Jeffrey T LeJeune

The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States

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Publications (85)173.58 Total impact

  • Elizabeth Sillence · Claire Hardy · Lydia C. Medeiros · Jeffrey T. LeJeune
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    ABSTRACT: The internet has become an increasingly important way of communicating with consumers about food risk information. However, relatively little is known about how consumers evaluate and come to trust the information they encounter online. Using the example of unpasteurized or raw milk this paper presents two studies exploring the trust factors associated with online information about the risks and benefits of raw milk consumption. In the first study, eye-tracking data was collected from 33 pasteurised milk consumers whilst they viewed six different milk related websites. A descriptive analysis of the eye-tracking data was conducted to explore viewing patterns. Reports revealed the importance of images as a way of capturing initial attention and foregrounding other features and highlighted the significance of introductory text within a homepage. In the second, qualitative study, 41 consumers, some of whom drank raw milk, viewed a selection of milk related websites before participating in either a group discussion or interview. Seventeen of the participants also took part in a follow up telephone interview 2 weeks later. The qualitative data supports the importance of good design whilst noting that balance, authorship agenda, the nature of evidence and personal relevance were also key factors affecting consumers trust judgements. The results of both studies provide support for a staged approach to online trust in which consumers engage in a more rapid, heuristic assessment of a site before moving on to a more in-depth evaluation of the information available. Findings are discussed in relation to the development of trustworthy online food safety resources.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Appetite
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    ABSTRACT: Foodborne pathogen persistence in soil fundamentally affects production of safe vegetables and small fruits. Interventions that reduce pathogen survival in soil would have positive impacts on food safety by minimizing pre-harvest contamination entering the food chain. Laboratory-controlled studies determined the effects of soil pH, moisture content, and soil organic matter (SOM), through the creation of single parameter gradients, on the survivability of this pathogen. Longitudinal field-based studies were conducted in Ohio, USA to quantify the extent to which field soils suppressed E. coli O157:H7 survival. In all experiments, heat-sensitive microorganisms were responsible for the suppression of E. coli O157 in soil regardless of the chemical composition of the soil. In laboratory-based studies, soil pH and moisture content were primary drivers of E. coli O157 survival with increases in pH after 48 hours (P = 0.02) and decreases in moisture content after 48 h (P = 0.007) significantly increasing log reduction of E. coli O157 numbers. In field-based experiments, E. coli O157 counts from both heated and unheated samples were sensitive to both season (Pheated = 0.004, Punheated = 0.001) and region (Pheated = 0.002, Punheated = 0.001). SOM was observed to be a more significant driver of pathogen suppression after 48 h at both planting and harvest (Pplanting = 0.002, Pharvest = 0.058) than the other two factors. This research reinforces the need for both laboratory-controlled experiments and longitudinal field-based experiments to unravel the complex relationships controlling survival of introduced organisms in soil. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Applied and Environmental Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: Potential dairy farm management and environmental factors that attract European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to dairy farms were explored. During the period from 2007 to 2009, 150 dairy farms were each visited twice (once during the summer and again in the fall) and the number of starlings was recorded. Risk factors were assessed for possible association with the number of starlings per milking cow (starling density), using a zero-inflated negative binomial model. Starling density was higher on farms visited in 2007 compared to those visited in 2008 or 2009. The interaction term between feeding method and feeding site was significantly associated with starling density on farm; generally, feeding outdoors was associated with increased starling density. The odds of a zero starling count (compared to a count greater than zero) was higher on farms that removed manure from barns weekly or less frequently than weekly compared to those that removed manure daily or after every milking. The odds of a zero starling count decreased with increasing distance of a farm from the closest night roost. Identifying on farm risk factors that expose farms to starlings will help farmers develop strategies that minimize the number of birds on their farms and thereby reduce physical damage to the farms as well as the potential for pathogen transmission from birds to cattle and humans. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Preventive Veterinary Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Although recent reports indicated that produce contamination with foodborne pathogens is widespread in Nigeria, the sources and magnitude of microbial contamination of fruits and vegetables on farms and in markets have not been thoroughly identified. To ascertain possible pathways of contamination, the frequency and magnitude of coliform and Escherichia coli contamination of tomatoes produced in northwest Nigeria was assessed on farms and in markets. Eight hundred twenty-six tomato fruit samples and 36 irrigation water samples were collected and assessed for fecal indicator organisms. In addition, the awareness and use of food safety practices by tomato farmers and marketers were determined. Median concentration of coliforms on all field- and market-sourced tomato fruit samples, as well as in irrigation water sources, in Kaduna, Kano, and Katsina states exceeded 1,000 most probable number (MPN) per g. Median E. coli counts from 73 (17%) of 420 field samples and 231 (57%) of 406 market tomato fruit samples exceeded 100 MPN/g. Median E. coli concentrations on tomato fruits were higher (P < 0.01) in the rainy season (2.45 Log MPN/g), when irrigation was not practiced than in the dry (1.10 Log MPN/g) and early dry (0.92 Log MPN/g) seasons. Eighteen (50%) of 36 irrigation water samples had E. coli counts higher than 126 MPN/100 ml. Median E. coli contamination on market tomato fruit samples (2.66 Log MPN/g) were higher (P < 0.001) than those from tomatoes collected on farms (0.92 Log MPN/g). Farmers and marketers were generally unaware of the relationship between food safety practices and microbial contamination on fresh produce. Good agricultural practices pertaining to food safety on farms and in local markets were seldom used. Adoption of food safety practices on-farm, during transport, and during marketing could improve the microbial quality of tomatoes available to the public in this region of the world.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of food protection
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    Alex Rodriguez-Palacios · Sanja Ilic · Jeffrey T LeJeune
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    ABSTRACT: We (i) determined the prevalence of Clostridium difficile and their antimicrobial resistance to six antimicrobial classes, in a variety of fresh vegetables sold in retail in Ohio, USA, and (ii) conducted cumulative meta-analysis of reported prevalence in vegetables since the 1990s. Six antimicrobial classes were tested for their relevance as risk factors for C. difficile infections (CDIs) (clindamycin, moxifloxacin) or their clinical priority as exhaustive therapeutic options (metronidazole, vancomycin, linezolid, and tigecycline). By using an enrichment protocol we isolated C. difficile from three of 125 vegetable products (2.4%). All isolates were toxigenic, and originated from 4.6% of 65 vegetables cultivated above the ground (; outer leaves of iceberg lettuce, green pepper, and eggplant). Root vegetables yielded no C. difficile. The C. difficile isolates belonged to two PCR ribotypes, one with an unusual antimicrobial resistance for moxifloxacin and clindamycin (lettuce and pepper; 027-like, A+B+CDT+; tcdC 18 bp deletion); the other PCR ribotype (eggplant, A+B+ CDT−; classic tcdC) was susceptible to all antimicrobials. Results of the cumulative weighted meta-analysis (6 studies) indicate that the prevalence of C. difficile in vegetables is 2.1% and homogeneous since the first report in 1996 (2.4%). The present study is the first report of the isolation of C. difficile from retail vegetables in the USA. Of public health relevance, antimicrobial resistance to moxifloxacin/clindamycin (a bacterial-associated risk factor for severe CDIs) was identified on the surface of vegetables that are consumed raw.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014
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    Kenneth Shenge · Michael Kauffman · Jeffrey LeJeune

