Dr. Rhiannon L. Wallace

Image Rhiannon Wallace
Research Scientist, Food and Environmental Microbiology

My research program uses molecular tools and omic technologies to study 1) the fate of foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms on Agri-Food products, 2) the ecology and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) of human pathogens on food and in the environment and 3) mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of human illness from emerging pathogens using a One Health approach.

Current research and/or projects

  • Antimicrobial resistance across the one-health continuum of a peri-urban setting in British Columbia
  • Genomic assessment of antimicrobial resistance transmission in organic broiler chicken
  • Unlocking the microbiome of air and fresh produce grown in rural and peri-urban settings: An assessment of potential sources of antimicrobial resistance in a high density agricultural region of British Columbia
  • Restoring the antimicrobial susceptibility of non-typhoidal antimicrobial resistant Salmonella by phage selection



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


  • Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia (UBC), 2021-present
  • Honorary Lecturer, Australian National University (ANU), 2020-present
  • Member, British Columbia Food Protection Association (BCFPA), 2021-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