Experts

The Risk Analysis Service at the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety brings together a group of experts that believe in providing technical solutions through collaboration and multidisciplinary effort. Our experts can provide expertise in food safety, animal health and wildlife risk analysis, quantitative modeling, infectious disease, spatial analysis and outbreak investigation. 

Fernando Sampedro, Risk Analysis Coordinator

Fernando Sampedro, Risk Analysis Coordinator

Assistant Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine

Square image of Fernando Sampedro wearing blue shirt and black suite jacket

Education:

  • B.S. in Agricultural Engineering
  • M.S. Food Science and Technology
  • PhD Food Technology

Expertise:

  • Food safety
  • Risk analysis
  • Food processing

Previous research on risk and quantitative analysis:

  • Use of risk assessment in an emergency preparedness plan for a foreign animal disease (FMD and HPAI)-APHIS (USDA) (2011-Current)
  • Use of a decision matrix to prioritize the farm interventions to reduce Salmonella spp. prevalence in broiler farms-APHIS (2015-Current)
  • Risk assessment of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PED) via feed-National Pork Board (2014)
  • Risk assessment on the presence of Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter jejuni in chicken ground products (US and Thailand)- University of Minnesota and Chiang Mai University
  • Use of risk prioritization tools to identify the high risk rodent species being imported into the US-University of Minnesota (2014)

Capacity building and training:

  • Coordinator of the Risk Analysis working group of USAID One Health Workforce project for the Eastern Africa and South East Asia networks. 
  • FAO international consultant in food safety risk analysis. 
  • Led numerous capacity-building activities (courses, seminars) on risk analysis, food safety 

    and food systems in Chile, Colombia, Thailand, US, Uganda, Uruguay and Vietnam.

Contact Informatipon:

Phone: 612-624-6949
Email: fsampedr@umn.edu

Center Animal Health and Food Safety
136 ABLMS
1354 Eckles Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108

 

 

 

Julio Alvarez

Julio Alvarez

Assistant Professor, Veterinary Population Medicine

Julio Alvarez head shot wearing an orange shirt

Education:

  • Degree in Veterinary Medicine
  • PhD in Veterinary Sciences

Expertise:

  • Bacterial zoonosis
  • Quantitative epidemiology
  • Impact of disease in production

Previous research on risk and quantitative analysis

  • More than 65 papers published in the peer-reviewed literature, 41 of which published in the last five years: Diseases: tuberculosis, paratuberculosis, bovine and small ruminant brucellosis, Q fever, leishmanial, porcine epidemic diarrhea, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, Salmonella, swine influenza
  • Techniques: spatial analysis, modeling, risk factor analysis, evaluation of diagnostic tests, molecular epidemiology

Capacity building and training:

  • Advisor of the European Reference Laboratory for Bovine Tuberculosis
  • Founding member of the Epidemiology Working Group of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture
  • Participation in EFSA scientific opinions as member of the working group/hearing expert.
  • Participation in educational activities (courses and workshops in veterinary quantitative epidemiology) in Argentina, Spain, US and Canada.
  • Advisor of four students in Spain and US.

Matteo Convertino

Matteo Convertino

Assistant Professor

Matteo Convertino in blue suit

Education:

  • BSc, MSc, and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering (University of Padova)
  • Research Assistant at Princeton University
  • Research Scientist at Risk and Decision Science Team (ERDC USACE), and University of Florida

Expertise:

  • Information Theory, Statistical Physics, and Network based Mathematical 3D Modeling of Complex Systems (socio-ecological, biological, and engineering systems)
  • Eco-geohydrology and Fluid Mechanics
  • Systemic Risk/Epidemiology
  • Pattern Analysis and Visualization
  • Global Sensitivity and Uncertainty Analysis
  • Decision Science, Portfolio Decision Modeling, and Optimization Models
  • Stakeholder Mental Model Elicitation and Serious Gaming
  • Numerical Methods and Artificial Intelligence/Cyber-technology
  • Science Communication

Previous research on risk and quantitative analysis:

