College: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department: Animal Sciences
Research Interests: risk assessment of infectious diseases, food safety
Curriculum vitae: PDF
Emerging Pathogens Institute member Arie Havelaar joined the University of Florida in fall of 2014. He brings international knowledge on risk assessment of infectious diseases and food safety. His research covers the broad field of public health aspects of pathogens in food and the environment, and the effectiveness of preventive measures. He is coauthor of more than 250 scientific publications, several books and numerous scientific reports.
Hired under the UF Preeminence Plan, Havelaar is part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), Institute for Sustainable Food Systems food hub, and the EPI. Since joining UF, he has contributed to the development of several international projects focused on improving food safety and reducing livestock-associated pathogens in children in low- and middle income countries and the US.
One of his larger current projects is the Campylobacter Genomics and Environmental Enteric Dysfunction study (CAGED) which operates under IFAS’s Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems. It is focused on understanding how complex interactions between the environment, and livestock affect young children in Ethiopia. This project is mainly focused on the acquisition and spread of human Campylobacter infections, which tend to disproportionately sicken children; but it also considers other types of enteric bacteria associated with chronic gut inflammation and stunted growth.
Havelaar works on a parallel project (led by EPI’s Song Liang) called EXCAM which seeks to map how children become exposed to the bacteria as they move from natural reservoirs in livestock to human exposure. Separate projects in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso focus on improving food chain safety to make beef, dairy, chicken meat and vegetables safer for marketplace consumers. He is leading a project on attribution of enteric pathogens in the US which will be the basis for national estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the burden of foodborne disease and waterborne diseases. In collaboration with the Florida Department of Health, he is studying the molecular epidemiology of salmonellosis in Florida and evaluating the foodborne disease complaints system.
Before moving to the United Sates, Havelaar worked at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands in various scientific and management roles, most recently as Principal Scientist in the Center for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology. He is an emeritus professor of Microbial Risk Assessment at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.
Havelaar holds a Master of Science degree in chemical engineering with a major in microbiology from the Delft University of Technology, a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Utrecht University and a Master of Science in epidemiology from the Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences at the Erasmus University, all in the Netherlands.
His contributions to microbiology were honored by election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and he was awarded the German Rudolf Schülke Hygiene Preis.