    Full-text · Conference Paper · Aug 2014
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    Alexander Rodriguez-Palacios · Tim Barman · Jeffrey T LeJeune
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    ABSTRACT: The cross-sectional (period) prevalence of Clostridium difficile in 875 farm animals from 29 commercial operations during the summer of 2008 in Ohio, USA was quantified. Compared to an external referent population of intensively managed race horses (12.7%), intensively managed commercially mature food animals (poultry, cattle, swine; < 0.6%) were infrequent shedders of C. difficile (P < 0.00001) during the warmest weeks of 2008.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · The Canadian veterinary journal. La revue veterinaire canadienne
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    Kenneth C Shenge · J.T. LeJeune
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    ABSTRACT: The One Health concept recognizes that human health is connected to, and dependent on the health of animals, plants and the environment. Human beings and other organisms have coevolved on the earth for hundreds of millennia. Over time, they have come to depend on each other in a very intricate manner. The survival and welfare of the human species can only be guaranteed when our environment, plants and animals are in good health. Health is indivisible; the problems that confront plant agriculture are just a different manifestation of the same problems that confront the environment, animal agriculture and human health. The threats we currently face will persist until we confront them collectively, collaboratively and multidimensionally. The One Health concept is an important meeting point for research in the life and physical science.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to understand the temporal pattern of contamination of cattle feed by starling excrement on dairy farms and to evaluate the temporal pattern in recovering Escherichia coli O157:H7 or Salmonella in relation to the absolute mass of excrement recovered. A longitudinal study was conducted on 15 dairy farms in Ohio from July 2007 to October 2008. One open-topped tray filled with bird feed was placed near a cattle feeding site; bird excrement from the tray was weighed monthly for 12 consecutive months. Linear regression models with a random intercept for farm were computed to examine the association between the absolute weight of excrement recovered each month or the farm-specific standard score for weight of excrement, and month or season. Exact logistic regression was used to determine whether an association between recovering E. coli O157:H7 or Salmonella was present and the amount of excrement recovered and season. A spatial scan statistic was used to test for evidence of space-time clustering of excrement, based on the standard score for the weight of the excrement, among our study farms. A total of 5 of 179 excrement samples (2.79%) were positive for E. coli O157:H7 and 2 (1.12%) were positive for Salmonella. A significantly higher level of contamination with excrement was observed during the winter. The odds of recovering a pathogen increased with the amount of excrement recovered and decreased if the excrement was collected in the winter. A spatio-temporal cluster of contamination with excrement was detected. These findings provide basic information for future quantitative microbial risk assessments concerning the role of starlings in spreading enteric pathogens on dairy farms.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Dairy Science
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of our study was to use spatial scan statics to determine whether the night roosts of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) act as point sources for the dissemination of Escherichia coli O157:H7 among dairy farms. From 2007 to 2009, we collected bovine faecal samples (n = 9000) and starling gastrointestinal contents (n = 430) from 150 dairy farms in northeastern Ohio, USA. Isolates of E. coli O157:H7 recovered from these samples were subtyped using multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). Generated MLVA types were used to construct a dendrogram based on a categorical multistate coefficient and unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA). Using a focused spatial scan statistic, we identified statistically significant spatial clusters among dairy farms surrounding starling night roosts, with an increased prevalence of E. coli O157:H7-positive bovine faecal pats, increased diversity of distinguishable MLVA types and a greater number of isolates with MLVA types from bovine-starling clades versus bovine-only clades. Thus, our findings are compatible with the hypothesis that starlings have a role in the dissemination of E. coli O157:H7 among dairy farms, and further research into starling management is warranted.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2013 · Zoonoses and Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract To better understand the epizootiology of Escherichia coli O157:H7 among cattle, all E. coli O157 isolates recovered on a research feedlot during a single feeding period were characterized by multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). Three distinct MLVA subtypes (A, B, C), accounting for 24%, 15%, and 64% of total isolates, respectively, were identified. Subtypes A and B were isolated at the initiation of sampling, but their prevalence waned and subtype C, first isolated on the third sampling date, became the predominant subtype on the feedlot. Supershedding events, however, occurred with equal frequency for all three MLVA-types. Using a multilevel logistic regression model, we investigated whether the odds of shedding subtype C relative to subtypes A or B were associated with time, diet, or the presence of a penmate shedding high numbers of subtype C. Only time and exposure to an animal shedding MLVA-type C at 10(3) colony-forming units or greater in the pen at the time of sampling were significantly associated with increased shedding of subtype C. High-level shedding of those E. coli O157 subtypes better suited for survival in the environment and/or in the host appear to play a significant role in the development of predominant E. coli O157 subtypes. Supershedding events alone are neither required nor sufficient to drive the epidemiology of specific E. coli O157 subtypes. Additional factors are necessary to direct successful on-farm transmission of E. coli O157.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Foodborne Pathogens and Disease
  • Gayeon Won · Pamela J Schlegel · Jennifer M Schrock · Jeffrey T Lejeune
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    ABSTRACT: Irrigation water is considered a potential source of preharvest pathogen contamination of vegetables. Hence, several organizations have recommended microbiological standards for water used to irrigate edible plants. The purpose of this study was to determine the strength of association between microbial quality indicators (coliforms and Escherichia coli) in irrigation water and on irrigated vegetables. Data analyzed included original results from a cross-sectional study conducted in the Midwestern United States during summer 2009 and information presented in two previously published studies performed in France and Portugal to investigate microbial quality of irrigation water and watered produce. In the cross-sectional study, repetitive PCR (rep-PCR) was used to characterize genetic relatedness of E. coli isolates from water and vegetables. No significant correlations were found between fecal indicators on leafy greens (lettuce and parsley, n = 91) or fruit (tomatoes and green peppers, n = 22) and those found in irrigation water used in the cross-sectional study (P > 0.40) or in the previously published data sets (data set 1: lettuce and waste irrigation water, n = 15, P > 0.40; data set 2: lettuce and irrigation water, n = 32, P = 0.06). Rep-PCR banding patterns of E. coli strains were all distinguishable among the pairs of E. coli isolates recovered from produce and irrigation water on the same farm. From the available data, the concentration of indicator organisms based on a single measure of irrigation water quality was not associated with the presence of these indicators on produce. In the absence of additional information, the use of a single microbial water quality parameter as an indicator of produce safety is of limited value for predicting the safety of the produce.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of food protection
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    ABSTRACT: Knowledge of the behavior and movement patterns of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris L.) is important to wildlife managers that seek to resolve conflicts at livestock facilities. We captured and radio tagged 10 starlings at each of 5 dairies in northeastern Ohio. From September 19 to October 31, 2007, we obtained sufficient data from 40 birds to study their behavior and movements. The birds visited the dairies where they were initially captured (home sites) on 85% of the days, spending 58% of each day at the dairies. Onsite arrival and departure times were 2.5 h after sunrise and 3.1 h before sunset. Daily visits by radio-tagged cohorts from the other dairies were greatest for the 2 most proximate dairies (1.3 km apart), with number of visits between this pairing >7× that of the 9 other pairings combined (4.1-6.5 km apart). Two birds used their home sites intermittently as roosts, arriving 3.8 h before sunset and departing 0.2 h after sunrise. In addition to using home-site roosts, these birds also used a distant roost (22 km) that was used by 36 of the 40 birds. The efficacy of starling management programs, especially lethal management, depends on degree of site fidelity, use of other facilities, and roosting behavior. For example, starlings that use dairies as roosting sites may require a different management strategy than required at dairies used as daytime sites because of differences in arrival and departure behavior. Our research will help resource managers evaluate current management strategies already in place and change them, if needed, to fit the behavior profile of starlings using dairies and other types of livestock facilities.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · Journal of Dairy Science
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    ABSTRACT: Many articles have summarized the changing epidemiology of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) in humans, but the emerging presence of C. difficile in foods and animals and possible measures to reduce human exposure to this important pathogen have been infrequently addressed. CDIs have traditionally been assumed to be restricted to health-care settings. However, recent molecular studies indicate that this is no longer the case; animals and foods might be involved in the changing epidemiology of CDIs in humans; and genome sequencing is disproving person-to-person transmission in hospitals. Although zoonotic and foodborne transmission have not been confirmed, it is evident that susceptible people can be inadvertently exposed to C. difficile from foods, animals, or their environment. Strains of epidemic clones present in humans are common in companion and food animals, raw meats, poultry products, vegetables, and ready-to-eat foods, including salads. In order to develop science-based prevention strategies, it is critical to understand how C. difficile reaches foods and humans. This review contextualizes the current understanding of CDIs in humans, animals, and foods. Based on available information, we propose a list of educational measures that could reduce the exposure of susceptible people to C. difficile. Enhanced educational efforts and behavior change targeting medical and non-medical personnel are needed.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Animal Health Research Reviews
