Lisa Waddell, BSc. MSc. PhD.


Specialized in knowledge synthesis and translation on zoonotic public health issues (e.g. systematic reviews, scoping reviews, meta-analysis, decision modelling, translation of research from science to policy)

Current research and/or projects

Knowledge Synthesis is a new and rapidly developing type of research in food safety and vector-borne diseases. Various qualitative and quantitative methods are used to synthesize evidence in a transparent and reproducible manner. 

Scoping reviews are used to evaluate evidence of broad topic areas and provide information on where there is research and where knowledge gaps exist.

Systematic reviews identify, appraise and synthesize evidence on a focused topic/question, for example whether an intervention is effective.

Meta-analysis is a statistical technique that combines quantitative information from multiple studies to create a single, more precise, summary measure of effect. It can be used to compare effective interventions (network meta-analysis), or investigate why studies do not agree (meta-regression).

When these methods are applied on relevant public health issues the products can be used to help decision makers understand the available evidence and how reliable it is as we assess the risk of bias, quantity, direction of available research and where there are knowledge gaps. The outputs of knowledge synthesis can be used directly in evidence-based decision making or may be used as evidence-based inputs to risk assessments and other decision-analysis models.


Research and/or project statements

Topic area expertise:

Vector borne diseases: Lyme, Powassan, La Crosse virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Cache Valley virus, zoonotic Babesia

Food safety: education and determinants of safe food handling for consumers and food service workers, a variety of food safety topics related to the control of Salmonella, Campylobacter and E.coli in the food continuum.

Other topics: Hepatitis E virus, Enterovirus D-68

Professional activities / interests

Close collaboration with a number of Canadian (and US) universities working with researchers and graduate students.

Active in a number of working groups and organizations focused on knowledge synthesis and translation.

Education and awards

BSc (Hons.) Biology, University of Guelph, 2002

MSc. Epidemiology, Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, 2004

PhD. Epidemiology, Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, 2016

International experience and/or work

Member of the Joint Food and Agricultural Organization and World Health Organization committee to prioritize low moisture foods for further guideline development by Codex Alimentarius, 2014-2015.

Key publications

  1. Tricia Corrin; Lisa Waddell; Judy Greig; Ian Young; Catherine Hierlihy; Mariola Mascarenhas. Risk perceptions, attitudes, and knowledge of chikungunya among the public and health professionals: a systematic review. Trop Med Health. 2017; 45: 21. doi:10.1186/s41182-017-0061-x

  2. Ian Young, Danielle Reimer, Judy Greig, Richard Meldrum, Patricia Turgeon, and Lisa Waddell. Explaining consumer safe food handling through behaviour-change theories: a systematic review". Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2017 Nov;14(11):609-622. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2017.2288. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

  3. Ian Young, Danielle Reimer, Judy Greig, Patricia Turgeon, Richard Meldrum, Lisa Waddell, Psychosocial and health-status determinants of safe food handling among consumers: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Food Control, 2017, vol 14, ISSN 0956-7135,

  4. Waddell L, Greig J, Mascarenhas M, Otten A, Corrin T, Hierlihy K. Current evidence on the transmissibility of chronic wasting disease prions to humans-A systematic review. Transbound Emerg Dis. 2017 Jan 30. doi: 10.1111/tbed.12612. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PMID: 28139079

  5. Waddell LA, Greig J, Mascarenhas M, Harding S, Lindsay R, Ogden N. The Accuracy of Diagnostic Tests for Lyme Disease in Humans, A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of North American Research. PLoS One. 2016 Dec 21;11(12):e0168613. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168613. PMID: 28002488

  6. Young I, Waddell L. Barriers and Facilitators to Safe Food Handling among Consumers: A Systematic Review and Thematic Synthesis of Qualitative Research Studies. PLoS One. 2016 Dec 1;11(12):e0167695. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167695. PMID: 27907161

  7. Waddell L, Rajić A, Stärk K, McEwen SA. Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis detection in animals, food, water and other sources or vehicles of human exposure: A scoping review of the existing evidence. Prev Vet Med. 2016 Sep 15;132:32-48. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.08.003. Review. PMID: 27664446

  8. Pham MT, Waddell L, Rajić A, Sargeant JM, Papadopoulos A, McEwen SA. Implications of applying methodological shortcuts to expedite systematic reviews: three case studies using systematic reviews from agri-food public health. Res Synth Methods. 2016 Dec;7(4):433-446. doi: 10.1002/jrsm.1215. PMID: 27285733

  9. Waddell LA, Greig JD. Scoping Review of the Zika Virus Literature. PLoS One. 2016 May 31;11(5):e0156376. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156376. PMID: 27244249

  10. Young I, Waddell L, Cahill S, Kojima M, Clarke R, Rajić A. Application of a Rapid Knowledge Synthesis and Transfer Approach To Assess the Microbial Safety of Low-Moisture Foods. J Food Prot. 2015 Dec;78(12):2264-78. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-15-146. Review. PMID: 26613924

  11. Waddell, L.A. Use of Knowledge Synthesis and Translation Methodologies as the Basis of an Evidence Informed Evaluation of Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis. PhD Thesis.University of Guelph. May 2016.

