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Li Maria Ma

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Li Maria Ma
Associate Professor
Food safety & biosecurity, Microbial forensics


  • B.S., Dalian Institute of Light Industry, PRC, Food Engineering
  • Ph.D., Purdue University, Food Microbiology
  • Postdoc, University of Georgia, Center for Food Safety, Food Microbiology



After receiving her Ph.D. degree from Purdue University, Dr. Ma moved to the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety, where she worked with Center Director Dr. Michael Doyle.  Her research focus was to better understand issues related to the contamination of food products (meats, dairy, seafood, and produce) by foodborne human pathogens, particularly pathogenic E. coli, Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni, and Clostridium botulinum. During this time she also performed contract work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in foodborne outbreak investigations.   In 2009 she joined the faculty at Oklahoma State University, with an appointment in the NIMFFAB, to focus on the contamination of fresh produce by foodborne pathogens.

Dr. Ma’s current research areas include detection and strain discrimination of foodborne pathogens, ecological studies of foodborne pathogens in plant/animal environments through conventional and metagenomic & meta-transcriptomic approaches, control of foodborne pathogen contamination in foods by cold plasma technology and probiotics