  • Gayeon Won · Terence R. Kline · Jeffrey T. LeJeune
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    ABSTRACT: Guidelines for microbial irrigation water quality have been proposed by regulatory agencies and organizations to reduce potential risks of waterborne contamination of produce. Most recommendations emphasize threshold values of fecal indicators and typically rely on only a limited number of water tests over the course of irrigation season. In this study, two irrigation canals and four surface reservoirs located in Ohio, USA were repeatedly sampled (n = 227) to investigate fluctuations of fecal indicators concentration over an irrigation season (2010). Bootstrap analysis was applied to determine the sensitivity of the measured parameters as a function of sampling frequency. Escherichia coli counts in water collected from irrigation canals were approximately one order of magnitude higher (2.48 ± 0.79 log MPN per 100 ml) than that in reservoirs (1.54 ± 0.04 log MPN per 100 ml) and increased following heavy rainfall events (>20 mm) (P < 0.01). Sampling frequency was estimated in terms of accuracy and precision. The 95% bootstrap confidence interval width surrounding coliform and E. coli estimates based on a single sample were broad, including or exceeding the upper limit for acceptable use standards recommended by several organizations (126 CFU/100 ml). In conclusion, a single water sample imprecisely reflected the quality of water over the course of the irrigation period. Caution should be used when drawing conclusions about the microbial acceptability of water used for irrigation purposes based on a limited number of water quality measurements. Environmental factors influencing the spatiotemporal variation in the water quality (i.e. the type of water source and recent heavy precipitation events) and the expected interval between testing and the time of harvest should be considered in developing irrigation water testing frequency guidelines.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Agricultural Water Management
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Dairy cattle serve as a potential source for Campylobacter infection in humans. Outbreaks associated with consumption of either Campylobacter contaminated raw milk or contaminated milk after treatment were previously recorded in the United States. Further, starlings have been implicated in the spread of bacterial pathogens among livestock. Here, we determined the prevalence, genotypic, and phenotypic properties of Campylobacter isolated from fecal samples of dairy cattle and starlings found on the same establishment in northeastern Ohio. Campylobacter were detected in 83 (36.6%) and 57 (50.4%) out of 227 dairy and 113 starling fecal samples, respectively. Specifically, 79 C. jejuni, five C. coli, and two other Campylobacter spp. were isolated from dairy feces, while all isolates from starlings (n=57) were C. jejuni. Our results showed that the prevalence of C. jejuni in birds was significantly (p<0.01) higher than that in dairy cattle. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis showed that C. jejuni were genotypically diverse and host restricted; however, there were several shared genotypes between dairy cattle and starling isolates. Likewise, many shared clonal complexes (CC) between dairy cattle and starlings were observed by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis. As in humans, both in cattle and starlings, the CC 45 and CC 21 were the most frequently represented CCs. As previously reported, CC 177 and CC 682 were restricted to the bird isolates, while CC 42 was restricted to dairy cattle isolates. Further, two new sequence types (STs) were detected in C. jejuni from dairy cattle. Interestingly, cattle and starling C. jejuni showed high resistance to multiple antimicrobials, including ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, and gentamicin. In conclusion, our results highlight starlings as potential reservoirs for C. jejuni, and they may play an important role in the epidemiology of clinically important C. jejuni in dairy population.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Foodborne Pathogens and Disease
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    ABSTRACT: Agricultural water may contact fresh produce during irrigation and/or when crop protection sprays (e.g., cooling to prevent sunburn, frost protection, and agrochemical mixtures) are applied. This document provides a framework for designing research studies that would add to our understanding of preharvest microbial food safety hazards and control measures pertaining to agricultural water. Researchers will be able to use this document to design studies, to anticipate the scope and detail of data required, and to evaluate previously published work. This document should also be useful for evaluating the strength of existing data and thus should aid in identifying future research needs. Use of this document by the research community may lead to greater consistency or comparability than currently exists among research studies, which may ultimately facilitate direct comparison of hazards and efficacy of controls among different commodities, conditions, and practices.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Journal of food protection
  • M.L. Williams · J.T. LeJeune