  12. Waddell, L. A., Rajić, A., Stärk, K. D. C. and McEwen, S. A. (2015), The potential Public Health Impact of Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis: Global Opinion Survey of Topic Specialists. Zoonoses Public Health. 2016 May;63(3):212-22. doi: 10.1111/zph.12221. Epub 2015 Aug 14.

  13. B. Sivaramalingam, I. Young, M.T. Pham, L. Waddell, J. Grig, M. Mascarehas, A. Papadopoulos. Scoping Review of Research on the Effectiveness of Food-safety Education Interventions Directed at Consumers.Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2015 Jul;12(7):561-70. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2014.1927. Epub 2015 Jun 2.

  14. L. A. Waddell, A. Rajic´, K. D. C. Stark and S. A. McEwen.The zoonotic potential of Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis: a systematic review and meta-analyses of the evidence.Epidemiol Infect. 2015 Nov;143(15):3135-57. doi: 10.1017/S095026881500076X. Epub 2015 May 20.

  15. Young I, Waddell L, Harding S, Greig J, Mascarenhas M, Sivaramalingam B, Pham MT, Papadopoulos A.A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of food safety education interventions for consumers in developed countries. BMC Public Health. 2015 Aug 26;15:822. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2171-x

  16. Wilhelm, B. Waddell, L., Greig, J., Houde, A., McEwen, S. A scoping review of the evidence for public health risks of three emerging potentially zoonotic viruses: hepatitis E virus, norovirus, and rotavirus Preventive Veterinary Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.51). 01/2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.01.015

  17. Young I, Kerr A, Waddell L, Pham MT, Greig J, McEwen SA, Rajić A. A guide for developing plain-language and contextual summaries of systematic reviews in agri-food public health. Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2014 Dec;11(12):930-7. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2014.1807.

  18. J. Greig, A. Rajić, I. Young, M. Mascarenhas, L. Waddell, J. LeJeune. A Scoping Review of the Role of Wildlife in the Transmission of Bacterial Pathogens and Antimicrobial Resistance to the Food Chain. Zoonoses Public Health. 2015 Jun;62(4):269-84. doi: 10.1111/zph.12147. Epub 2014 Aug 30.

  19. Young I, Waddell L, Sanchez J, Wilhelm B, McEwen SA, Rajić A.The application of knowledge synthesis methods in agri-food public health: recent advancements, challenges and opportunities.(2014) Preventive veterinary medicine. 113 (4) 339-55.

  20. I Young, K Gropp, K Pintar, L Waddell, B Marshall, K Thomas, S A McEwen, A Rajić. Experiences and Attitudes Towards Evidence-Informed Policy-Making Among Research and Policy Stakeholders in the Canadian Agri-Food Public Health Sector.Zoonoses Public Health. 2014 Dec;61(8):581-9. doi: 10.1111/zph.12108. Epub 2014 Feb 15.

  21. Agnes Agunos, Lisa Waddell, David Léger, Eduardo Taboada.A Systematic Review Characterizing On-Farm Sources of Campylobacter spp. for Broiler Chickens. PLoS ONE 01/2014.

  22. Kerr AK, Farrar AM, Waddell LA, Wilkins W, Wilhelm BJ, Bucher O, Wills RW, Bailey RH, Varga C, McEwen SA, Rajić A. A systematic review-meta-analysis and meta-regression on the effect of selected competitive exclusion products on Salmonella spp. prevalence and concentration in broiler chickens.Preventive veterinary medicine. 2013.

  23. Wilhelm B, Rajić A, Parker S, Waddell L, Sanchez J, Fazil A, Wilkins W, McEwen SA.Assessment of the efficacy and quality of evidence for five on-farm interventions for Salmonella reduction in grow-finish swine: a systematic review and meta-analysis.(2012) Preventive veterinary medicine. 107 (1-2) 1-20.

  24. Sarah C. Totton, Ashley M. Farrar, Wendy Wilkins, Oliver Bucher, Lisa A. Waddell, Barbara J. Wilhelm, Scott A. McEwen, Andrijana Rajic. The effectiveness of selected feed and water additives for reducing Salmonella spp. of public health importance in broiler chickens:a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression. (2012) PVM.106 (3-4) 197-213.

  25. Tuševljak N, Rajić A, Waddell L, Dutil L, Cernicchiaro N, Greig J, Wilhelm BJ, Wilkins W, Totton S, Uhland FC, Avery B, McEwen SA. Prevalence of Zoonotic Bacteria in Wild and Farmed Aquatic Species and Seafood: A Scoping Study, Systematic Review, and Meta-analysis of Published Research. (2012) Foodborne Pathog Dis. 9 (6) 487-97.

