Monica A. Ponder

Associate Professor

  • Postdoctoral, Enteric Diseases Surveillance and Epidemiology, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, NCVZED, DFBMD, 2007
  • Ph.D, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, 2005
  • B.A., Microbiology, Miami University, 1999

Teaching Responsibilities

FST 4634: Epidemiology of Food and Waterborne Disease
FST 5634G: Epidemiology of Food and Waterborne Disease

Employment History

2007 - Present Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
2005-2007 ASM/NCID Emerging Infectious Disease Postdoctoral Fellow, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Infectious Disease, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Disease, Foodborne and Diarrheal Disease Branch, National Salmonella Reference Laboratory
1999-2005 Graduate Assistant, Michigan State University

Microbial ecology of agricultural commodities; Pathogen interactions with Gut Microbiome and influence of food processing on pathogen survival and virulence.

Current Research

Effects of prebiotics and probiotics on the gut microbiota and the health of their hosts.

Investigating the role of the gut microbiota in childhood diseases (stunting, diarrheal diseases).

Validated inactivation of Salmonella on spices using ethylene oxide and steam treatment.

Identifying role of food preservation stress on survival and virulence of food-borne pathogens.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Pollard, S.  diStefano, J., Boyer, R., Chapman, B., Archibald, T. Ponder, M. and Rideout S. 2015.  Identification of Risky Food Safety Practices at Southwest Virginia Farmers’ Markets, Food Protection Trends.   

Bowman, Lauren, Waterman, Kim, Robert C. Williams and Monica Ponder.  2015.  Inoculation Preparation Affects Survival of Salmonella enterica on Whole Black Peppercorns and Cumin Seeds Stored at Low Water Activity. Journal of Food Protection. 78(7):1259-65.

Bowman, L., Ponder, M., Waterman, K., and R. Williams.  2014.  Inoculation Procedure Effects Survival of Salmonella Enterica on Whole Black Peppercorn and Cumin Seeds Stored at Low Water Activity. Journal of Food Protection, Submitted October, 2014, revisions submitted December, 2014. Under review.

Shepherd, M., Ponder, M., and W. Swecker. 2014.  Effect of Two Different Commercial DNA Extraction Kits on the Bacterial 16S rRNA gene Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis Profile of Arabian Gelding Feces. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. Accepted 12/02/2014.

Pereira Baltasar, P., Ponder, M., Swecker, W., and F. Elvinger.  2014.  Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Distribution and Characterization in a Pasture-Based Cow-Calf Production System. Journal of Food Protection. 77(5):722-31.

Schroeder, M., Eifert, J., Schmale, D., and M. Ponder.  2014.  “Association of Campylobacter spp. Levels between Chicken Grow-Out Environmental Samples and Processed Carcasses.”  Poultry Science. 93:734-741.

Shepherd, M., Ponder, M., Swecker, W., and A. Burk. 2014. Fibre digestibility, abundance of faecal bacteria and plasma acetate concentrations in overweight adult mares. Journal of Nutritional Science. 7;3:e10. doi: 10.1017/jns.2014.8.eCollection 2014.

Waitt, J., Kuhn, D., Welbaum, G., and M. Ponder.  2014.  Post-Harvest Transfer and Survival of Salmonella enterica Serotype Enteritidis on Living Lettuce.  Letters in Applied Microbiology.  58 (2): 95-101.

Lopez-Velasco, G., Carder, P., Welbaum, G., and M. Ponder. 2013. Bacterial Community Diversity of the Spermosphere and Phyllosphere Bacteria of Spinacia oleracea. FEMS Microbiology Letters.  346 (2): 146-54.

Pesapane, R., Ponder, M., and K. Alexander.  2013.  Tracking Pathogen Transmission at the Human Wildlife Interface:  Banded Mongoose and Escherichia coli.  EcoHealth.  10 (2): 115-128.

