- Characterization of genotypic and phenotypic properties of Listeria spp.
- Antimicrobial resistance and sanitizer tolerance of Listeria spp. and other foodborne microorganisms.
- Prevention of contamination events in produce handling and processing environments.
- Mitigation strategies and monitoring for environmental pathogens in produce, dairy and other food handling and processing environments.
- Food safety on produce farms.
- International Association for Food Protection (2006-present)
- Member of the American Society for Microbiology (2014-present)
- Canadian Society of Microbiologists (2012-2017)
- B.C. Food Protection Association (2008-2017)
- B.Sc. in Food Science and Technology, University of Alberta (2005)
- M.Sc. in Food Science and Technology - Food Microbiology, University of Alberta (2007)
- Ph.D. in Food Science - Food Microbiology, University of British Columbia (2014)
- FST Leadership Committee, Committee Member (2020 - present)
- FST DEI Committee, Committee Member (2020 - present)
- FST Graduate Committee, Committee Member (2018 - present)
- FIC Building Safety Committee, Committee Member (2017 - present)
- Food Safety Team – OSU Extension Web Upgrade, Team Leader (2017)
Ad Hoc reviewer
- Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 2020 - present
- Journal of Applied Microbiology, 2016 – present
- International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2016 – present
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2015 – present
- Food Microbiology, 2015 – present
- Letters in Applied Microbiology, 2015 – present
- Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2014 – present
Membership in Professional Organization Committees
- Journal of Food Protection Management Committee, 2020 – 2023
- International Association for Food Protection Student Travel Scholarship Awards Selection Committee, 2020 – 2022
- Local Food Safety Collaborative Steering Committee, 2019 – present
- Alliance for Listeriosis Prevention, 2019 – present
- Food Safety and Sanitation Workshop advisory and organizing committee, 2016 – present
- Oregon Department of Agriculture Food Safety Program advisory committee, 2016 – present
Mentorship of High School Students
- Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering (ASE) Mentor for Saturday Academy and University of Portland, 2018 – present.
- OSU Extension Association (OSUEA) Newer Faculty Award (2021)
- OSU Extension Association (OSUEA) Search for Excellence Award awarded to Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety (2020)
- Promising Scholar Award, Awarded by the Faculty Senate, Oregon State University (2020)
- OSU Extension Association 2019 Team Award awarded to Oregon Farm Food Safety Team (2019)
Dr. Kovacevic's program focuses on food microbiology and safety, with emphasis on traditional and novel molecular microbiology and genomic approaches to study the mechanisms underlying pathogenesis, stress survival, persistence and antimicrobial resistance of foodborne pathogens. Extension activities involve FSMA training, education and outreach through the Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety, and food safety training and client service support through the Food Innovation Center.
My research interests are in the application of molecular methods and genomics in food safety. In particular, my lab researches how these methods and tools can be used to improve pathogen tracing, to advance our understanding of pathogen survival and contamination events in the farm-to-fork food chain, and to aid the development of targeted interventions. Current areas of interest include: i) survival, stress response mechanisms, and prevention of Listeria monocytogenes contamination in food processing environments; ii) antimicrobial resistance in the food chain; iii) pathogen stress survival and biofilms; and iv) understanding and prevention of foodborne outbreaks. As Director of the FSMA’s Western Regional Center, I am also very much interested in working with food industry to develop effective food safety training, education and knowledge transfer initiatives.
Current and Recent Research Projects
FST 507/607 Graduate Seminar
Selected service to the profession