  26. Sarah C. Totton,Ashley M. Farrar, Wendy Wilkins, Oliver Bucher, Lisa A. Waddell, Barbara J. Wilhelm, Scott A. McEwen, Andrijana Rajić. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of biosecurity and vaccination in reducing Salmonella spp. in broiler chickens. Food Res Int 45(2):617-627 (2012)

  27. Mederos, A., Waddell, L., Sanchez, J., Kelton, D., Peregrine, A. S., Menzies, P., et al. A systematic review-meta-analysis of primary research investigating the effect of selected alternative treatments on gastrointestinal nematodes in sheep under field conditions. (2012). Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 104(1-2), 1-14. doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2011.10.012

  28. Bucher, O., Farrar, A. M., Totton, S. C., Wilkins, W., Waddell, L. A., Wilhelm, B. J. A systematic review-meta-analysis of chilling interventions and a meta-regression of various processing interventions for salmonella contamination of chicken. (2012)., et al. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 103(1), 1-15. doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2011.09.017

  29. Wilhelm, B. J., Rajic, A., Greig, J., Waddell, L., Trottier, G., Houde, A., et al. A systematic review/meta-analysis of primary research investigating swine, pork or pork products as a source of zoonotic hepatitis E virus. (2011). Epidemiology and Infection, 139(8), 1127-1144.

  30. Wilhelm, B., Rajic, A., Greig, J. D., Waddell, L., & Harris, J. The effect of hazard analysis critical control point programs on microbial contamination of carcasses in abattoirs: A systematic review of published data. (2011). Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 8(9), 949-960.

  31. Ilic, S., Rajic, A., Britton, C. J., Grasso, E., Wilkins, W., Totton, S., Wilhelm, B., Waddell, L., LeJeune, J. A scoping study characterizing prevalance, risk factor and intervention research, published between 1990 and 2010. for microbial hazards in leafy green vegetables. (2011). Food Control, 23, 7-19.

  32. Wilkins W, Rajić A, Parker S, Waddell L, Sanchez J, Sargeant J, Waldner C. Examining heterogeneity in the diagnostic accuracy of culture and PCR for Salmonella spp. in swine: a systematic review/meta-regression approach. Zoonoses Public Health. 2010 Nov;57 Suppl 1:121-34.

  33. Guerin, Michele; Sir, Charlotte; Sargeant, Jan; Waddell, Lisa; O'Connor, Annette; Wills, Robert; Bailey, R. Hart; Byrd, James. "The Change in Prevalence of Campylobacter on Chicken Carcasses during Processing: A Systematic Review" Poult Sci 2010; 89(5):1070-1084

  34. Young, A. Rajić, B.J. Wilhelm, L. Waddell, S. Parker, S.A. McEwen.Comparison of the Prevalence of Bacterial Enteropathogens, Potentially Zoonotic Bacteria and Bacterial Resistance to Antimicrobials in Organic and Conventional Poultry, Swine and Beef Production: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Approach. Epidemiol Infect. 2009 Sep;137(9):1217-32.

  35. Barbara Wilhelm, Andrijana Rajić, Lisa Waddell, Sarah Parker, Janet Harris, Karen C. Roberts, Robyn Kydd, Judy Greig, Ashley Baynton.Prevalence of zoonotic or potentially zoonotic bacteria, antimicrobial resistance and somatic cell counts in organic dairy production: current knowledge and research gaps.Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2009 Jun;6(5):525

  36. Waddell L, Rajić A, Sargeant J, Parker S, Deckert A, and McEwen S. The Methodological Soundness of Literature Reviews Addressing Three Potential Zoonotic Public Health Issues. Zoonoses Public Health. 2009 Nov;56(9-10):477-89.

  37. Lisa A.Waddell, Andrijana Rajić, Jan Sargeant, Janet Harris, Rocio Amezcua, Lindsay Downey, Susan Read, Scott A. McEwen.The Zoonotic Potential of Mycobacterium avium spp. paratuberculosis: A Systematic Review. 2008. Zoonoses and Public Health. Mar-Apr;99(2):145-55.

  38. Rajic, A., Waddell, L., Sargeant, J., Read, S., Jeff Farber, Martin J. Firth and Albert Chambers.An overview of microbial food safety programs in beef, pork, and poultry from farm to processing in Canada. Journal of Food Protection.2007. 70: 1286-1294.

  39. J.M. Sargeant,M.R. Amezcua,A. Rajic, L. Waddell.Pre-harvest interventions to reduce the shedding of E. coli O157 in the faeces of weaned domestic ruminants: A systematic review.Zoonoses and Public Health. 54 (2007) 260-277.

  40. Sargeant, J; Amezcua, R; Rajic, A, and Waddell, L. Conducting Systematic Reviews in Agri-Food Public Health. 2005 Aug. English: , French: