostics Science at Cornell University, since 2017. My research, conducted in Yrjo Grohn’ s lab, focuses on One Health and Infectious Diseases issues at the interface of animal agriculture and human health. I am studying the economics of antimicrobial resistance at microeconomics (farm) and macroeconomic (national and global) levels. At the farm level, I conduct cost-benefit analysis of several curative or preventive diseases control strategies implemented by farmers. At a macroeconomic level, I develop models enabling to evaluate the impact of public policies targeting the reduction of drugs inputs in animal agriculture, using dynamic modeling approaches of the production system. My most recent research emphasis has been studying antimicrobial use and resistance as a sustainability challenge, in which I develop qualitative and quantitative models aiming at analyzing the impact of antimicrobial use on social-ecological systems, and communicating to policymakers.  My knowledge of ruminants’ medicine and productions systems, as well as pharmaceutical industry, are of paramount importance in the choice of the research questions we address.

My AMR research interests span from pharmacology and epidemiology to economics and policy analysis. I develop bio-economic models (US beef and dairy cattle productions), which can be adapted to other regions/productions. Another research interest consists of the strategic interactions of stakeholders at the frontiers of the agricultural system and human community. Overall, I am interested in assessing the efficiency of public policies, under a One Health umbrella, considering bacterial susceptibility as a common good. 

2018-2019 publications:

  • Guillaume Lhermie, Didier Wernlii, Peter Søgaard Jørgensen, Donald Kenkel, Loren William Tauer, Yrjo Tapio Gröhn. 2019. Global resistance to antimicrobials catalyzes the need to assess their sustainable use in agriculture: a social-ecological systems approach. The Lancet Planetary Health.
  • Peter Søgaard Jørgensen, Carl Folke, Patrik J. G. Henriksson, Karin Malmros, Max Troell, Anna Zorzet, Athena Aktipis, Zachary Brown,; Yves Carrière, Sharon Downes, Robert R. Dunn, Graham Epstein, Yrjö Gröhn, Govind Tikaramsa Gujar, David Hawthorne, Dusan Jasovsky, Eili Y. Klein, Franziska Klein, Guillaume Lhermie, David Mota-Sanchez, Celso Omoto, Maja Schlüter, H. Morgan Scott, Didier Wernli, Scott P. Carroll. 2018. Promoting antibiotic and pesticide susceptibility to preserve an Anthropocene operating space. Nature sustainability
  • Guillaume Lhermie, Loren William Tauer, Yrjo Tapio Gröhn. 2018. The farm cost of decreasing antimicrobial use in dairy production. PLoS One. Mar 22;13(3):e0194832. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0194832. eCollection 2018
  • Guillaume Lhermie, Loren William Tauer, Yrjo Tapio Gröhn. 2018. Hot topic: do antimicrobials matter? An assessment of the costs of antimicrobial use restrictions on the U.S. dairy market. Preventive Veterinary Medicine. Volume 160, Pages 63-67.

Dr. Syed Imran Ali Meerza

Department of Agricultural Economics 
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Meerza is currently working as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Meerza earned a B.S. in Economics from Khulna University of Bangladesh. To further his education, Dr. Meerza came to the United States in 2011 and started graduate school at South Dakota State University, where he earned an M.S. in Economics. He received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May 2018.

Dr. Meerza’s research focus lies on the intersection of industrial organization, food economics and policy, and behavioral and experimental economics, with current emphasis on food safety, food fraud, antimicrobial resistance, and information avoidance behavior. His research employs both theoretical and quantitative methods to understand important, current, and emerging issues affecting the agri-food system. The main objective of his research program is to inform policymakers and food supply chain actors and provide insights to improve the agri-food system.

Dr. Meerza is currently working on two research projects related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the food chain. AMR refers to microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses) that are resistant to the effects of antimicrobial drugs (such as antibiotics and antivirals). The high volume of antibiotics in food animal production is thought to create AMR bacteria, which can enter the food chain through residues in meat, milk, or eggs. Therefore, AMR is considered as a major food safety concern. The first AMR related project aims to examine consumers’ knowledge of, attitudes towards and acceptance of the use of antimicrobials in livestock production. The second research project on AMR investigates the role of subjective (self-assessed) and objective knowledge in AMR information avoidance behavior.