  • Extensive record of research publications (50+), computational technologies (10+), patents (2), and supervised personnel (10 graduate students, and 3 postgraduate fellows/researchers)
  • Research and application topics
    • Diseases: cholera, leptospirosis, dengue, influenza, foodborne diseases, and other waterborne diseases  
    • Other topics: species distribution modeling, sea level rise, flood forecasting, eco-geohydrological forecasting, network management
    • Theories: Neutral and MaxEnt theory in Epidemiology, Portfolio Decision Theory, Morphological Effective Systemic Epigraph
    • Computational Technology: portfolio decision model, neutral metacommunity model of ecosystems, landslide susceptibility model, early warning system infectious disease model, automated traceback model

Capacity building and training:

  • Foreign Fellow, Ecosystem Services & Management Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
  • Complex Systems Modeling, Primary Lecturer, University of Minnesota (graduate course)
  • Health Engineering: Systemic Epidemiology and System Design, Primary Lecturer, University of Minnesota (graduate course)
  • Complexity Science: How do Systems Work?, Primary Lecturer, University of Minnesota (undergraduate honors course)

 

 

Andres Perez

Andres Perez

Endowed Chair of Global Animal Health and Food Safety
Head shot of Andres Perez wearing plaid shirt

Education:

  • DVM
  • PhD in Epidemiology

Expertise:

  • Quantitative epidemiology
  • Foreign Animal Diseases
  • International policy and development

Previous research on risk and quantitative analysis:

  • More than 20 graduate students and 115 scientific publications on:
    • Diseases: foot-and-mouth disease, Classical and African swine fever, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, porcine epidemic diarrhea, African Horse Sickness, vesicular stomatis, infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV), bovine brucellosis, influenza, bovine tuberculosis, paratuberculosis, Q fever,
    • Techniques: spatial analysis, modeling, risk factors analysis, quantitative risk assessment, molecular epidemiology, information systems.

Capacity building and training:

  • Chair of the scientific committee of GEOVET in Sydney, Australia, 2010, and Valdivia, Chile, 2016, and member of the scientific committee of GEOVET in London, UK, 2013.
  • President of the Ibero-American Society of Preventive Medicine and Veterinary Epidemiology (SIEVPM) and co-chair of the SIEPM meeting in Merida, Mexico (2010) and chair of the scientific committee of the SIEVPM meeting in Buenos Aires (2014)
  • Collaborating scientist/advisor to the USDA/ARS Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit at the Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center and for the Argentine Animal Health Service and former director of the FAO reference center on epidemiology and modeling at UC Davis
  • Led a number of educational activities (teaching courses, workshops, leading consultancies) on quantitative epidemiology (modeling, spatial analysis, risk analysis) in Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, India, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Spain, South Africa, the UK, the US, Uganda, Uruguay, and Tajikistan. 

Nicholas Phelps

Nicholas Phelps

Director, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center

Nicholas Phelps

Education:

  • MS in Aquaculture/Fisheries
  • PhD in Veterinary Medicine

Expertise:

  • Disease diagnostics and discovery
  • Aquaculture
  • Fish health
  • Risk management

Previous research on risk and quantitative analysis:

  • Implementing spatial tools to assess risk and manage fish disease and invasive species spread through natural and human-assisted pathways.
  • Risk assessment and management of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus.
  • Food safety risks in aquaponics systems.

Capacity building and training:

  • Multiple graduate students and post doctoral associates working in a variety of areas related to the health and sustainability of wild and farm raised fish populations.
  • Developed multiple training programs for field biologists, aquaculture producers, and veterinarians in the areas of regulatory inspections, HACCP, and field investigations.

Dominic Travis

Dominic Travis

Associate Professor, Veterinary Population Medicine
Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Public Health
Professional Fellow, Institute on the Environment 

Dominic Travis wearing white shirt and brown jacket

Education:

  • B.S. in Zoology
  • D.V.M. Michigan State University
  • M.S. Epidemiology
  • Residency, Veterinary Public Health

Expertise:

  • Wildlife disease ecology and “Ecosystem Health”
  • Health Risk Analysis with focus on wildlife interface, zoonotic and emerging diseases
  • Infectious Disease Surveillance
  • Science Communication

Previous research on risk analysis:

  • International trade in wildlife and wildlife products
  • Movement of animals for conservation and natural resource management
  • Wildlife/human/agriculture interface and emerging infections (ie. bush meat, tourism, etc.)
  • Aquatic systems and invasive spp. 

