College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Plant Science & Landscape Architecture

Micallef Lab: Produce Safety

Welcome to UMD's Produce Safety Lab!


We use a multidisciplinary approach to investigate microbial produce safety at all levels of biology. Our research encompasses the molecular interactions of human pathogen-plant commodity pairs, the ecology of enteric pathogens in the agro-environment, and the responses of plant microbiomes to agricultural management practices.

 Lab News:

Our newest bug: Aeromonas hydrophila.


Yes, we've been busy this Halloween season ...

Angela wins first prize at UMD Bioscience Day 2016 for category 'Agriculture, Food, and Nutritional Sciences' with her poster titled "The Tale of Two Molecules: Hydrogen Peroxide and Nitric Oxide Interactions with Salmonella Enterica and Tomato "



CONGRATS SARAH for successfully defending her Ph.D. dissertation titled "Microbial Communities of the Specialty Crop Phyllosphere: Response to Agricultural Soil Amendment Use, Rainfall and Insect Visitation"

Cover photograph (Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.): Variation in fruit surface metabolite and exudate profiles among tomato cultivars affected Salmonella enterica population growth. This variation may partially explain the differential susceptibility of tomato cultivars to epiphytic colonization by Salmonella enterica. The fruit of a selection of cultivars are shown as follows: ‘Heinz-1706’ (top left), ‘Florida 91 VFF’ (top middle), ‘Plum Dandy VF’ (top right), ‘Moneymaker’ (middle left), ‘Micro-Tom’ (middle), ‘Rutgers Select’ (middle right), ‘Nyagous’ (bottom left), ‘Virginia Sweets’ (bottom middle), and ‘California Red Cherry’ (bottom right). (See related article on page 3131.)


CONGRATULATIONS Angela Ferelli (left) for receiving The Chris Walsh Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award!! 

and to Sarah Allard (right) for receiving the Leland E. and Catherine B. Scott Award which honors an outstanding horticulture graduate student and comes with a $1,000 prize.

Sarah was also awarded the Outstanding Graduate Assistant Award, University of Maryland Graduate School, 2016 ... Go Sarah!



Dean Beyrouty presents Dr. Micallef with the AGNR On-Campus Junior Faculty Award at Convocation this year.


Congrats Sarah Allard for receiving the 2016 IAFP Student Travel Scholarship!



Dr. Shirley Micallef recieved the AGNR Alumni Excellence in Research Award


Dr. Shirley Micallef receives funding to conduct research on irrigation water through a USDA Center of Excellence Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Water for Agriculture Grant - See more at:


We are going to IAFP 2106!      

 - PhD student Angela Ferreli will talk about her research on tomato plant responses to Salmonella colonization                                                                                                                          

 - Mary Theresa Callahan will talk about Salmonella enterica in surface river waters on the Delmarva Peninsula

- PhD Candidate Sarah Allard will present her research on the tomato and cucumber microbiome

- Govind Dev Kumar will present his work on the effect on Salmonella of naturally occuring fatty acids in tomato

- Shirley Micallef will talk about environmental metabolomics of the tomato plant surface and Salmonella colonization


  • Congratulations to Mary Theresa Callahan, MS (now a faculty research assistant in the lab) for her win at the 2015 International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Annual Meeting! After winning a travel scholarship to the meeting, she took home first place in the student poster competition.   


  • June 2015:  Congratulations Sanghyun Han for successfully defending his PhD Dissertation titled: Salmonella enterica interactions with tomato: plant genotype effects and Salmonella genetic responses


Left to right: Angela Ferelli, Sarah Allard, Dr. Sanghyun Han, Dr. Shirley Micallef, Louisa Martinez, Dr. Neiunna Reed-Jones



 Our Research In the Media


Food Safety Links:

UMD's Extension Resources for Food Safety of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Food Safety News: breaking news for everyone's consumption



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