Graduate Students:

Jaime Barrett  
Department of Geography and Environmental Systems          
University of Maryland Baltimore County

I am a PhD student in the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. I have a MA in geography from the University of Delaware and a BS in conservation biology from the SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

I currently serve as Dr. David Lansing's research assistant on an AFRI project dealing with antibiotic use in the beef and dairy industry. Dr. Lansing and I are the social science component of the grant and as such we are in the process of administering surveys, interviewing farmers and associated members of the agricultural community, and participating in beef and dairy related conferences and farm tours

For my masters research I investigated farmer perspectives of agricultural conservation on the Delmarva Peninsula. This research focused on motivations for adopting best management practices, information sources for conservation decision-making and the impact of nutrient management (NM) regulation. This work involved interviews, participant observation of NM regulatory requirements and analysis of associated regulation and conservation information resources.

My broad interest is in farmer response to changing regulation related to environmental policy. I plan to tie my previous work on nutrient management with current work on antibiotic use to assess if there are any commonalities across regulation. Future research will involve additional interviews and participant experiences including extended ethnographic stays on beef and dairy operations.

Cecilia Brooks
Graduate Research Assistant and Ph.D. Student
Mississippi State University - School of Human Sciences | (662) 325-5841

I am a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences. I obtained a BS in Business Administration at the University of Arizona and an MBA from Mississippi State University, both with an emphasis in Marketing. My dissertation research is focused on the exploration of factors influencing the financial capability of young adults.
My research is focused on the interrelated nature of knowledge, attitudes, and actions; accordingly, I seek to integrate concepts from consumer behavior and consumer economics to examine intrinsic and extrinsic motivations in adopting behavioral changes. Thus, by including subjective measures and scales, I believe we can apply these frameworks to explain the individual’s connection between antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and their personal choices within the context of agriculture. For instance, if AMR, as a “national emergency”, is presented to consumers, are consumers willing to change their purchase behaviors by either adjusting their demand and/or pay premiums on certain foods? From a consumer’s perspective, the decision-making process begins with awareness and it can be measured through purchases. Since purchasing decisions are driven by economics (whether it’s consumer or farmer driven) and psychological factors such as self-concept (i.e., “I am” an environmentalist), locus of control (i.e., I have control over “my” health), social identity (i.e., “We” are concerned about AMR) both can act as motivators to illicit behavioral changes.

Currently I’m working with environmental scientists on an exploratory study that will examine perceptions of farming conservation practices such as soil, water, and nutrient management. Consequently, I will use those findings as a baseline to further the understanding of AMR by aligning awareness with perceptions of agricultural practices in Mississippi and more broadly the Mid Southeastern United States.

I can provide experience in the development and administration of questionnaires for human subjects and the adaptation of behavioral outcome models and frameworks that can be used to connect AMR to well-being. My research experience includes nine abstracts and one peer reviewed journal article, presented at local, regional, and national conferences such as the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE), Mississippi Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (MAFCS), Southeastern Council on Family Relations (SECFR), and the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS).

Christine Georgakakos
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY | (404) 405-5667 

My interest in AMR is through the lens of contaminant transport, impacts of micropollutants on soil and aquatic organisms, and dispersal of antibiotic resistance genes through manure application.  My dissertation work is focused on the transport and impact of contaminants from agricultural sites. I came to focus on antibiotics while analyzing best management practices and their effectiveness in reducing nutrient contamination.  While analyzing a riparian buffer system, I began thinking about the other compounds used on farms and their transport from farms.  My dissertation will span laboratory and field experiments focused on understanding the mechanisms of transport for antibiotic residuals with manure, soil, and water, as well as an interview-based study aimed at understanding impacts of antibiotics on farm operations and perceived transport around farms.

My lab work will determine distribution coefficients of two antibiotics to manure and soil, so to better predict the transport of these compounds after manure application. This work is aimed at reducing risk of transport of antibiotic residues into soil and water, to limit exposure of organisms (including humans) to these impactful compounds.

My interview-based study involves conventionally and organically managed farms in New York. The interviews are semi-structured, and highlight topics of manure management systems, antibiotic usage, alternative treatment methods, antibiotic usage influences on farm management, and perceived transport pathways.  The project goals are to understand impacts of antibiotics on heard health, farm economics, and perceived ties between antibiotics and manure management.  This study gages farmer perception of antibiotics beyond direct animal health impacts. 

By pairing interview-based and laboratory-based research, I am hoping to help direct research and potential future policy in decisions that are achievable for farms and effective in reducing pharmaceutical transport.