Aviles, B., Klotz, C., Eifert, J., Williams, R., and M. Ponder. 2013.  Effect of Physiological State, Prolonged Dry Storage, and in vitro Digestion on the Survival and Gene Expression of Salmonella enterica sv. Tennessee. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 162 (3): 252–259.

Aviles, B., Klotz, C., Smith, T., Williams, R., and M. Ponder.  2012.  Survival of Salmonella enterica Serotype Tennessee during Simulated Gastric Passage is Improved by Low Water Activity and High Fat Content.  Journal of Food Protection.  76 (2): 333-7.

Goodrich, K., Fundaro, G., Griffin, L.E., Grant, A., Hulver, M.W., Ponder, M.A., and  A.P. Neilson.  2012.  Administration of Dietary Grape Seed Extract Increases Colonic Expression of Gut Tight Junction Protein Occludin and Reduces Fecal Calprotectin in a Secondary Analysis of Healthy Wistar Furth Rats. Nutrition Research.  2 (10): 787-94.

Shepherd, M., Swecker, W., Jensen, R., and M. Ponder.  2012. Characterization of the Fecal Bacteria Communities of Forage-Fed Horses by Pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA V4 Gene Amplicons.  FEMS Microbiology Letters.  326 (1): 62-68.

Lopez-Velasco, G. Tydings, H., Boyer, R., Falkinham, J., and M. Ponder.  2012. Characterization of Interactions between Escherichia coli O157:H7 with Epiphytic Bacteria in vitro and on Spinach Leaf Surfaces.  International Journal of Food Microbiology.  153 (3): 351-357.

Lopez-Velasco, G., Welbaum, G., Falkinham, J., and M. Ponder.  2011. Phyllopshere Bacterial Community Structure of Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) as Affected by Cultivar and Environmental Conditions at Time of Harvest.  Diversity.  3 (4): 721-738; doi:10.3390/d3040721

Lopez-Velasco, G., Boyer, R., Welbaum, G., and M. Ponder. 2011. Changes in Spinach Phylloepiphytic Bacteria Communities Following Minimal Processing and Refrigerated Storage Described Using Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA Amplicons. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 110 (5): 1203-1214.

Price, K., Totty, H., Lee, H., Utt, M., Escobar, J., and M. Ponder.  2010.  Use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Fermentation Product on Growth Performance and Microbiota of Weaned Pigs during Salmonella Infection.  Journal of Animal Science. 88: 3896-3908.  

Ayala-del-Río, H., P. Chain, J. Grzymski, M. Ponder, N. Ivanova, P. Bergholz, G. Di Bartolo, L. Hauser, M. Land, C. Bakermans, D. Rodrigues, J. Klappenbach, D. Zarka, F. Larimer, P. Richardson, A. Murray, M. Thomashow and J. Tiedje. 2010. The genome sequence of Psychrobacter arcticus 273-4, a psychroactive Siberian permafrost bacterium, reveals mechanisms for adaptation to low-temperature growth. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 76(7):2304-12.

Hintz, L., R. Boyer, M. Ponder, R. Williams and S. Rideout. 2010. Recovery of Salmonella enterica Newport introduced through irrigation water from tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum) fruit, roots, stems, and leaves. HortScience. 45:675-678.

Lopez-Velasco, G., M. Davis, R. Boyer, R. Williams and M. Ponder. 2010. Alterations of the phylloepiphytic bacterial community associated with interactions of E. coli O157:H7 during storage of packaged spinach at refrigeration temperatures. Food Microbiology. 27(4):476-486.

Price, K., H. Totty, H. Lee, M. Utt, J. Escobar and M. Ponder. 2010. Use of Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product on growth performance and microbiota of weaned pigs during Salmonella infection. Journal of Animal Science. 88:3896-3908.


Dr. Monica Ponder
  • (540) 231-5031
    401-D HABB1 (0924)
    1230 Washington Street SW
    Blacksburg, VA 24061