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Western Center for Food Safety Researchers Win Awards at UCD Postdoctoral Symposium

May 28, 2015

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Dr. Nora Navarro-Gonzalez with her winning poster.


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Dr. Elizabeth Antaki won a Best Talk of Session award.

May 28, 2015

Two postdoctoral researchers with the Western Center for Food Safety (WCFS) at the School of Veterinary Medicine recently won awards at the first UC Davis Postdoctoral Research Symposium.


Dr. Nora Navarro-Gonzalez won a Best Poster award for, “Falconry in fresh produce fields as a potential deterrent of nuisance birds to avoid fecal contamination,” and Dr. Elizabeth Antaki won a Best Talk of Session award for “Molecular comparison of Salmonella strains from irrigation systems in Southern Georgia.”

Navarro-Gonzalez,from Barcelona, Spain, is a postdoctoral scholar with research interests  in wildlife, zoonotic pathogens and disease ecology. After obtaining her DVM degree, she earned a Ph.D. on enteric zoonotic pathogens shared between wildlife and livestock which she performed in Barcelona and Madrid. Currently she is researching the role of wild birds in the dissemination of food-borne pathogens and environmentally friendly measures to deter nuisance birds.

Antaki holds a M.S and Ph.D. in Comparative Pathology.  Currently she is researching ways to disinfect potentially contaminated surface water to prevent pathogen transmission.  Another project she is involved in is understanding the food safety aspects in recirculating aquaponic systems (RAS), with regards to pathogen retention and produce contamination.

Navarro-Gonzalez and Antaki work with Dr. Michele Jay-Russell, Program Manager at the Western Center for Food Safety and liaison to the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security.

"I am very excited to be a mentor to these two talented postdoctoral scholars who are contributing to critically important areas of food safety research. It is wonderful to see them receive well-deserved recognition of their work in a forum with their peers," said Jay-Russell.

Each researcher was awarded $500.