Ph.D. In Progress
My research involves examining the effects of geography, gear type and culture techniques on the Vibrio risks associated with farm-raised oysters. When farmers remove their oysters from the water for routine handling, the oysters are exposed to elevated temperatures and the levels of Vibrio within the oysters increase. Once the oysters are re-submersed back in the water, the oysters begin filtering again and the elevated bacterial levels return to ambient levels. My research focuses on pinpointing how long it takes for the bacterial levels to return to ambient following different routine handling practices among the major farming gear types. My study will allow farmers to understand and manage their production techniques prior to harvest to minimize the risk of foodborne illness for consumers.