Gabriel Innes
PhD Candidate
Department of Environmental Health and Engineering
Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health
615 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21201 | 215-990-6945

Gabriel Innes is a third-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, pursuing a PhD at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His main interests involve global health at the animal, human, and environmental interface. This includes food security, zoonosis, and antibiotic resistance. Dr. Innes’s dissertation research is focused on infectious disease models of antimicrobial resistance in animal agriculture. He received his bachelor of science degree from the Schreyer’s Honors College at Pennsylvania State University and a veterinariae medicinae doctoris (VMD) at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Innes has held positions at the US Department of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the World Health Organization HQ.

Timothy Neher
Iowa State University | (937) 789 2523

My name is Tim Neher, and I am a PhD student in agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University working with Dr. Michelle Soupir as my major advisor. I completed my undergraduate degree in environmental science at Virginia Tech in 2015. I worked in Dr. Brian Badgley’s lab as an undergraduate researcher where I helped develop a microbial source tracking project to determine sources of human fecal contamination by monitoring the HF183 human fecal indicator gene in the Stroubles Creek watershed. After graduation, I worked for the US Geological Survey in Richmond, VA as a hydrologic technician for two years. My main responsibilities were to collect discrete surface water samples from rivers and streams across the state of Virginia, and to maintain a network of continuous water quality instruments.

I then chose to pursue my master’s degree at Iowa State, and enjoyed it so much that I decided to stay for my PhD. I very recently completed my master’s degree in April of 2019. My master’s thesis was on the transport of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and bacteria (ARBs) in runoff from agricultural fields that have been applied with swine and cattle manure. The study area was in a highly agriculturalized watershed in central Iowa with 70% of the land in a corn-soybean rotation as well as with multiple animal feeding operations in the watershed. The two year study monitored a wide range of ARGs ermB, ermF (macrolides), tetA, tetM, tetO, tetW (tetracyclines), sul1, sul2 (sulfonamides), aadA2 (aminoglycosides), vgaA, and vgaB (pleuroutilins) and total fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) (E. coli and enterococci) and tylosin and tetracycline resistant enterococci in catchment outlet water. Comparisons were made between similar sized catchments with differing manure application practices. Results of this particular study supports the idea that manure application on row crops significantly increase ARGs and ARBs in catchment effluent. The early spring and late fall time-periods were determined to be associated with the highest concentrations of ARGs in catchment outlet water which coincides with manure application timing.

I am interested in relating antibiotic resistance indicators in catchment effluent to the quantities of antibiotics used by livestock owners within the watershed. It would be interesting to learn if livestock owners are using different amounts of antibiotics than they have in the past, or if the types they use changed. Knowing which antibiotics used would help narrow down ARG targets to analyze for in watershed scale studies. In addition, the watershed I monitored for my thesis drains into a primary recreational waterbody, so there is an element of human risk. I monitored one of two public beach access locations at the lake and found little to no antibiotic resistance indicators in composite samples, indicating that the resistance indicators observed in the watershed do not reflect those in the lake, whether because of dilution factors or other reasons. Just so, water from the watershed must enter through a slough before arriving at the main lake, which may help reduce resistance indicators before entering the lake. There are also two municipalities within the watershed that could provide inputs to antibiotic resistance. I am interested in analyzing water samples for human fecal indicator genes to see if these human influenced catchments contribute to the total observed antibiotic resistance indicators.

Carlton Poindexter 
Department of Environmental Science and Technology
University of Maryland

Carlton Poindexter is a doctoral student in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland. His research is generally focused on the various uses and implementations of anaerobic digestion as a valuable waste treatment technology and energy producer. His current focus is on antimicrobial resistance and thermal based waste/wastewater management technology. The current AMR project involves method development for antibiotic and antibiotic residue detection and quantification in dairy manure and using liquid chromatography in tandem with mass spectrometry. He also observes the effect of various manure/waste thermal treatments on antibiotic degradation and their corresponding influence on antibiotic resistant genes (ARG) abundance and antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) composition. This research seeks to determine ecological mechanisms involved in the occurrence and transmission of ARG and ARB.

Leah Rosenkrantz
PhD Student, Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, British Columbia

I am a Geographic Information Science (GIS) researcher with a wide range of interests in health surveillance, global health, and spatial epidemiology.

I completed a master’s degree from the University of Western Ontario in Global Health Systems, with a heavy emphasis on understanding the complexities and interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health. During this master’s, I spent several months working in Uganda researching the adoption of cooking stoves in four villages surrounding Kibale National Park that were a more eco-friendly and safe alternative (less smoke inhalation, fewer burns) to traditional open-fire cooking.