    No preview · Article · Sep 2012
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    Alex Rodriguez-Palacios · Jeffrey T Lejeune · Dallas G. Hoover

    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Food technology
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    Jason S. Parker · Robyn S. Wilson · Jeffrey T. LeJeune · Douglas Doohan
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    ABSTRACT: Experts identified water quality, manure, good handling practices (including personal hygiene and equipment sanitation), and traceability as critical farm problem areas that, if addressed, are likely to decrease risk associated with microbial contamination of fresh produce from all scales of agriculture. However, the diverse nature of production strategies used by produce farmers presents multiple options for addressing foodborne illness issues while simultaneously creating potential complications. We use a mental models methodology to enhance our understanding of the underlying factors and assumptions of small, medium, and large produce growers that influence their decision-making processes for contamination prevention and control. This empirical evidence demonstrates how challenges and opportunities to food safety are related to the scale of production and marketing strategies. We believe that refining the development of standards and existing extension and outreach food safety programs are important to both consumer protection and supporting agricultural communities. Additionally, this approach will help develop and refine food safety programs that will result in empirically grounded recommendations based on identified grower information needs.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Agriculture and Human Values

Publication Stats

2k Citations
173.58 Total Impact Points


  • 2004-2015
    • The Ohio State University
      • • Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
      • • Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine
      • • Department of Food Science and Technology
      Columbus, Ohio, United States
  • 2007
    • South Dakota State University
      • Department of Mathematics and Statistics
      Brookings, South Dakota, United States
  • 2000-2001
    • Washington State University
      • • Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS)
      • • Department of Veterinary Microbiology & Pathology (VMP)
      Pullman, WA, United States