Capacity building and training:

  • Co-editor, Joint OIE-IUCN Guidelines on Disease Risk Analysis in Wildlife and the Wildlife Interface
    • Jakob-Hoff RM, MacDiarmid SC, Lees C, Miller PS, Travis DA, Kock R. 2014. – Manual of Procedures for Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis. World Organisation for Animal Health, Paris. Published in association with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Species Survival Commission. 160pp.
    • World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) & International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Eds: Kock R, Karesh WB, Skerratt L, Hartley M, Travis DA. 2014. Guidelines for Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis. OIE, Paris. Published in association with the IUCN and the Species Survival Commission. 24pp.
  • Co-lead, Wildlife Disease Risk Analysis Workshop series – Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, International Union for Conservation of Nature
    • Beck B, Walkup K, Rodrigues M, Unwin S, Travis DA, Stoinski T (eds).  2007. Best practice guidelines for the re-introduction of great apes.  Gland, Switzerland: SSC Primate Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). 48pp.
  • Inaugural Group Member, OIE aquatic disease risk analysis working group
  • Risk Analysis Training Group – Emerging Pandemic Threats RESPOND Program

 

Kimberly VanderWaal

Kimberly VanderWaal

Research Associate, Veterinary Population Medicine

Kim VanderWaal

Education:

  • PhD

Expertise:

  • Social network analysis
  • Infectious disease modeling
  • Disease ecology

Previous research on risk and quantitative analysis:

  • 13 scientific publications on:
    • Health and Diseases: Bovine tuberculosis, Foot-and-mouth disease, Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, Porcine epidemic diarrhea, Gastrointestinal parasites, Parelaphostrongylus tenuis, Fascioloides magna.
    • Techniques: Stochastic modeling of infectious diseases, network modeling, social network analysis, livestock movement, risk factors analysis.

Capacity building and training:

  • Contributor, USDA risk assessment for the continuity of business in the context of an FMD outbreak in swine and cattle in the USA.
  • Lecturer in educational activities (teaching courses, workshops) on quantitative epidemiology (modeling, social network analysis, wildlife epidemiology) in Thailand and the US.
  • Founding member of the Consortium of Epidemiology and Ecology Research – Africa.
  • Consultant for statistical methods and study design for research on open-source biology textbooks in community and technical colleges.
  • Contributor, Educational material on the intersection between science and conservation in wild mammals on display at the Henry Doorly Zoo  and Minnesota Zoo.
  • Mentored 11 undergraduate and veterinary students (10 women, 7 minorities) in research,  including mentoring one student in their senior practicum. 

 

Scott Wells

Scott Wells

Director of Academic Programs, Center for Animal Health and Food Safety
Professor of Veterinary Population Medicine

Scott Wells

Education:

  • DVM
  • PhD in Epidemiology

Expertise:

  • Veterinary Epidemiology
  • Cattle Health
  • Veterinary Public Health Capacity-building
  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine

Previous research on risk and quantitative analysis:

  • Numerous graduate students and over 110 scientific publications:
    • Health and disease:  Johne’s disease, bovine tuberculosis, foot-and-mouth disease, and other infectious diseases of cattle
    • Techniques: risk factor analysis, clinical trials, targeted surveillance, test evaluation.

Capacity building and training:

  • Director of Academic Programs for the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety at the University of Minnesota, which uses a service delivery model to improve global animal health, food safety, and public health.
  • Member of Global Food Ventures Management Team and Investment Board, University of Minnesota.
  • Advisor to Uruguay Ministry of Agriculture on cattle health.
  • Co-Chair of National Johne's Working Group, Subcommittee of Johne's Committee of U.S. Animal Health Association
  • Led numerous capacity-building activities (courses and seminars) on epidemiology and food systems in Chile, Costa Rica, Thailand, US, Uganda, and Uruguay.