Jovana Kovacevic

Dr. Jovana Kovacevic, Assistant Professor, Food Innovation Center
Food Science and Technology
Assistant Professor, Food Innovation Center

B.Sc. - 2005 University of Alberta, Food Science and Technology
M.Sc. - 2007 University of Alberta, Food Microbiology
Ph.D. - 2014 University of British Columbia, Food Microbiology

Professional Activities
Member of the American Society for Microbiology, Canadian Society of Microbiologists, International Association for Food Protection, B.C. Food Protection Association, Western Center for FSMA-related training, education and outreach activities.

Research Interests: 

My research interests are in the application of molecular methods and genomics in food safety. In particular, my lab researches how these methods and tools can be used to improve pathogen tracing, to advance our understanding of pathogen survival and contamination events in the farm-to-fork food chain, and to aid the development of targeted interventions. Current areas of interest include: i) survival, stress response mechanisms, and prevention of Listeria monocytogenes contamination in food processing environments; ii) antimicrobial resistance in the food chain; iii) pathogen stress survival and biofilms; and iv) understanding and prevention of foodborne outbreaks. As a coordinator of the FSMA’s Western Regional Center, I am also very much interested in working with food industry to develop effective food safety training, education and knowledge transfer initiatives.


Current and Recent Research Projects

  • Characterization of the Listeria genomic island 1 (LGI1) and the role of EmrE_Lm efflux pump in sanitizer resistance
  • Tracing of contamination and characterization of genetic properties of Listeria spp. recovered over a 10-year period in a dairy plant

Extension Program

  • Coordination of activities of the Western Regional Food Safety Center for FSMA training, education and outreach activities
  • Directing food safety program at the Food Innovation Center
  • Basic and advanced food safety training, consultations, and troubleshooting for the food industry

Representative publications
Kovacevic, J.
, K. Fong, K. Rideout, Kevin J. Allen, S. Wang. 2016. Regulations and public health implications of farm-to-fork meat safety in Canada. Submitted to Compr. Rev. Food Sci. F.

Kovacevic, J.*, J. Ziegler, E. Walecka-Zacharska, A. Reimer, D. Kitts, M. Gilmour. 2016. Tolerance of Listeria monocytogenes to quaternary ammonium sanitizers is mediated by a novel efflux pump encoded by emrE. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 82(3):939-953. doi:10.1128/AEM.03741-15.

Arguedas-Villa, C., J. Kovacevic, K.J. Allen, R. Stephan, T. Tasara. 2014. Cold growth behavior and genetic comparison of Canadian and Swiss Listeria monocytogenes strains associated with the food supply chain and human listeriosis cases. Food Microbiol. 40:81-87.

Kovacevic J., C. Arguedas-Villa, A. Wozniak, T. Tasara, K.J. Allen. 2013. Examination of food chain-derived Listeria monocytogenes strains of different serotypes reveals considerable diversity in inlA genotypes, mutability, and adaptation to cold temperatures. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 79:1915-1922.

Kovacevic J., J. Sagert, A. Wozniak, M.W. Gilmour, K.J. Allen. 2013. Antimicrobial resistance and co-selection phenomenon in Listeria spp. recovered from food and food production environments. Food Microbiol. 34:319-327.

Allen, K.J. J. Kovacevic, A. Cancarevic, J. Wood, J. Xu, B. Gill, J.K. Allen, L.R. Mesak. 2013. Microbiological survey of imported produce available at retail across Canada. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 162:135-142.

Kovacevic, J., L. R. Mesak, K. J. Allen. 2012. Occurrence and characterization of Listeria spp. in ready-to-eat retail foods from Vancouver, British Columbia. Food Microbiol. 30: 372-378.

Kovacevic, J.*, S. Henderson, L. McIntyre, L. Wilcott, T. Kosatsky. 2012. Occurrence and distribution of Listeria spp. in facilities producing ready-to-eat foods under provincial inspection authority in British Columbia, Canada. J. Food Prot. 75 (2): 216-224.

Kovacevic, J., V. M. Bohaychuk, P. Romero Barrios, G. Gensler, D.L. Rolheiser, L. M. McMullen. 2009. Evaluation of environmental sampling methods and rapid detection assays for recovery and identification of Listeria spp. from meat processing facilities. J. Food Prot. 72(4): 696-701.

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