Dr. Rhiannon L. Wallace

Image Rhiannon Wallace
Research Scientist

Food and Environmental Microbiology

Current research and/or projects

Dr. Wallace is a new scientist with AAFC and is developing a program of research in the area of food microbiomics. Areas that her research program will focus on include: 1) the fate of foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms on Agri-Food products, 2) the ecology and antimicrobial resistance of human pathogens on food and in the environment and 3) potential control strategies to reduce the risk of human illness from consumption of contaminated horticultural products.

Research and/or project statements

Key Publications

  • Wallace, R.L., Bulach, D., Jennison, A.V., Valcanis, M., McLure, A., Smith, J.J., Graham, T., Saputra, T., Symes, S., Waters, N., Stylianopoulos, A., Kirk, M.D.  and Glass, K. 2020. Molecular characterization of Campylobacter spp. recovered from beef, chicken, lamb and pork products at retail in Australia. Plos ONE 15(7): e0236889.
  • Wallace, R.L., Bulach, D., Polkinghorne, B.G., Pingault, N., Stylianopoulos, A., Givney, R., Glass, K. and Kirk, M.D. 2020. Identification of erm(B)+ Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli associated with novel multidrug resistance genomic islands in Australia. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance 23: 311-314.
  • Wallace, R.L., Bulach, D., McLure, A., Varrone, L., Jennison, A.V., Valcanis, M., Smith, J.J., Polkinghorne, B.G., Glass, K. and Kirk, M. 2020. Antimicrobial resistance of Campylobacter spp. causing human infection in Australia: An international comparison. Microbial Drug Resistance (In Press).
  • Walker, L., Wallace, R.L., Graham, T., Saputra, T., Smith, J., Symes, S., Glass, K., Stylianopoulos, A., Polkinghorne, B., Kirk, M. 2019. Prevalence of Campylobacter coli & jejuni in retail chicken, beef, lamb and pork products in three Australian states. Journal of Food Protection 82(12): 2126-2134
  • Wallace, R.L., Ouellette, M. and Jean, J. 2019. Effect of UV-C light or hydrogen peroxide wipes on the inactivation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium difficile spores, and norovirus surrogate. Journal of Applied Microbiology 127: 586-597.
  • Wallace, R.L., Hirkala, D.L. and Nelson, L.M. 2019. Pseudomonas fluorescens and low-doses of chemicals inhibit postharvest decay of apples in commercial storage. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 41(3): 1-11.
  • Wallace, R.L., Hirkala, D.L. and Nelson, L.M. 2018. Efficacy of Pseudomonas fluorescens for control of Mucor rot of apple during commercial storage and potential modes of action. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 64: 420-431.
  • Wallace, R.L., Hirkala, D.L. and Nelson, L.M. 2018. Mechanisms of action of three isolates of Pseudomonas fluorescens active against postharvest grey mold decay of apple during commercial storage. Biological Control 117: 13-20.
  • Wallace, R.L., Hirkala, D.L. and Nelson, L.M. 2017. Postharvest biological control of blue mold of apple by Pseudomonas fluorescens during commercial storage and potential modes of action. Postharvest Biology and Technology 133: 1-11.
  • Wallace, R.L., Hirkala, D.L. and Nelson, L.M. 2016. Biological control of Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium expansum, and Mucor piriformis on Gala and McIntosh apples using Pseudomonas fluorescens strains. Acta Horticulturae 1144: 113-120.
  • Wallace, R.L., Hirkala, D.L. and Nelson, L.M. 2015. Biological control of postharvest disease in two varieties of British Columbia apples using Pseudomonas fluorescens isolates. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 37(2): 244-245.


Professional activities / interests

  • Supervision of graduate students
  • Ad hoc reviewer for scientific journals

Education and awards

Ph.D. Microbiology, Department of Biology, University of British Columbia, 2018

B.Sc. (Hons.) Microbiology, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2013

Endeavour Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Australian Government, 2017

International experience and/or work

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Center for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Australia, 2018-2020

Microbiology Intern, Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Ghent University, Belgium, 2017

Research facility

6947 Highway 7
PO Box 1000
Agassiz, BC V0M 1A2


  • Honorary Lecturer, Australian National University (ANU), 2020-present
  • Member, International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), 2017- present
  • Member, American Society of Microbiology (ASM), 2016- present
  • Member, Canadian Society of Microbiologists (CSM), 2013- present