Through my work on this project, I was introduced to the concept of GIS, and the unique insights that a spatial perspective can provide. Ultimately, it inspired my current research as a PhD student at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Geography.  While I work on a diverse range of projects, one of my main focusses is on understanding the spatial dimensions of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in both humans and livestock in low- and middle-income countries.

Recently, I was involved in a project examining the spatial distribution of AMR amongst livestock from small-holder farms in northern Tanzania. The research involved identifying hotspots of AMR spatially (i.e. where levels of AMR are statistically higher), with further statistical analyses to determine which household or farming practices are associated with increased or decreased odds of membership within these hotspots. The research also examined whether neighbourhood effects affect the prevalence of AMR in livestock at the household level. Interestingly, our results indicated that such a neighbourhood effect in fact does exist, and strongly suggests a spatial component to the spread of AMR beyond the lifestyle or farming practices of a particular household in this setting. A paper summarizing these results has been submitted to One Health and is now under review.

Currently, I am working on a project examining AMR in households in southern Guatemala. Like the research in Tanzania, we will be adopting a spatial perspective to tease out any geographical patterns and better inform our understanding of the spread of resistance in these communities.

Moving forward, I am eager to immerse myself deeper into this field and explore more about the socio-economic and spatial components of AMR in different settings.

Lauren Wind
Virginia Tech Graduate Research Assistant and PhD Candidate
Seitz Hall, RM 201 155 Ag Quad Lane Blacksburg, VA 24060
PhD, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech expected 2020
MS, Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech 2017
BS, Environmental Science, Allegheny College 2015
Lauren Wind is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. Lauren earned her B.S. in Environmental Science from Allegheny College in 2015. She then shifted gears and earned her M.S. in Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2017. Since starting at Virginia Tech, Lauren's research has revolved around antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in agricultural systems, specifically focusing on quantifying resistance from "Farm to Fork". Combining culture-, molecular-, and next-generation sequencing-based (16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and shot-gun metagenomics) methods she has focused on mapping resistance at specific control points throughout agricultural production (antibiotic use; manure composting; soil selection; crop selection; and fresh produce post-harvest processing practices).
Lauren’s M.S thesis quantified the persistence of antibiotic resistance bacteria (ARBs) from manure-amended agricultural fields. This project was part of the interdisciplinary USDA- NIFA project “Reducing Antibiotic Resistance from Farm to Fork”, led by Dr. Amy Pruden. She led the charge for the field experiment and sought out to identify the effects of crop (lettuce, radish) and fertilizer type (inorganic, compost, raw manure) on the incidence and persistence of antibiotic-resistant fecal coliforms, a common family of fecal indicator bacteria used to track the environmental spread of antibiotic resistance. She found that although antibiotics administered to dairy cows dissipated below levels of detection in manure treatments and manure-amended soils, ARB (critical to both human and animal health) persisted in these agricultural soils.
Lauren's current dissertation aims to map the agricultural resistome and ultimately evaluate the most critical points from "Farm to Fork" where resistance mitigation efforts should be focused with respect to the presence/ absence of antibiotics, ARB, ARGs, and taxonomic and functional microbial community profiles in agricultural soils, associated runoff, and on grown vegetable surfaces. In parallel studies using soil samples from her M.S. field study, she has found that ARG persistence in agricultural soils is correlated with ARB presence; however, markers of resistance (sul1 and intI1) were elevated throughout all manure-amended soils. Early taxonomic analysis has found that microbial community structure between manure and compost-amended soils are significantly different when treatments are applied and return to similar background composition after 120 days. Ultimately, Lauren plans to do a meta-analysis using the sequenced samples from her “Farm to Fork” field study (manure/ compost, soil, runoff, vegetable surface) to track resistance and evaluate the critical point in agricultural practices that mitigation of resistance should be focused by means of a TBD known marker of resistance or co-occurring ARG/plasmid.
Lauren plans to graduate in May 2020 and sees herself continuing to research AMR to aid in the mitigation of resistance in our agricultural, environmental, and clinical systems. Specifically, she’d like to use her bioinformatic skill set to work with agencies like the UDSA, FDA, and CDC to mitigate resistance in systems critical for human and animal health. Lauren can see herself being a part of the research teams that lead investigations into food-borne outbreaks in agro-ecosystems to track origins and determine if there is an AMR threat.