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Ganda Joins Penn State's Animal Science Department

Posted: July 15, 2019

Ganda is Assistant Professor of Food Animal Microbiome; her appointment is 75 percent research and 25 percent teaching.

Erika Ganda Ricotta, DVM, Ph.D., has joined Penn State's Department of Animal Science as Assistant Professor of Food Animal Microbiome.

Ganda's research focus is on applying innovative technologies to investigate animal health and food safety and developing approaches that can be used in animal agriculture. She received her B.VSc. in Veterinary Medicine from the Federal University of Goiás, and a B.S. in Business administration from the University of Northern Paraná, Brazil. She earned her Ph.D. in animal science from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, with minors in epidemiology and microbiology. Her dissertation focused on understanding the role of the microbiome in health and disease and possible ways of manipulating the microbiome to improve productivity and disease prevention. She is a native of Brazil.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science said, "I am delighted to welcome Dr. Ganda to our faculty. She brings a wealth of experience which will enhance and continue our tradition of excellence in research."

Ganda said, "I am pleased to become part of the faculty at Penn State and look forward to establishing collaborations within Penn State. Most of my research to date has focused on dairy cows, and although I will definitely continue to study bovines, I look forward to investigating the microbiome of many other species used for food production. I am interested in developing practical ways to leverage the microbiome to improve food animals' production efficiency, and foresee my future projects spanning from food safety testing to microbial profiling and targeted treatment/nutrition of livestock, all the way to microbiome modulating approaches to impact animal health and productivity."

Her appointment at Penn State is 75% research and 25% teaching. Prior to joining Penn State, Ganda had been a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Food Science at Cornell; a graduate research assistant in Animal Science; a research assistant in Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine and a visiting student in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Florida.

Her major research interests include microbiome and metagenome techniques, host-microbe interactions, microbial ecology, bioinformatics, epidemiology, artificial intelligence and pathogen surveillance methods.

She is a member of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP), the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), and the National Mastitis Council (NMC).

She received the Student and Student Presentation Award from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners in 2016, and the Science Without Borders Scholarship from the CAPES Foundation, Brasilia, Brazil in 2013.

She has written and contributed to 18 peer reviewed publications and has five manuscripts in preparation. In addition, she has made presentations at conferences throughout the United States and in Ireland.