587 X 450 (3)
Microbial Risk Analysis



Past Chair

Ainsley Otten

is a Risk Assessor in the Public Health Risk Sciences Division of the National Microbiology Laboratory, within the Public Health Agency of Canada.  She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Guelph, specializing in Biological and Food Engineering.  Ainsley’s past areas of work have included zoonotic pathogens transmitted through routes such as food, water and vectors, disease prioritization tools and disease transmission models within a community setting.

ainsley.otten@phac-aspc.gc.ca | Government of Canada Directory | LinkedIn Profile | ResearchGate


Patrick Gurian

is a Professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering. He holds a doctoral degree in Engineering & Public Policy and Civil & Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. Patrick generally works at the intersection of microbial risk assessment and decision analysis. His previous work includes studies of how to manage risks from bioterrorism, risks associated with the beneficial reuse of biosolids, and risks from Legionella growth in building plumbing systems. He is an editorial board member for AWWA Water Science

plg28@drexel.edu | LinkedIn Profile | Drexel University Profile | ResearchGate | Google Scholar | Twitter


Vice Chair:

Mark H. Weir

is an Associate Professor jointly appointed to the Sustainability Institute, and Division of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public Health, at Ohio State University. He earned a BS and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Wilkes University and Drexel University respectively. His research specialties in risk analysis are: dose-response, exposure modelling, and risk characterization. As such he is focused on learning why opportunistic pathogens survive in environmental niches, and how to use this fundamental knowledge to develop mechanistic models to reduce the risks these pose to the environment. His broader research area includes: Mark H. Weir, PhD

  • Drinking water biofilm microbial ecology and its impacts on opportunistic pathogens
  • Operations research and analysis for health associated infections
  • Water, wastewater and wastewater reuse treatment systems and risk-based optimization

Risk monitoring for building water and indoor air systems

weir.95@osu.edu | LinkedIn Profile | OSU Webpage | Twitter | Lab Webpage Blog | Google Scholar

Senior Secretary:

Alexis Layman Mraz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health at The College of New Jersey. She holds a PhD in Environmental Health with a minor in Epidemiology from The Ohio State University, a M.S. in Environmental Science, and a B.S. in Biology from Drexel University. Her research focuses on environmental microbiology with an emphasis on risk assessment. Her research interests include:

  • Health risks associated with recreating in combined-sewer-overflow influenced surface waters
  • Opportunistic pathogens in premise plumbing systems
  • Pathogen-host interactions in biofilms

mraza@tcnj.edu | LinkedIn Profile | ResearchGate Profile | The College of New Jersey Profile

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Kara Dean

holds a doctoral degree in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and Environmental Science and Policy from Michigan State University, and she has been a member of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) since 2018. She was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship recipient in 2019 and her research interests include quantitative microbial risk assessment, water quality, pathogen persistence, and dose response modeling.

deankara@msu.edu | Website | Google Scholar | Twitter

Graduate Representative:

Aishwarya Rao

is a second year PhD student at the University of Maryland, in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science. She holds an MS in Microbiology from the University of Arizona. As a food science major, her dissertation focuses on water reuse and its risks in low and high water use industries. Her research interests include food safety and microbiology, water quality and quantitative and qualitative risk assessment based produce safety. She is a new member of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA).

arao89@umd.edu | LinkedIn | ResearchGate Profile | Twitter


Past Officers

Jade Mitchell | 2016-2022

Amir Mokhtari | 2015-2020

Regis Pouillot | 2014-2019

Abani Pradhan | 2013-2018

Moez Sanaa | 2013-2017

Past Student Representatives

Kara Dean | 2022

Dienye Tolofari | 2020, 2021

Thank you to those who have served on the MRASG Executive Committee in prior years. If you or a colleague should be added to this list, please contact us.